Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin is featured this week on ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’ on HBO, with the segment highlighting the Hall of Famer’s long career and impact in Los Angeles.
Jarrin began broadcasting Dodgers games in Spanish in 1959, and is currently the dean of major league announcers. He is signed through the 2018 season, which will be his 60th behind the mic.
From 1959-1964, Jarrin didn’t travel for road games, but instead would call games from a studio in Los Angeles, simultaneously listening to Vin Scully’s broadcast and immediately processing and translating for his own call of the game. Both talked about their relationship in the story.
“I would give him some things he could use on his broadcast, so I would say ‘It’s a brilliant blue sky,’ or ‘There’s a breeze blowing in’,” Scully explained. “I would try to give him things that being home he would not be aware of, and he was clever enough to work that in.”
“Vin didn’t have to do that, but he did,” Jarrin said. “He became my teacher, my idol, and my friend.”
“We got along so exceptionally well, that I would have given him the shirt off my back if it helped his broadcast,” Scully added.
The 12-minute profile, entitled ‘A Beisbol Life,’ is wide-ranging, covering Jarrin coming to the United States from Ecuador having never seen a baseball game, his role in cultivating generations of hispanic Dodgers fans, Jarrin’s brush with fame during Fernandomania, and now calling games with his son Jorge.
Something else that I wasn’t aware of was that Jarrin called over 3,500 games in a row, from 1962-84, which is nearly unfathomable.
Jarrin is a beloved figure with the Dodgers and in MLB, and it is nice to see him get some recognition with this profile.
The ‘Real Sports’ episode will air Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET and PT, and will be available on demand.