Local

White Sox organist to retire after 41 years

Monday, October 04, 2010

The final game of the White Sox season on Sunday will mark the end of an era for Nancy Faust.

Faust has been the ballpark organist for 41 seasons. After more than 3,000 games, her last performance at U.S. Cellular will be Sunday.

Her music has changed with the times from Alley Cat in the early 70s to Lady Gaga.

"I'd like to be remembered as somebody who provided some a lo of sound and memories throughout the game, not just the organist who played charge," said Faust.

She's considered the best in major league baseball, yet, Nancy Faust doesn't read a note of music. All by ear, the White Sox legend has entertained fans for the past 41 years using her quick mind to come up with songs that would match a player or not in some cases.

"Just lately Ozzie made a comment about playing when he was a player I played La Bamba because he is Venezuelan. He didn't like that. I was unaware," said Faust.

But most of the time, Faust was right on. Only 22 when she was hired as the organist, Faust has played a big role in Sox history, especially during the Bill Veck days. The former owner made sure Faust was more than background music.

"Thanks to Bill Veck for placing an organ that was accessible so generations stop and share their life with me that was a privilege," said Faust.

With her door and windows always open, Faust became a part people's families. But after four decades, Faust realizes technology has moved in and it's time for live organist to move out.

"There was plenty of time for creative expression but time and money has changed but just to be around here all the time I have to stop and pinch myself," said Faust.

As she's getting ready to play her swan song on Sunday, Faust played us an appropriate tune - "Na'na na' Goodbye" - that earned her a gold record.

While "Kiss Him Goodbye" would be a natural for Faust's last day, she says Madonna's "This Used to Be My Playground" sums up how she feels. Faust began to play that song, but stopped after getting too emotional.

Faust is not retiring cold turkey. She eased into it four years ago when she decided to play just day games.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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chicago white sox, local, sarah schulte
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