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If you went to a White Sox home game between 1970 and 2010, or if you're currently a Kane County Cougars fan, chances are good you've heard Nancy Faust doing her thing on the organ.
Now, the Mundelein resident, who introduced rock songs to the ball park and received a letter from Sox fan President Obama when she retired, has shared her memories as part of the commemorative book "Old Comiskey Park" - along with recollections from the likes of Sox star Ron Kittle.
She will also perform at a launch party for the book Aug. 20 at the 19th Century Charitable Association building in Oak Park, and recently spoke about music, baseball and 41 seasons at Comiskey.
Q. For some people, being paid to be at Comiskey Park year after year would be a dream come true. How did you feel when you got the job?
A. Ironically, I wasn't even a baseball fan at the time. My father was from Sweden, so he was into soccer, but we weren't a sports-oriented family. So, it was just a job for me in the beginning. I looked at it as a way to make a living, though there were many aspects of it that I came to love. Eventually, I realized it was quite a luxury to be able to make a living from something I enjoyed so much.
Q. What did the job consist of? Were you given specific musical cues to play when certain things happened?
A. No, I was free to be as creative as I wanted, as long as it didn't interfere with the game, and I really enjoyed that. I played whatever was popular at the time, songs like "Alleycat," "Copacabana," whatever was on the radio. I introduced a lot of rock music into ball games - Aerosmith, Mick Jagger, anything people were listening to. That was unusual at the time. I even got a gold record from Mercury Records for helping to re-popularize the "Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye" song. (Laughs) Yes, that was me.
Q. Do you have memories of any particular games?
A. I remember big ones like All-Star games and, of course, the World Series, but otherwise I mainly remember things that happened during games, like Mark Buehrle pitching a no-hitter. Things like that stand out.
When they won the World Series, that was a highlight, of course. The thing I remember most about it, though, was the victory parade and the swarms of people who showed up - Sox fans and Cub fans. And I played organ at the ceremony. I was so proud to be a Chicagoan that day, and to be affiliated with the White Sox.
I do remember Disco Demolition, though, that Steve Dahl thing. That was really something. I remember a group of nuns sitting near the organ thinking everybody was yelling "Let's go Sox" when they were yelling "disco sucks." (Laughs) So they started yelling, "Let's go Sox!"