06/23/2008 7:32 PM ET
Dodgers to honor broadcaster Jaime Jarrín's 50th season
Jarrín to be honored in a pregame ceremony on the anniversary of his arrival to the U.S., Tuesday, June 24
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will honor Hall of Fame Dodger Broadcaster Jaime Jarrín for his 50th season as "the Spanish Voice of the Dodgers" tomorrow, June 24 before the Dodgers take on the Chicago White Sox at 7:10 p.m. The pregame ceremony to include a ceremonial first pitch and special presentations will begin at approximately 6:50 p.m. Jarrín has called more than 7,500 regular season games, approximately 25 MLB All-Star games, and 20 World Series during his half century with the Dodgers.
"Jaime Jarrin is a treasure," said Dodgers President Jamie McCourt. "His blend of eloquence and elegance, together with a personal dignity that exudes from his manner, has made him welcome in millions of homes. He is a vital part of the Dodgers Family-and the Dodgers Families. This franchise has been blessed to have such a kind and competent gentlemen tell our stories to generations of Dodgers-loving fans."
In honor of tomorrow's anniversary, Jarrín will be visible throughout local media outlets including the morning show on Telemundo, the Dodgers' pregame radio show on KABC 790 and the club's pregame television broadcast on FSN Prime Ticket. He was featured last week on a special two-page spread of La Opinion. Jarrín was also honored in Hoy and will receive a special award from Hoy's publisher and general manager Roaldo Morán during the pregame ceremony.
Jarrín left his native Ecuador and arrived in the U.S. on June 24, 1955, the same year that Dodger great Sandy Koufax made his Major League debut. Jarrín had never seen a baseball game until he moved to Los Angeles and was captivated by the Dodgers while watching his first televised broadcast in 1955, the World Series in which the Dodger franchise won its first World championship by defeating the New York Yankees.
Jarrín then began regularly attending minor league games in Los Angeles, visiting both Gilmore Field and Wrigley Field for three years from 1955 until the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Jarrín was given one year to prepare to become a baseball broadcaster by William Beaton, the station manager at KWKW. During his first six years with the Dodgers, he didn't travel. Instead, Jarrín and his partner would recreate the games in the studio while listening to fellow Hall of Famer Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett on the radio. Scully remains the only other broadcaster in Major League history with 50 or more consecutive years of service to the same team.
Soon after, Jarrín took the Dodgers' Spanish-language radio broadcast on the road, making every stop with the Dodgers, and in 1973, Jarrín became the club's top Spanish-language broadcaster, 14 years after he first joined the team. From 1962 to 1984, Jarrín consecutively called close to 4,000 games spanning 22 seasons and never missed a contest. The streak was broken only when Jarrín took charge of all the Spanish-language radio coverage and production for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Jarrín was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 26, 1998 in Cooperstown, NY as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, becoming only the second Spanish-language announcer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Buck Canel. Jarrín has received numerous other awards in recognition of his professional contributions and is known as a pioneer in Spanish-language sports broadcasting. His honors include the first Southern California Sports Broadcaster Association's President's Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the highest award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, induction into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters' Hall of Fame, and its foreign-language broadcaster of the year award. Earlier this year, Jarrín received the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jarrín's 50 years with the Dodgers are filled with many special games and moments. He counts Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game, Don Drysdale's 1968 scoreless-inning streak, and Orel Hershiser's record 59 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in 1988 as favorites. Jarrín's top memory was Opening Day of 1981 when rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela took the mound marking the start of "Fernandomania" which swept the country that season. Jarrín served as Valenzuela's interpreter for several years and their friendship has come full circle, as Valenzuela now serves as an analyst alongside Jarrín for more than 100 games every season.
Jarrín has been broadcasting for his 50th season alongside his colleagues Valenzuela and Pepe Yñiguez on KHJ/La Ranchera 930 AM, the Spanish-language broadcasting home of the Dodgers. Valenzuela will catch the ceremonial first pitch from Jarrín during tomorrow night's ceremony, which will also include a video tribute to the legendary announcer.