Driving back home from Omaha the other afternoon, I had the pleasure (via SiriusXM radio) to listen to the National League Division Playoff game between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals. Since I had the Cardinals’ broadcast tuned in, I was treated to the play-by-play and color commentary by an old and familiar “friend,” John Rooney.
Serious Sox fans will remember the classy Rooney from his years in the radio booth, culminating with a World Series winner in 2005. Teamed with Ed “Farmeo” Farmer, Rooney was always a pleasant “voice” through the ups and downs of the White Sox seasons. A great sense of humor, coupled with a strong knowledge of the game, Rooney created vivid and exciting descriptions of the action. Rooney’s standard expression at the end of a Sox win was always: “That’s a White Sox winner!”
I was very disappointed after that season when Rooney left the Sox and headed to his lifelong dream job calling the games of the Cardinals. I heard that there was a salary/contract dispute with the Sox’ new flagship station, 670theScore, but I couldn’t believe that so valuable a commodity as Rooney would be so easily let slip away. But that’s business, as they say.
In the meantime, Farmer has done a pretty good job as the main radio “voice,” carrying some partners that have been mediocre and far out of John Rooney’s league. But I’m willing to put up with them since I prefer the radio over the TV broadcasts most of the time.
And so as the miles clicked off on Iowa’s I-80, the Cardinals were beating up on Washington to take a lead in the series, and Rooney’s smooth description was as good and comforting as ever. And that’s a real winner! Always good to hear an old friend…
See you at the ballpark!