Jaime Jarrín is the longtime Spanish language broadcaster for the LA Dodgers on KTNQ 1020 AM. He’s been calling the games since 1959, the year after the Dodgers moved to LA. After 63 years behind the mic, he’s announced that 2022 will be his final one. He is the longest serving active broadcaster in Major League Baseball.
He was born in Quito, Ecuador, came to the U.S. in 1955, and got hired as the news director of KWKW. He found his way to the broadcast booth when KWKW signed a contract with the Dodgers to call games in Spanish. In the early days, the Spanish language broadcasters did not travel with the teams. They instead listened to the broadcasts in English and then translated them into Spanish from the studio.
Jarrín says that back in those days, Vin Scully, the famed longtime sportscaster, helped out by passing along details about the ball game.
“Vin was extremely helpful because, knowing our situation, before the game, he would give me lots of information about the traffic, the weather conditions, people coming to the ballpark, things like that,” Jarrín says.
He recalls that the studio played “people noise” in the background of the broadcast to simulate a real ball game experience — with someone yelling in the third inning, “Peanuts, peanuts, beer, beer, peanuts!”
Jarrín says that when he started out, only 8-10% of Latinos came to the ballpark at the LA Coliseum to see the Dodgers play, whereas now 42-46% of Latinos come to the ballpark.
“There is no other segment of the population that supports baseball more than the Latinos, and the Dodgers know that. One of the reasons why I have stayed with the Dodgers, one of the reasons for my longevity, is the fact that I was able and blessed to stand into an organization that really understood the value of the Latino market,” he says. “My association with the Dodgers has been great really. This has been a fantastic ride for me.”