Long­time A’s score­keeper dies from cancer

Far­row be­gan work­ing for Oak­land in 1969

Times Standard (Eureka) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jim Har­ring­ton

Ch­ester Far­row, long­time score­board op­er­a­tor for the Oak­land A’s and an East Bay teacher and con­cert pro­moter, died Sun­day af­ter a long bat­tle with cancer.

He was 77.

The Pitts­burg na­tive be­gan keep­ing score for the A’s in 1969, which was the club’s sec­ond year in Oak­land, af­ter the team re­lo­cated from Kansas City.

“Nine­teen peo­ple tried out for the (score­board) job,” he said in a 2012 in­ter­view with this news­pa­per. “This was March 1969. You were sup­posed to know base­ball scor­ing, know com­put­ers and be able to type 90 words ev­ery minute. I knew one (of those things) … and was given the job even though I hunt and peck (at typ­ing) and knew noth­ing about com­put­ers.”

At the time the A’s hired him, Far­row was al­ready work­ing as a teacher at Monte Vista High School in Danville. He taught such mul­ti­me­dia sub­jects as TV broad­cast­ing, video edit­ing and live per­for­mance pro­duc­tion in a ca­reer that spanned 32 years, be­fore re­tir­ing in 1999. He be­lieved that some of the qual­i­fi­ca­tions for op­er­at­ing the score­board over­lapped with those needed to be a teacher.

“Teach­ing de­mands con­fi­dence, alert­ness and pa­tience,” he said. “Those traits di­rectly cor­re­late to score­board op­er­at­ing in the ma­jors. You must be­lieve your eyes, know what to do and do this in a room full of chat­ter, vis­i­tors and high drama, while re­main­ing fully in con­trol.”

He also be­gan pro­mot­ing con­certs while at Monte Vista dur­ing the ’70s, book­ing such ma­jor lo­cal acts as Jour­ney, Greg Kihn and Huey Lewis to the school’s the­ater. Al­though he loved work­ing with the mu­si­cians, he grew tired of deal­ing with their man­agers and busi­ness as­so­ciates and even­tu­ally gave up the prac­tice.

There was, how­ever, one ma­jor ex­cep­tion to the rule:

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Recital, an an­nual con­cert show­case for the stu­dents of pop­u­lar East Bay gui­tar teacher Bruce Hock.

Far­row or­ga­nized the event from 1999 to 2015 and had hoped to keep it go­ing longer.

“It hurts me to stop do­ing this,” Far­row said in a 2015 in­ter­view, cit­ing a de­cline in area gui­tar stu­dents and recital attendance. “But, it has to be.”

BAY AREA NEWS GROUP FILE

Ch­ester Far­row re­laxes at his condo in Wal­nut Creek in 2015.

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