1989 White Sox Coke #29 - Nancy Faust
On Sunday, October 3, 2010, Nancy Faust will be playing for the final time at U.S. Cellular Field. Nancy has been perhaps the longest running institution at the home park of the Chicago White Sox. If not the longest entering this season, certainly the most famous. This is the forty-first and last season that Nancy's beautiful organ music will be played live.
Nancy Faust has been the one constant in a sea of change that is baseball. Players change. Management changes. Even ownership changes. In some seasons, Nancy has been the lone bright spot, when the product on the field was less than spectacular.
She had a way of bringing the crowd into a game, even under the most dire circumstances. As a kid, going to old Comiskey Park, my attention would wander. I've endured teams without identity. I've witnessed last place finishes. I've seen collapses that would make toenails curl, but Nancy Faust has always been able to make me smile.
I can remember attending a few games during the 1989 season. The team was in a free fall, rocketing towards seventh place. One of my favorite players had been traded away for a haul that included a future cheater and a pitcher who would make the most memorable White Sox debut. I had less interest in the game that was going on and more interest in finding hot dogs, Drumstick ice cream cones and souvenir cups. I would wander the catacombs of the park, exploring, finding interesting paintings tucked away in corners and examples of 1910 craftsmanship. Nancy's exquisite playing always drew me back up to the surface and into my seat.
After the 2005 World Series, Nancy limited herself to day games. It's not a coincidence that the majority of the games I've attended in the past five seasons have been day games. I wanted to hear the last hurrah of a Chicago baseball legend. I decided to relish every experience, instead of wasting my chance to bask in the musical glow of her playing. After Sunday, another part of my past will slip solely into the recesses of my memories, coming out only rarely, to be enjoyed when I need a pick me up moment.
Thank you, Nancy. I have enjoyed your wit, your humor, your musical prowess. I will never think of Pete Incaviglia or Iron Butterfly in quite the same way again. Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye.