April 22, 2006
CHANGE IS ALWAYS BAD, BUT ESPECIALLY IN BASEBALL:
To many, organs give life to baseball (Scott Merkin, 04/21/2006, MLB.com)
White Sox organist Nancy Faust could be described as one part entertainer, one part musician and one part mad scientist. How else could the following scenario be explained?Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2006 9:42 AM
Let's say, for example, Cleveland's Travis Hafner is stepping to the plate at U.S. Cellular Field. What music does Faust immediately decide to play for the Indians slugger? Her choice is either J. Geils' "Centerfold" or Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," of course.
"Livin' on a Prayer" has the lyric "We're halfway there," thus relating somewhat to HAF-ner. But "Centerfold?"
"Because of Hugh Hefner," said Faust with a laugh, referring to how Hafner and Hefner have very similar last names. "That's the way my little brain works."
Faust's little brain has been working as part of the White Sox organization since 1970, when as a psychology major at North Park College, she listened to her friends and wrote a letter to the team about becoming the organist at Comiskey Park. She was hired almost immediately and only missed time out of her booth on the main concourse for the birth of her son during close to four decades on the job.
That stretch of consecutive workdays came to an end for Faust last Friday night, by her own choice. With television cameras and friends sitting around with her husband at their farm in Mundelein, Ill., Faust began her new employment structure of only working day games.
While Faust made the call in this particular situation, other organists around baseball have gradually been moved out of their position or reduced to lesser in-game roles. It's not exactly a bitter switch, but more an indication of the changing times and cultural tastes.