By now, Jaime Jarrín’s career milestones are as well-known to baseball fans as his voice.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ legendary Spanish-language broadcaster is set to retire next month after an astounding 64 seasons with the team. He’s been a prominent voice of the Dodgers for virtually all of the Brooklyn-born franchise’s time in Los Angeles. After the legendary Vin Scully retired in 2016, Jarrín became the longest-tenured announcer in baseball.
“He’s outlasted owners, players — everyone,” says Jessica Mendoza, who is part of the Dodgers’ home announcing team on Charter’s Sports Net L.A. and covers baseball for ESPN. “No one can speak to what it means to be part of the Dodger franchise better than him.”
Jarrín, a native of Ecuador, moved to Los Angeles in 1955 at the age of 19 and wound up working as news and sports director of the city’s Spanish-language radio station KWKW. Today, Univision-owned KTNQ 1020 AM is the team’s Spanish radio home.
Jarrín called nearly 4,000 Dodger games on radio from 1962-84, never missing a contest until he was tapped to oversee Spanish-language coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. His presence on air helped ignite the rocket that was Fernando Valenzuela’s career with the team, when the 19-year-old pitcher from Mexico took baseball and L.A. by storm.
Over the decades, Jarrín has become a beloved figure in Southern California’s Hispanic communities. In recent years, Jarrín has been joined in the radio booth at times by his son Jorge and by Valenzuela, who followed his mentor into broadcasting.
Jarrín’s long tenure was saluted in July during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. He will be feted by the team on Oct. 1 with a ceremony at the stadium paying tribute to his longevity. Following the death of Scully in August, Jarrín’s retirement cements a big generation transition for Dodger baseball.
As inspiring as Jarrín’s professional accomplishments are, to friends and colleagues what stands out even more is his warmth and natural kindness. Unfailingly, he always went out of his way to get to know players and others in the Dodgers’ universe.
“He takes the time to listen,” Mendoza says. “It’s a gift that Vin had. Because of that, throughout the broadcast, he has an understanding of the humans he’s covering on the field.”