This story is part of the 6th issue of Energia magazine, which tells about what sports style looks like in the City of Champions. See the complete package here.
Sixty years is a long time to do the same job day in and day out, but hearing Jaime Jarrin say this, six decades won’t seem terrible once you’ve found your calling. The Spanish-language Dodgers radio commentator, who will retire at the end of the 2022 season, has always had the thrill of sitting in the stadium and watching Major League Baseball players begin season after season. Sitting next to the microphone, his eyes darting across the field and his ears attuned to the sounds of the crowd, Yarrin has delivered that excitement to Dodgers fans from generation to generation. His signature voice is punctuated by excitement as the action reaches its climax. His trademark “The ball goes, goes, goes and kisses him goodbye“Is the canon for Hispanic sports enthusiasts. Jarrin, of course, passes on game after game, but also her zeal, for example when the crowd gives a standing ovation to Fernando Valenzuele, one of the many players Jarrin has witnessed in his career.
How do you capture something – or even transform – through your lens so others can perceive it? I often think of this as a fine art writer. The term “Stendhal syndrome” comes to mind. This is when a piece of art takes over your system so strongly that you physically react to what you see. Your body absorbs the intensity, beauty and complexity of a work of art. It is not easy to convey this feeling in words for others to share during a meeting. Yarrin found a formula for how to watch sports, which he loves immensely, and immerse listeners in what is happening. His voice echoed through their living rooms and backyards from generation to generation. You don’t have to be in the stadium to experience the thrill.
The history of baseball in Los Angeles is not immune to risky politics (for example, take the displacement fiasco during the construction of Dodger Stadium). There is no perfect league or team. But there is something to be said about this single voice that has spanned generations. Yarrin’s love of the game fuels every broadcast, and his words are full of passion as baseball fans burst into applause. He applauds with their.
Eva Resinos: You’ve seen so many moments in baseball history. How does it feel to think about everything you’ve witnessed over the decades?
Jaime Jarrin: Well, I feel so lucky, so happy that I was able to follow the Dodgers as closely as I did. I’ve seen the best of the best in action, starting with Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax. At the same time, working with the titans of my profession like Vin Scully and many great commentators. It was a great trip for me. Next year will be my 64th season at the Dodgers. I never thought I’d last that long with them.
When I started with them [in] In 1959, I thought I would be with the Dodgers for five, six, seven, eight years at the most, and then move on to something else. I also did boxing. Spanish television was just getting started. I thought television would be my next step – I worked for Telemundo for almost eight years – but I’ve always been a radio host. I love doing radio. I have been working in front of the microphone for 70 years, starting at the age of 16 when I returned home to Ecuador. It was a really great trip for me with the Dodgers, a great organization that is developing the Latin American market. I think we were lucky to give them their favorite game – baseball in their own language. It was special for me.
IS AN: Earlier you talked about how you broadcast what you see, but you also create entertainment for people because you add your own perception to it. You add your emotions to the words you choose. How have you cultivated this practice over the decades?
JJ: When I play baseball, I’m not only talking about what is happening on the field. I think I am doing public service. People work so hard – from morning till night – and come home very tired. So this is a great opportunity for me to give them what they like.
I have been very fortunate to have received a lot of praise, a lot of recognition, especially in the years since I was inducted. [National Baseball] Hall of Fame ’98. But what I really like is when I’m on the street, when I go to the bank, supermarket or restaurant – many people come up to me. [and] they say, “Mr. Yarrin, thanks for giving us a baseball. Thanks to you, I was able to spend time with my grandfather. He used to take me to the back of the house to listen to baseball games. Then my father took me to Dodger Stadium. And when we went to the stadium, we listened to you. ” Or: “My mom fell in love with your voice calling games.” This makes me happy, knowing that I did something to entertain them, to bring the family closer. This is what fills my heart.
IS AN: I really think Dodger Stadium has become a place especially for Latin American sports fans. How have you noticed how this attitude towards the team is growing?
JJ: In the beginning, when I started with the Dodgers, for example, in 1959, Hispanics who came to the stadium were 8%, maximum 10%. But we were able to reach out to them and really attract new baseball fans. Thanks to Fernando Valenzuele and Fernandomania, we were able to reach all corners of Mexico and here in Southern California. We taught them baseball. Many people came here without knowing baseball. They were indifferent to us. They were football fans. But, in particular, thanks to Fernando, they became interested in baseball. It is my duty to teach them the meaning of baseball. We have seen the growth of our listeners. We have a great audience.
IS AN: You also talked about how magic is in crowd energy and how contagious It. How are you trying to put this energy into your work?
JJ: I first went to a baseball game in 1958. I didn’t know there was a stadium the size of the Colosseum in Los Angeles. Hearing the roar of 75,000 people – I was shocked. I was very surprised. I said, “My God! My God! “I remember about this – about the role of people.
I appreciate it [even more] Now. Due to the pandemic, we did not travel with the team. In many cases, the team played in other cities. This is not the same at all, because the announcer has nothing to really feel what is happening inside the stadium. When people are excited, your words sound smoother, and it really inspires you. I am very lucky that I play in front of 45,000-50,000 people every time. In other cities it is 18,000 people, 20,000 people. But there is always capacity at Dodger Stadium. And it really gives you a special feeling that really inspires you to do your best. I always pray: “God, please give me the talent to express in words what my eyes have seen, what I feel right now.”
IS AN: When you talked about your retirement, Vin Scully wished you all the best. What was it like talking to him?
JJ: Well Vin is really that kind to me. We didn’t travel with the team at first. We used to do the same as now, with the pandemic. But in those days, baseball games weren’t televised, and [there was] only one game per week. We had to translate anything [Vin] spoke. It was very difficult. It was complicated. But we did our best.
From the very first day we became very close friends, Vin and me. He was my teacher, my mentor, my friend. He was everything to me. He helped me a lot by giving advice. He usually doesn’t give advice to anyone. He told me: “I’ll give you two or three [pieces of ] advice, nothing more. ” But he was always in my corner. When we traveled, we were always together – went to the same restaurants, ate together. And it was fantastic. For [the Dodgers], my broadcast is as important as the English broadcast. You will see that Spanish is second-rate at other stations. But for me and the Dodgers, [Spanish] was first class, and [I] really appreciate it. This is one of the reasons why I held out for so long. This is partly due to my longevity.
I will tell [there are] three reasons for my longevity. First, my love for the game. I love baseball. I fell in love with sports. I can play two games a day, seven days a week, no problem. The second reason is that my wife has always supported me. She was behind me, although she was not particularly interested in the game itself. But she was always behind me. Never complained about trips away from home. She gets all the credit. And third, the Dodgers really care about the Hispanic community. Indeed, there is.
IS AN: In the interview, you mentioned that you want to be remembered for coming to work every day. But what do you think is the most important part of your legacy?
JJ: We are immigrants, we are here in this country. Everything you are [do]if you are a radio or television announcer, please do whatever you know. First, you need to choose what you really enjoy doing. Then, when you’ve found what you want to do, you have to put yourself first and put your best effort into what you do. This is very, very important because I see so many people. [who] I hate what they do. And they don’t care what they do. And this is not good. This is generally useless.