Calling his first game for the Dodgers in Los Angeles, in 1959. “Fernandomania” in the 80s. Watching Sandy Cofax throw a perfect game and win the game that sealed the World Series in the ’60s. And that home run of the lame Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
In short, Jaime Jarrin sees it serving as the Spanish voice of the franchise – a wealth of baseball knowledge and experience. Dodger Stadium, opened in 1962, became his second home.
Sixty years later, the stadium will host an All-Star Game for the second time, something that crystallized in the 86-year-old Ecuadorian’s 64th and last season.
“I’m really lucky to end my career with the Dodgers this year, a very long wait, a 42-year wait, with an All-Star Game in Los Angeles,” Jarin said in an interview with the Associated Press. “
“I’m closing with a flourish,” he said.
The deep baritone still remains intact. As well as the phrase that became his hallmark every time he hit a batsman’s home run: “The ball goes, goes, goes, and kisses goodbye.”
In 1998, Zareen was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He was also the announcer for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and boxing matches, including the fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the heavyweight title in Manila.
Nostalgia in front of the microphone at the final stage of such a career that began as a youth in Quito?
“It’s been 64 years working with the Dodgers in a row, but it’s time to switch things up in my life, spend more time with my family and travel,” Jarin said. “Especially in the last days there will be nostalgia. I would have trouble stopping crying. I am very emotional”.
One wonders how much Zareen has changed since she came to the United States in 1955. In their early days, the Dodgers’ Spanish-language voices did not accompany the team on tour, so they stayed in a studio in Los Angeles, doing the story in English and then in Spanish after the narration.
From describing the exploits of Mexican left-hander Fernando Valenzuela as a pitcher for the Dodgers between 1980-1990, to having him as an aide in the booth on radio broadcasts today.
What has been most shocking is how Latin American flavor is now at Dodger Stadium.
“I remember when I started in 1959, Latinos in particular were 8% of those going to the Los Angeles Coliseum. Now that percentage has risen to 42 and 46 percent.” “When I take a break in the fourth inning, I usually walk through certain parts of the stadium and see what the atmosphere is like and the big surprise is that in many areas of the stadium I hear more Spanish than English.”
“The influx of Latinos into baseball is a wonderful thing. I think this is the segment of the population that is supporting baseball the most and Southern California in particular,” he said.
After the All-Star Game, Zarine knows the Dodgers are preparing one last great tribute for her to fire him at the end of the season.
He wants the weather to stretch and stretch until the end of October and the first days of November.
“Now I hope the Dodgers fire me with a World Series,” he said.