Nancy Faust celebrating 35 years
White Sox organist to be feted on Wednesday
The Chicago White Sox will honor one of the true legends in franchise history, organist Nancy Faust, on Wednesday, when they host the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 p.m. on "Nothing But Nancy Day."
The legendary musician will get the game started that day by tossing the ceremonial first pitch, and throughout the game, fans will be treated exclusively to music direct from her keyboard.
Once dubbed the "Sweetheart of Comiskey Park," Nancy Faust has been the official White Sox organist since 1970. Now in her 35th season with the club, during which she has missed a total of just five games, the lady with a quick wit and impromptu style is playing with more enthusiasm than ever.
"My whole life is identified by what I do and the friendships that I have made here," Faust has said. "And what a great life it has been."
Faust always takes time to speak with fans as they pass her booth, which occupies a prime viewing spot directly behind home plate on the 100-Level concourse at U.S. Cellular Field. Decorated with photos given to her by adoring fans, her booth is a frequent stop for game attendees with whom she often shares stories. White Sox fans have been known to play a game in which they try to be the first to figure out the reasoning behind specific songs that Faust plays for hitters as they come to bat.
Faust has become famous for playing songs that fit the game situation or have some significance to a player. These associations can be as obvious as "Walk like a Man" playing when a batter draws a walk, or quite clever such as hearing Iron Butterfly's "Inna Gadda da Vita" as Pete Incaviglia steps to the plate -- note the rhyme! Fans are treated to her rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch every day and relish the strains of White Sox signature tune "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" when an opposing pitcher is removed -- often after giving up a White Sox home run. Never stuck in the past, she is always up on new music and today features songs by rock groups such as Maroon 5 and hip-hop artist Outkast.
"I don't bring sheet music to the ballpark," Nancy says. "Everything that I do is by ear. I do bring a list of songs -- rain songs, good guy songs, bad guy songs, rally songs and a couple others. If I want to learn a new song I listen to it on the radio a few times or I buy it."
Faust was born and raised in Chicago, where she learned to play the organ from her mother at age four. Over the years, she has made numerous television appearances and has spent time as the organist for the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks and DePaul University.
Ryan Barry is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.