Nancy Faust delighted fans at Comiskey Park with her organ playing
In March, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates Women's History Month with a look at women who changed baseball history.
The ballpark is surely a feast for the senses: The sights of the game, the smell of the the field…the touch of your mitt as you sit in the stands eager to grab a foul ball.
Many of these experiences can be replicated outside the ballpark, but the sounds of the ballparks would prove difficult to duplicate.
The Chicago White Sox were fortunate enough to have the sweet sounds of organist Nancy Faust fill their home field for 41 years until her retirement in 2010. Faust was a luncheonette organist when in 1969 the Sox’s then-general manager Stu Holcomb heard her and hired her that very day.
Philip K. Wrigley was first in bringing an organ into the stadium, a one-time-only appearance in April 1941. The Brooklyn Dodgers installed an organ in Ebbets Field the following season, and then in 1960, White Sox owner Bill Veeck placed an organ in the center field stands at White Sox games to try to engage fans.
Faust admits being timid amongst rowdy bleacher fans and in her first season, and did not play very much. By next season her shyness waned, she carried a radio out with her, and quickly became a fan favorite. The organ would be moved to behind home plate at the start of the 1973 season in an attempt to entertain the more reserved crowds.
Faust’s career spanned the worsts and bests of the franchise. Her first season, the team went 59-103, but by 2005 the White Sox won their first title in 88 years and Faust was awarded a World Series ring of her own.
Faust played at more than 3,000 games over 41 seasons. Incredibly, she only missed seven games over her career, her absences only for funerals and the birth of her son Eric, whose first steps would be on the field at Comiskey Park.
Faust chose Madonna’s “This Used to Be My Playground,” the theme from the movie A League of Their Own, as her final song.
Celebrate Women's History Month with the Museum's Girls Got Game features. Subjects include Alta Weiss, Ila Borders, Mamie Johnson, Nicole McFadyen, Eliza Green, Kim Ng, Nancy Faust and Penny Marshall.
Laurel Camean was a 2012 education-public programs intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development. For information on how to apply for the Class of 2014 Steele Internship Program, click here