From KCRW DJ Raul Campos:
Let me just start by saying I love the Dodgers! Born and raised in LA, I’ve been following them all my life. Rooting on the team during ‘Fernandomania’ are some of my fondest memories with my family, when we’d all be watching games. No offense to the halos in the OC. I love them too, but if I had to choose, I can only bleed ‘Dodger Blue’.
The vivid memories are forever engrained in my mind… the rare visits to Chavez Ravine, the old am radio in the living room we used to turn on so we can listen to Don Jaime Jarrin do the Spanish simulcast, running back and forth from room to room so I could listen to some of Vinny’s play by play, Gibson’s game winning pinch-hit home run and seeing him hobble around the base pads, the crazy lady that ran on the field to give Fernando the infamous kiss! I can go on and on…. but these days we have YouTube for those highlights. Now I know our boys haven’t had the best of seasons this year, but a true fan takes the good with the not so good.
Let’s fast forward to September 17, 2011 and the huge honor of being invited to DJ at La Gran Fiesta, which was the finale of the fantastic Viva Los Dodgers events at Dodger Stadium. The nerves had been bubbling for weeks since the call from Tomas Cookman at Nacional, and more so on game day driving up Elysian Park Avenue that afternoon.
As it got closer and closer, I kept going back and forth on what I was going to play. So that day, still having no idea what to play, the butterflies took over when I walked up on stage for sound check and saw the view of the iconic stadium. I could not contain the goosebumps all over my body. But once we got going, I felt like I was right at home and the beats began to flow. Throughout the festivities, the musical line up could not be more fitting; Bostich & Fussible of the Nortec crew, LA’s Very Be Careful and headliner Lupillo Rivera, with his boleros and corridos, who had the crowd going crazy.
Our MC for the afternoon was none other than Jorge Jarrin, ‘Captain Jorge’ to some. Yes…the son of legendary Spanish broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, who incidently will be coming back for his 53rd season with the Dodgers in 2012. I should also note that his English language fellow Hall of Famer, Vin Scully, who I endearingly call ‘The Man’ will also be returning for his 63rd season with the boys in blue. So you could imagine my nerves by being in the same vicinity, let alone on the same stage, as some of my idols. I credit these two with a large part of why I am in broadcasting today. But this was also a day for the entire family, which is why I was fortunate enough to invite friends & family, including my mom. The biggest thrills for the afternoon had to be introducing her to legends Fernando Valenzuela, Manny Mota, Father and son, Jamie and Jorge Jarrin and countless others. Tears of joy could not be contained as emotions took over. We both know what it meant to be around these wonderful people that came into our home day in and day out. I couldn’t get over how many legends and rising stars of the team were so approachable. This is an organization that prides itself on tradition and understands how important the devoted fans truly are. We even got to hang around with members of the Hello Kitty family!
The day could not have capped off any better than by enjoying a killer Dodger victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was an evening filled with laughter, screams, the wave, nachos, bags of peanuts being thrown at us by vendors and of course, Dodger dogs, including some veggie ones! We were a big mob of about 30 hooting and hollering in amazing seats that were so close to left field we could smell the perfectly manicured grass.
Mad props to Stuart King, Josh Rawitch, Eddy Zaint, amongst the entire Dodger organization who made the experience so memorable and running so smoothly. A special thank you to Beth Topping and Tony Chavez for keeping me calm the entire day.
I was like a kid in a candy store. Thank you Los Angeles Dodgers for a dream come true!
Your fan for life,