Ed Farmer, a longtime radio broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox and a former major league baseball player, has died, the team said on Thursday. He was 70.
Farmer was a color commentator and play-by-play announcer for nearly 30 years and was a professional major league player for 11 years, including three seasons with his hometown Chicago White Sox.
Farmer passed away on Wednesday night due to kidney failure, which the Chicago Tribune says he suffered with throughout much of his life.
We mourn the death of Ed Farmer who passed away Wednesday night.
Farmer worked as a radio broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox for nearly 30 years, played 11 seasons in the major leagues, including three with his hometown White Sox, and was a strong advocate for organ donation. pic.twitter.com/wx7itjfEYk
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 2, 2020
Born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, Farmer made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians as a pitcher in 1971. His best seasons as a player were the three with the Chicago White Sox. During his initial 1979 season with the team, he recorded 13 saves.
Farmer famously had a feud with Detroit Tigers player Al Cowens, who after hitting a ground ball in the infield charged the pitchers mound instead of running to first base, tackling Farmer from behind. Cowens was suspended for seven games and Farmer filed assault charges against him, but Farmer agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a handshake.
After a brief stint as a scout with the Baltimore Orioles, Farmer became a broadcaster on Chicago White Sox radio broadcasts between 1991 and 2005. He earned the nickname “Farmio” for his color commentary, but he then became the full-time, play-by-play voice of the team after his longtime partner John Rooney left the network.
Farmer also lost his home in Southern California during the 2018 wildfires that affected the region, telling Chicago’s Daily Herald that he was “lucky” to be alive.