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Today in White Sox History: October 18

The South Side eventually gets Steamed

On this day 54 years ago, Steam began their ascent.


You can tell it’s a quiet day in White Sox history when we highlight a near-names trade. On this day the White Sox sent infielder Bobby Adams to Baltimore for outfielder Cal Abrams.

Abrams saw action in four games for the White Sox in 1956, singling in his first at-bat with the team. But he was released in May, caught on in the Phillies system, but never saw the majors again. Adams was a spot player in Baltimore and then with the Cubs, winding his career up in 1959.


A little-known studio musical group had released an oddly-named song. On this date, it broke into the Billboard Top 100, and would eventually move all the way to No. 1.

The group was called Steam, and the song, “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye).” Thanks to the efforts of White Sox organist Nancy Faust, it would become the song Sox fans used to “serenade” pitchers being removed from games.

Faust had played the song many times at Comiskey Park before it caught on as a phenomenon, but it was during a battle for first place with the Kansas City Royals at the end of July 1977 that fans started singing along to Nancy’s playing — and never stopped. The song has crossed over to every sport, The Simpsons, Congress ... in short, it made Faust a cultural icon.

The song became so enormously popular at Comiskey Park in 1977 that the Steam single was reissued, with the additional notation “(White Sox Theme Song)” — and Faust was awarded a commemorative gold record for reviving interest in the track.

In April 2021, ESPN had a special short documentary on the history of the song, and how through the efforts of Faust it became the fan base’s anthem before spreading to other teams, leagues and sports.


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