SYLVANIA, Ohio – Jamie Farr’s name is associated with one of the longest-running tournaments on the LPGA Tour, but golf isn’t the only sport he enjoys.
He’s also passionate about hockey, which he’s loved since he was a child — long before he took up golf or starred as Corporal Maxwell Klinger in the long-running hit TV show “M*A*S*H”.
Despite being a proud, life-long resident of Toledo – which is approximately 53 miles south of Detroit – Farr says the Red Wings are, and will always be, his favorite team.
“I love the Red Wings, always did when I was a child, they were my favorite,” said Farr, who turned 76 on Thursday. “Gordie Howe was playing. I got to meet Gordie Howe. ... He was wonderful.”
Farr has no shortage of stories about his hockey adventures.
In 1980, he was in attendance at the historic Miracle on Ice when the U.S men’s hockey team upset the heavily favored U.S.S.R in the semifinals of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. He still has his full ticket stub from the game.
“I also had a lot of the pins everybody exchanges at the Olympics,” Farr said. “I had some other memorabilia I had been looking at, and I said, ‘Wow, what great memories.’ Little artifacts to cherish. It was a great, great night.”
Over the years, Farr has made numerous friendships, including a bond with the Great One.
“I became dear friends with Wayne Gretzky, because I got to play in Edmonton all the time, and he was with the Oilers up there,” Farr said. “They were with the (World Hockey Association) before they became the NHL. So I got to know Wayne. Wayne came to the (Jamie Farr Classic), as a matter of fact, I think once or twice.”
Members of the Oilers and the New York Islanders even visited the M*A*S*H set in the mountains near Malibu, Calif. Farr even convinced players like Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin to serve hot dogs and beer flown in from Toledo to the cast and crew.
Years later, however, Farr still remains loyal to Mr. Hockey and the Red Wings. When asked if he had now switched his loyalties to the Ohio-based Columbus Blue Jackets, Farr shook his head.
“No, no, no,” he said. “I always cheer for the Detroit Red Wings.”