- In 1980, Farrell left his father's lobster business in Monmouth Beach, N.J., and headed to Oklahoma State. All John knew then was that he loved baseball and wanted to pitch in the big leagues.
- John spent two years as the equipment manager at Santa Clara University.
- In 1988, John stopped Brewer Paul Molitor's hitting streak at 39 games.
- His father, Tom, played minor league ball in the Indian organization from 1953-1955. He was teammates with Herb Score and Rocky Colavito at Double-A Reading.
- John and wife Susan have two children: Jeremy Paul (born November 10, 1986) and Shane Edward (born May 26, 1989).
- In 1993: "I unexpectedly made the Angels," Farrell said. "Yes, I had a good spring training. But I was still unsure of myself (after a 2 1/2 year layoff). The mental part was a lot tougher to adjust to."
- The Indians re-signed John after the Angels released him in June 1994. They sent him to Charlotte (IL).
- In March 1995, Farrell was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame. He pitched for the Cowboys from 1981-1984.
- He signed with the Mariners' organization January 19, 1996. But the Indians ended up picking him up when Seattle let him go at the end of spring camp. When he reported to Buffalo April 8, he went on the D.L., though he was back in action a week later.
- May 14, 1996: The Tigers sent P Greg Granger to the Indians to acquire Farrell.
- John's wife, Sue, still has a shop, L'Attitude, in Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
When Farrell's son Luke was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2013, it completed a trifecta that not many fathers can brag about.
The manager of the Red Sox, a former Major League pitcher, has now watched all three of his sons get selected in the First-Year Player Draft. Sons Jeremy, Shane, and Luke have all taken entirely different paths.
Luke Farrell was nabbed by the Kansas City Royals in the sixth round, one pick after the Red Sox selected. The emotions flooded the proud father, who couldn't help but think of more trying times, when Luke was confined to a hospital. Not once, but twice, Luke had to have large tumors removed from his neck. The tumors were benign, but they still required invasive procedures and unsavory treatments such as radiation.
"And all that came to a head just as you look back—my wife [Sue] and I just being able to look back at the challenges that he's met, and it was a really cool thing to see it finally come together for him. And lo and behold, he's drafted the highest of the three of them."
When Luke was a standout at Northwestern, his Dad simply couldn't be there for many of the games. "In four years, I think I saw him pitch twice," John said. "I happened to catch some video clips. I complimented Tim Stoddard, a former big league pitcher. He's the pitching coach there, and he did a great job with his delivery.
"I haven't seen many of my sons' games in the last eight years," John said. "I'm lucky if I get to see them once a year.
"I guess the one thing that is common with all three of them is they've always wanted to get out on their own. I respect them for that. I respect them for their independence. It's pretty neat to have three of them experience draft day." (Ian Browne-MLB.com-6/16/13)
August 14, 2015: Red Sox manager John Farrell showed emotion and strength while revealing in a news conference that he has Stage 1 lymphoma that will keep him out of the dugout for the remainder of the season. Doctors told Farrell that his condition is "highly curable."
Bench coach Torey Lovullo will manage the Red Sox for the rest of 2015. Farrell will undergo nine weeks of chemotherapy treatment, but he fully intends to be back for the start of Spring Training next season.
"It's localized; it's highly curable," Farrell said. "I'm extremely fortunate to be with not only people in the Red Sox, but access to [Massachusetts General Hospital] and all the world-class talent that can handle this over at MGH. It's been a surreal four or five days."
The cancer diagnosis became known while Farrell underwent hernia surgery in Detroit. Farrell revealed how fortunate it was that the lymphoma was spotted during an unrelated procedure.
"I can honestly tell you I'm extremely fortunate that it was found," said Farrell. "Treatment will begin in the coming days. I want to thank Dr. Talpos in Detroit for being aggressive and decisive and getting the mass out that was found while he did the hernia repair."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with John and his family at this time," the Red Sox said in a statement. "We are heartened by the news that this form of cancer is highly treatable and by the knowledge that the quality of care he will be receiving is second to none. We also know that John and his family are comforted by the outpouring of love and support coming from the entire Red Sox community." (I Browne - MLB.com - August 16. 2015)
October 2015: Two months after John Farrell's stunning announcement that he had Stage 1 lymphoma, the Red Sox's manager received much more pleasant news: His cancer is in remission.
