Ed Farmer, an All-Star reliever who spent nearly three decades as a radio broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox, has died. He was 70.
The White Sox said he died Wednesday night in Los Angeles following complications from an illness.
A native of Evergreen Park, Illinois, and a graduate of St. Rita High on Chicago’s South Side, Farmer was 30-43 with a 4.30 ERA and 75 saves while pitching for eight teams over 11 seasons. He was an All-Star for the White Sox in 1980, when he saved 30 games — then a club record.
“He called no-hitters, perfect games and of course, a World Series championship,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
Farmer joined Chicago’s radio booth on a part-time basis in 1991 and became a full-time analyst in 1992 alongside play-by-play announcer John Rooney. He assumed play-by-play duties in 2006 and completed his 29th season in 2019. Farmer called perfect games by Mark Buehrle against Tampa Bay in 2009 and Phillip Humber at Seattle in 2012 as well as Hall of Famer Jim Thome’s 500th homer.
“My heart is broken, but my mind is at peace knowing my dear friend is no longer suffering,” said former major league outfielder Darrin Jackson, Farmer’s broadcast partner since 2009. “Ed was a competitor who also was everyone’s best friend. I saw first-hand how hard Ed fought each and every day and season after season to keep himself healthy and prepared to broadcast White Sox baseball.”
Farmer became an advocate for organ donation after a kidney transplant in 1991. He served on the board of directors of the Polycystic Kidney Disease Research Foundation and testified before the U.S. House of Representatives about the disease in 1995. He also supported the state of Illinois organ donor program.
Farmer is survived by wife Barbara and daughter Shanda.