Former White Sox organist Nancy Faust very generously contributed a collection of wonderful memories to our new book, Old Comiskey Park. As we worked together on her essay, she invited myself and Wife of Admin out to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Kane County to watch the minor league Cougars (a Class-A Cubs affiliate team), and to listen to her play keyboards in her signature ballpark style -- a style that has profoundly influenced sports arena music around the world. She pioneered the practice of playing special songs or bits of music that would be identified with individual players, specific plays, or impromptu events on the field. And everyone is familiar with "Na na hey hey goodbye"!
Nancy plays in Kane County on Sundays when the Cougars are in town.
On our way out there I mentioned to Wife of Admin that a couple of Cub minor league prospects played for Kane County, but being a forgetful old Cub fan, and barely able to keep up with the Cubs' major league roster let alone the rosters of their minor league affiliates, I wasn't quite sure whom we'd see.
It's a long way from Addison and Western to Kane County. Passing Oak Brook on I88, we looked at each other and said, "We are WAY-the-heck out here! Almost to Iowa!" ... and we weren't even close. But this was no surprise as we actually lived in Kane County for several years during the 1990s. No surprise, but a shock every time we make the drive.
But it was a beautiful day for baseball, so on we drove.
We had a great time visiting Nancy Faust. Officially retired, she plays Sundays for the Cougars because she loves to stay in touch with the game. Her keyboards were set up in a private box on the lower level behind home plate.
And we hit the Cub prospects jackpot. Jen-Ho Tseng pitched seven strong, 3-hit, 1-run innings. He was ranked as the Cubs #10 best prospect this week in a review by Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report. The designated hitter was Kyle Schwarber, ranked #7 by in Reuter's report. Schwarber went 2-for-3 and scored a run in the Cougars' 3-1 win over the Beloit Snappers. He was the Cubs' first round pick in this year's draft. The Cubs have already promoted him to AA Daytona, as reported by John Arguello of ChicagoNow's Cubs Den, so we were very lucky to watch him play just before he left Kane County.
Here's a short picture gallery of our fun visit to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
We're planning a book launch party the evening of August 20 at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park. Nancy Faust will be there to sign books and play the organ. Pencil it in!
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