Jaime Jarrín has given so much of his life to baseball, that it’s only right that the sport gives him a proper send off. The Hall of Fame announcer said Tuesday that 2022 would be his final season calling Dodgers games.
Though Jarrín is retiring after next season, he hasn’t viewed the job he’s had since 1959 as a chore.
“I just wanted to thank the Dodgers for giving me the opportunity to do what I love the most — baseball,” Jarrín said Tuesday. “Doing baseball has been a vacation for me, not work. So I will end after 64 years. I wanted to go early. I don’t want to walk away with the aid of a walker.”
Jarrín said he plans to call only home games in his final season, so it won’t be a farewell tour as much as well-wishers coming through Los Angeles to pay their respects to the longest-tenured broadcaster in Major League Baseball.
We saw this with in 2016, during the 67th and final season for Vin Scully, who called only home games his last few seasons, save for one last hurrah in San Francisco. Scully was the first person Jarrín thanked on Tuesday for helping him early in his career, when Jarrín called Dodgers games for KWKW.
“He has been a very close friend of mine. He was my mentor, my teacher, my friend, everything,” Jarrín said. “I don’t have enough words to thank Vin for what he has done on my behalf.”
Jarrín’s work ethic is incredible, which seems necessary for being as good as he is at something for 64 years. From 1962 through 1984, he called nearly 4,000 consecutive Dodgers games, a streak only snapped because he called baseball games for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, Jarrín said had he not left to call the Olympics, the streak could have lasted quite a bit longer.
Jarrín, who turns 86 in December, said he plans to spend more time with his sons and grandchildren.
“When you reach my age, you have to change your priorities,” he said. “For many years, my priority was baseball first, family second. Now it will be family first, Dodgers second.”
It’s impossible to understate the impact of Jarrín, who was as much a part of the fabric of Los Angeles and the Dodgers as Scully. Jarrín was the Scully for Spanish-speaking fans, but also made an impression on English speakers as the translator for Fernando Valenzuela during the early part of his career.
“Thanks to Fernandomania, I was able to reach so many people,” Jarrín said. “When somebody approaches me on the street or at the grocery store, saying ‘My family heard you’ or ‘My mother loves your voice,’ that always fills my heart. It’s so beautiful to think I played a little part in their lives.”