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Farmer (left) in the broadcast booth in 2012.
|Born: October 18, 1949|
Evergreen Park, Illinois
|June 9, 1971, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1983, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Earned run average||4.30|
|Career highlights and awards|
Edward Joseph Farmer (born October 18, 1949) is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and Oakland A's, (all) in the American League (AL), and the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League (NL), from 1971 to 1974 and 1977 to 1983. Farmer is the play-by-play broadcaster for ChiSox radio broadcasts.
Farmer initially spent several seasons in MLB, with several organizations, and achieved varying degrees of success. However, his fortunes changed dramatically, following a mid-career injury. Eventually, Farmer "re-invented" himself, toiling three-plus years, spent mostly in the minor leagues.
His best seasons were with the ChiSox, from 1979 to 1981. The White Sox acquired Farmer from the Rangers on June 15, 1979, along with Gary Holle, in exchange for Eric Soderholm. He responded by recording 14 saves for the Sox, 13 of them coming after the All-Star break. A notable feud started between Farmer and Al Cowens, early in the 1979 season. On May 8, while playing the Kansas City Royals, a Farmer pitch thrown in the top of the 5th inning fractured Cowens' jaw and broke several teeth; Cowens would miss 21 games. Farmer also hit Royal Frank White in the same game and broke his wrist and caused him to miss 33 contests. The next season, on June 20, 1980, while playing Detroit at Comiskey Park, with Farmer pitching, the now-Tiger Cowens hit a ground ball to shortstop. While Farmer watched his infielders make the play, Cowens ran to mound and tackled the pitcher from behind (instead of running to first base), getting in several punches before the benches cleared and the two were separated. MLB suspended Cowens for 7 games and a warrant was issued for his arrest in Illinois, forcing him to skip the remainder of the series. Later, Farmer agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a handshake, and the 2 players brought out the lineup cards before the game on September 1. However, future appearances for Cowens at Comiskey were greeted by fans with a "Coward Cowens" banner.
Despite the ongoing feud with Cowens, 1980 was Farmer's best year. He was selected to the American League All-Star team, when he compiled 18 saves prior to the break, and finished the season with career highs in saves (30) and wins (7). Farmer started only 21 games in his career; his other 349 appearances were out of the bullpen. In 370 total games, his career statistics include a 30-43 record, with a 4.28 ERA, 395 strikeouts, and 624 innings pitched. Farmer finished his career with 75 career saves.
Farmer was a scout in the Orioles organization between 1988 and 1990. Afterwards, he became the color commentator on White Sox radio broadcasts, where he became well-known among fans by the nickname "Farmio", from 1991 to 2005, when it was announced that Farmer would be taking over full-time play-by-play duties for the team the following year when longtime partner John Rooney moved to the St. Louis Cardinals Radio Network. Farmer's current broadcast partner is Darrin Jackson.
On July 18, 2015, as an announcer for the Chicago White Sox radio broadcast, Farmer twice advocated for White Sox pitchers to intentionally hit Kansas City Royals batters during a broadcast. Following a 13th inning home run by Royals batter Lorenzo Cain, Farmer said, "If I'm on the mound and he does that, next time up when I face him he's looking at the sky.".