Los Angeles Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrín recently announced his plans to retire after the 2022 season, after his 64th year in the booth. He is the longest-tenured broadcaster in Major League Baseball and has connected countless Spanish-speaking Southern Californians to the sport.
The legendary Hall of Fame broadcaster reflected on his long career with "Inside the Issues" guest host Ariel Wesler.
Jarrín began calling Dodgers games in Spanish starting in 1959, the club's second season in Los Angeles.
"I fell in love with the microphone. In those days there was no TV, just radio. And I just fell in love with radio," he said.
Over the span of his career, Jarrín has called close to 4,000 games and has been integral to introducing the Dodgers to Los Angeles and giving the franchise's Hispanic fans a voice.
"The one thing that I really like is the Dodgers are probably the best organization cultivating the Latino market," Jarrín added. "They were able to understand how important the Latinos are in Southern California."
He notes he had the opportunity to broadcast Dodgers games in Spanish because then Team President Walter O'Malley felt it was important to give Hispanic baseball fans the opportunity to listen in their native language. Since then, Jarrín has been nicknamed El Padrino, the godfather, and El Maestro, the teacher, for introducing so many Spanish speakers to the game.
Throughout his career, he has called three perfect games, 22 no-hitters, 30 All-Star Games and 30 World Series. And from 1962 to 1984, Jarrín did not miss a single Dodger broadcast.
During that time, the Spanish-language broadcaster developed a close friendship with fellow Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who called the games in English. They became a legendary duo for almost 60 seasons.
"He understood me and he took me under his wings. He has been my teacher, my mentor, my advisor, my friend above everything," he explained.
Jarrín is only the second Spanish-language broadcaster to ever earn the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was inducted into the California Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
While these accolades are meaningful to him, Jarrín said he's most proud of his impact on the Hispanic baseball community in Southern California.
"They love baseball and we have a right to teach them the game and that's what I did from the beginning," Jarrín said.
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