The Red Sox announced in a press release that Farrell underwent post-treatment testing at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the encouraging results were disclosed the next day.
"I am extremely thankful for the outpouring of support I have received from the Red Sox, my family, friends, and fans throughout this process," said Farrell in a statement. "I am also especially thankful for the talented doctors who cared for me in Detroit and here at MGH. I look forward to getting back to work and bringing another championship back to Boston."
John took a one-day leave on July 1, 2017, for one of the most exciting reasons possible. Farrell flew to Kansas City to watch his son Luke, a left-handed pitcher, make his Major League debut in the opener of a day-night doubleheader against the Twins.
All three of Farrell's sons were selected in the Draft, but Luke, who was selected by the Royals in the sixth round back in 2013, will be the first to reach the Majors.
"Extremely proud," said John Farrell. "Luke's overcome a number of health issues himself. If there's a word that I could sum up for him, it's determination. And to see him realize a dream of becoming a Major League pitcher with his debut, a great day for him. The support that his mom and his brothers have given him along the way, this is a good day for him."
While John has done his best to support Luke in his quest to reach the Major Leagues, getting to watch him pitch has been a rarity. "When he was a sophomore in college, about six years ago," said Farrell. "And I saw him pitch in the Dominican this past winter."
Farrell appreciated getting the blessing of president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to go watch Luke's milestone moment.
"I wouldn't have done it without that, so I appreciate it," Farrell said. "A career baseball executive understands how the game is intertwined through generations, and I appreciate his willingness to allow it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for Luke. So I'm really looked forward to seeing him on a Major League mound." (Browne - mlb.com - 6/30/17)
July 1, 2017: There John Farrell sat, his 6-foot-4 frame folded into a seat, looking as inconspicuous as possible for a man who manages the Red Sox every day of the year. Instead of a baseball uniform, he wore a light-blue button-down shirt and jeans. For one game, Farrell was just another fan -- in attendance to watch his son, Royals right-hander Luke Farrell, make his Major League debut in Kansas City's 11-6 win over Minnesota.
At Kauffman Stadium, while the Red Sox played the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Farrell tried to blend into the crowd. He arrived moments before first pitch, hustling to his seat with a small bag in tow. The night before, he had managed Boston in Toronto. To be at this game and watch one of his three sons play in the Majors for the first time, well, it was a moment Farrell, who politely declined an interview, couldn't miss.
"He was torn a couple of days ago," Red Sox bench coach Gary DiSarcina said. "He wants to stay. He feels his duty is here. But after talking to a couple of people and [Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski] giving his blessing -- it's going to be a proud moment for him."
Farrell had seen Luke pitch before, often watching near the right-field foul pole, but he told reporters when he saw Luke pitch in the Dominican Republic this past winter it had been for the first time since Luke was a sophomore in college.
"You get to a point where you miss so much," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Some things are really important. Some things are just more important than a baseball game -- even though this is a baseball game." For the Farrell family, this day carries more weight than other Major
League debuts. Eight years ago, doctors discovered Luke had a non-cancerous tumor that was the size of a golf ball near the carotid artery in his neck. The tumor was removed, but it returned two years later and had to be removed again. Then in August 2015, John Farrell began treatment for Stage 1 lymphoma. By that October the cancer was in remission. Both father and son have been healthy ever since.
"Keeping things in perspective -- places I've been, things I've had to go through the past few years -- this is an awesome day," said Luke, who looked for but couldn't find his father in the stands.
Though Farrell said he would likely be pacing during the game, he remained seated throughout the top of the first inning. At one point, he took his iPhone out of his pocket and snapped a picture of Luke as he pitched. He acted as any father would trying to hold onto a moment. The moment didn't last long. Luke allowed five runs, walked three batters and gave up a home run before Yost pulled him with two outs in the third inning. But when he walked off the mound, the crowd applauded him. Farrell clapped, too, smiling as his son exited the field. (W Alexander - MLB.com - July 1, 2017)