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06/25/08 12:36 AM ET
Veteran announcer Jarrin honored
Dodgers pay tribute for 50 years in team's Spanish booth
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers Spanish radio announcer Jamie Jarrin's day started at 5:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday for an interview with Telemundo and continued with a stream of reporters doing interviews and photographers snapping photos. Jarrin was the center of attention at Dodger Stadium, and that was even before an on-field ceremony to honor "the Spanish Voice of the Dodgers" for his 50 years in the booth with the club. During this time he has called more than 7,500 regular-season games, 20 World Series and about 25 All-Star Games. "Fifty years, unbelievable," said Jarrin, who arrived in the United States from his native Ecuador on this date in 1955. "Time flies. It's been a great run." The on-field ceremony included Jarrin throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to former Dodgers pitcher and fellow Spanish radio broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela, for whom he used to translate. He also received a framed Dodgers jersey with the No. 50 on the back and a plaque from the newspaper Hoy for his dedication to the Hispanic community. Dodgervision took a brief look back on Jarrin's career in video form, and fellow Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Vin Scully congratulated him from the booth. Scully and Jarrin are the only broadcasters in Major League history to spend 50 or more consecutive years of service with the same club. "Jaime Jarrin is a treasure," Dodgers president Jamie McCourt said in a release. "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." Jarrin attributed his longevity in the Dodgers booth to three things: his love for the game, the understanding of his wife and family for being on the road so much and to the great audiences he has attracted. "It is a blessing for me to be able to last this long," Jarrin said. "I think that now we are seeing the results of those seeds that we planted many years ago." When asked for his favorite memories over the years, Jarrin rattled off a list of the Dodgers' greatest moments over the past 50 years. The list included Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965, Don Drysdale's 58-inning scoreless streak in 1968, Orel Hershiser's 59 1/3-inning scoreless streak in 1988, Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series and the game two years ago where the Dodgers hit four homers in a row in the ninth to tie the Padres and eventually win. Longevity is a hallmark of Jarrin's life both inside and outside of the booth. Not only has he been a Dodgers broadcaster on KWKW for 50 years -- once calling close to 4,000 straight games over 22 seasons -- but he has also lived in the same house for 43 years and been married to the same woman for longer than he cared to share. "I just became in love with baseball, and I have the best seat in the house. They respect me, I respect everybody, and the Dodgers have been great to me," Jarrin said. "When I like something, I stick to that."
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.