White Sox radio broadcaster Ed Farmer died Wednesday night, the team announced Thursday. Farmer broadcast Sox games for 29 full seasons and played 11 seasons in the big leagues, including three with the White Sox.
Farmer died in a Los Angeles-area hospital of complications from a previous illness, the team said. He was 70. He had been preparing for his 30th full season and had broadcast from spring training last month.
“Ed Farmer was the radio voice of the Chicago White Sox for three decades, and he called no-hitters, perfect games and, of course, a World Series championship,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement released by the team. “His experience as a major league All-Star pitcher, his wry sense of clubhouse humor, his love of baseball and his passion for the White Sox combined to make White Sox radio broadcasts the sound of summer for millions of fans. Ed grew up a Sox fan on the south side of Chicago and his allegiance showed every single night on the radio as he welcomed his ‘friends’ to the broadcast. I am truly devastated by the loss of my friend.”
A native of Evergreen Park, Farmer attended St. Rita. A tall right-handed pitcher, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth round of the 1967 draft directly out of high school. He made his MLB debut at 21 years old for the Cleveland Indians in 1971 and played for eight teams over 11 seasons.
Farmer was traded to the White Sox during the 1979 season and stayed on the South Side through 1981. He made his lone All-Star Game appearance in 1980 with the White Sox.
After his playing days, Farmer worked as a scout for a few years before joining the Sox radio booth on a part-time basis in 1991. In 1992, he became the full-time analyst with play-by-play man John Rooney in 1991.
When Rooney left to take over broadcasting duties for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006, Farmer took over play-by-play duties, working beside Chris Singleton (2006-07) and later Steve Stone (2008). Farmer teamed up with former White Sox player Darrin Jackson in 2009 and the two worked together for the remainder of Farmer’s career.
Farmer suffered from polycystic kidney disease and received a kidney transplant in the 1991. He became an advocate for organ and tissue donation. He testified before the U.S. House of Representatives about polycystic kidney disease in 1995, and made an annual appearance with Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to raise awareness and promote organ and tissue donations in Illinois.
He is survived by his wife Barbara and daughter Shanda.