CHICAGO (CBS) — Nine years after she retired, former White Sox organist Nancy Faust found an unexpected treasure in storage: a tape her father made on her first day on the job in 1970.
“I don’t know what’s on it. I don’t even know if it’s toast yet, or what, if it still works,” she said.
Faust turned to the CBS 2 Morning Insiders to help her solve the mystery.
In 1970, she got a job as the organist for the White Sox.
“We didn’t grow up in a sports-minded family until I got the job, then we all became White Sox fans,” Faust said.
“My dad was encouraged when he heard, and he was so excited,” she added. “My dad was just so proud. He became a Sox fan very quickly. He went to a lot of games.”
She played the organ for the White Sox for 41 seasons before she retired in 2010, after entertaining fans at more than 3,000 games.
Every time Faust has moved over the years, she’s moved boxes filled with all sorts of things, including one marked “Nancy Retirement Stuff.”
She’s always said one day she’d go through those boxes, but it wasn’t until recently that she went through her dad’s box, which had an old reel-to-reel tape, labeled “1970 April Nancy’s first day at Sox Ball Park.”
“I had never heard it,” she said.
After 49 years in storage, Faust wasn’t even sure the tape would work anymore. She went to Reel Pro Video Transfer Center in Batavia to find out.
“My job is to find everything that’s on that tape,” Reel Pro owner Brian LaVoy said. “It was quarter-inch reel-to-reel audio.”
At first, LaVoy only heard “noise, noise, nose” on the tape.
“I’m thinking maybe time took its toll on this tape,” LaVoy said.
Eventually, the notes of Faust playing the organ came through loud and clear.
“All of a sudden, magically, boom. It hit, and it came in really really nice,” LaVoy said.
Faust couldn’t help but smile and sing along, eyes tearing up as she recalled her days playing for the White Sox crowds, and thought about how proud her father was.
“Not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him, but this really helps, because there’s memory,” she said. “He loved life. He didn’t take it for granted.”
In all, the tape contained about seven minutes of Nancy warming up for her first game at Comiskey Park, recorded by her dad 49 years ago.
“So he’s still with us. Thank you,” she said.