'He was real': Farmer remembered fondly 

April 3rd, 2020

CHICAGO -- When a new player joined the White Sox via free agency or trade, Darrin Jackson would issue an advisory concerning the expected upcoming meeting with Ed Farmer.

It was more of an explanation of what to expect from his charismatic friend and radio broadcast partner for the past 11 years, who passed away at the age of 70 Wednesday night at a Los Angeles area hospital. Farmer was unfailingly honest, but that honesty always focused on trying to help others in any way possible.

“I would go up to them and say, ‘Hey, you haven’t met my partner yet, Ed Farmer. He’s going to come up to you. Be ready. He means no harm. He’s going to say something to you, and you are going to look at him and think he’s crazy or he’s trying to offend you and that’s not the case,’” said Jackson during a Thursday evening conference call. “Multiple players would come back to me and go, ‘I see what you mean.’

“The thing that I say about why he’s so unique is because there is no other person you will probably ever come across in your life even close to his personality. He is real. He was real. He is a person that so many people wanted to be and couldn’t be because he would tell you the truth.”

Jackson was far from the lone figure in baseball showing their ultimate respect for Farmer. Current players for the White Sox such as Lucas Giolito, former players such as Frank Thomas, and past and present broadcasters and players from around the game paid tribute to the charismatic character via social media.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko and catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who were integral parts of the 2005 World Series championship during which Farmer served as a radio analyst, also talked about Farmer during a separate conference call. Pierzynski got on Air Force One because of Farmer, not to mention getting into the Secret Service training facility.

Konerko received an exclusive tour around the Notre Dame football facility in 2001, again with Farmer’s help. Those excursions were part of Famer’s unique lore.

“Eddie knew everybody. ... And he always tried to spread the wealth on that,” Konerko said. “Every time we went somewhere, and he could help, take you to something, bring you to something or expose you to something that you otherwise would never have a chance to do, he tried to bring everybody in on that. Now, the great part was that he would remind you almost every day for the rest of your life that he did it, which was awesome.”

“He had a lot of connections,” Pierzynski said. “He had a lot of pull. And he was fun about it. He could take it. He could give it out. It was fun to go back and forth with Farmio because he would always laugh. At the end of the day, he would get mad a little bit, but the next day he'd walk back up to you with a smile on his face and start at it again.”

Because of Farmer, Jackson once had a chance to play golf with President George W. Bush. Their radio broadcast booth often featured dignitaries, but there were just as many local people stopping by whom Farmer tried to make feel part of the experience. Farmer was a South Sider and a baseball personality whom people constantly gravitated to, as much as he was a traditional broadcaster.

“Farmio will be missed,” Pierzynski said. “I know we're kind of joking around about his legacy and everything, but he will be missed.”

“It's a loss for the city of Chicago and a loss to anybody and everybody that crossed paths with him,” said Jackson, who grew emotional at times talking about his friend. “Whether you liked him or not as a broadcaster to me is irrelevant, because I know for a fact he made a difference in people's lives in a positive way. And Ed Farmer will never be forgotten.”