At 24 years of age, Justin Farr is young to be a college athletic trainer. But Farr, in his first year as the trainer at St. Catharine College, finds himself in even older company in his secondary occupation, that of an accomplished umpire.
And accomplished would very well describe Farr’s umpiring credentials as the native of Clarksville, Indiana has already called balls and strikes in some prestigious venues. The most recent call came from the Little League World Series where he will umpire the softball World Series in Portland, Oregon in August.
“I am 30 years younger than any other umpire who will be out there,” said Farr who will be part of the 12 man crew to work the week-long tournament. “I am fortunate to get to work the World Series as some umpires will never get that chance their whole life.”
Farr’s umpiring resume indicates a lot of chances that many will never have. He has worked the Prospect League which is a wooden bat summer league for Division-I collegiate players. He has called 10 Little League state championships and will umpire at least four more this summer. His softball experience includes the Central Region championship two years ago in Joplin, Missouri. This summer Farr will call the United Southern Girl’s Fastpitch World Series and will also travel to Cooperstown, New York to work at the Cooperstown Dream Park.
“I have umpired at every level from nine year olds to 18 year olds,” said Farr. “You get rated everywhere you call a game and that is how you move up to calling the bigger tournaments. I have had opportunities to call pro ball in the Frontier League but have had to turn them down.”
For exactly half of his life Farr has donned the blue uniform as he called 9-10 year old softball when he was only 12. He landed his first Little League district tournament at age 16 in Charlestown, Indiana. At that young age he received the Little League Volunteer of the Year Award.
After receiving his BS degree in athletic training from Ball State University , Farr served as trainer at Preble Shawnee High School in southwest Ohio. While there he was also the trainer for the Richmond (Indiana) River Rats, a team in the Prospect League. In addition he worked as an orthopedic assistant at Reid Hospital in Richmond.
Throughout his training career, however, Farr has found time to maintain his passion for umpiring. And leagues and organizations, including Little League, have found him to be one of the best as the World Series website indicated when it read:
Selection as an umpire at any of Little League’s eight World Series means that person has reached the highest level of proficiency and by virtue of their selection is considered among the best in the world.
“It’s pretty cool,” Farr concluded about his selection. “And the tournament will be on ESPN and I have never done a televised game. This is the ultimate for my Little League career.”