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Media: August 2020

| August 1, 2020

Andy Masur knows his new gig as radio play-by-play man (WGN Radio) for the White Sox is a great opportunity, but he also realizes who he is following.

“There’s a little pressure because it’s not so easy to replace someone like Ed Farmer (who passed away a few months ago). I don’t ever feel you can replace someone with the legendary status of Ed. He grew up on the South Side. He pitched for the team. He broadcast for them. You don’t get much more South Side than that.”

It’s a job made even tougher by his own affection for the man. He worked with Farmer closely these last few seasons as the pre-game host at WGN (AM 720), but he’s known him a lot longer than that.

“When I was with the Cubs (in the early 00s), and we came across town for the games against the Sox, Ed really showed the caliber of person he was. I’ll never forget the way he looked in on Ron Santo, who had lost his legs and had a hard time moving around. Ed checked on him constantly to make sure Ronnie didn’t need anything, that he was fed, that he was taken care of. I never forgot the kindness he showed. I mentioned it to Ed when we worked together the first time, and he waved me off with a ‘that’s what you do. You take care of people.’ Ed was the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back and would be pissed at you if you didn’t ask for the shirt off his back. He really wanted to help people.”

Because Masur was already a part of the extended White Sox family, his arrival hasn’t ruffled too many feathers.

“I’ve been very grateful for the way Sox fans have accepted me,” he says. “I’ve really immersed myself in White Sox baseball the last couple of years and have gotten to know all the guys. I worked with Ricky Renteria before when I was in San Diego. DJ has been great. There are guys that have been in this organization for years and years, and I’ve known them from my days as a reporter. If I need an answer to a question, there a lot of people that will help me out. Jerry Reinsdorf is a loyal guy and has built a great thing here. It feels like being part of a family organization. Jerry has taken care of his employees during the pandemic, which is something not every team has done. It’s a good group of people to be associated with; I’ll tell you that.”

And doing the games on WGN Radio makes it even better for Masur.

“To be able to do this job, and to be on WGN radio is great. It’s a thrill for me because WGN is where I grew up in radio in Chicago. I worked there from 1999 to the beginning part of 2007, and luckily they welcomed me back after San Diego in 2014 when I needed someplace to go. I have a lot of loyalty to the people there, especially Dave Eanet, who likes to remind me that he hired me not once, but twice. I tell him this all the time, and he won’t accept it, but it’s true. In all my travels and tribulations in the world of radio and TV, he’s the best boss I’ve ever worked for—hands down. Nobody else is even in the equation. He means that much to me. So yeah, doing games on WGN, is pretty darn special to me. It’s a dream come true.”

On top of that, Masur appears to be broadcasting games for a baseball club on the cusp of something special.

“You look at the organization and what they are trying to do with the rebuild, and I feel like I did come in on the ground floor of an express elevator. It’s amazing where they are. It’s going to be strange this year because it will be difficult to really know how they are progressing because of the short season and the implications of that, but there’s no doubt at all that the future is bright.”

Masur cut his teeth in the booth last year, doing about 35 games with Darren Jackson while Ed Farmer was dealing with medical issues. It wasn’t without a few bumps.

“There was a day game that we did in Detroit last year, and nobody warned me about the booth in Detroit. For the first two innings of day games, you can’t see. The sun beats down on the countertop and goes into your eyes. In the first inning, a Tiger’s player crunched a ball. I heard it, but I didn’t see it all. I had to describe the play by watching the fielders react. I saw the right fielder look up like it was gone, and then I looked to the umpire and saw him make the home run signal, and so I called it correctly. After the inning, DJ said to me, ‘You didn’t see that home run at all, did you?’ No, I didn’t.”

This year there is extra pressure to get it right.

“Fans are going to rely on us even more than usual because they can’t be there themselves. It’s a big challenge, but I feel like I’m up for it.”

-Rick Kaempfer

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