Los Angeles Angels announcer Victor Rojas sits down with Halos Hangout to discuss baseball, calling games when things restart, and more.
With the absence of Angels games, long time Angels play by play announcer Victor Rojas has been missing from fans’ televisions except for replays. Now with Major League Baseball soon to be back, he’ll get on the call again this time with broadcasting looking a little different.
Any Angels fan knows the iconic calls on television of “Big Fly!” and “Light that baby up!” when they are shouted out by the voice of long time Angels broadcaster Victor Rojas. With Major League Baseball being in limbo for the past few months due to COVID-19 and the negotiations between the league and the players association, Victor Rojas has been eagerly waiting for the chance to call Angels games again. “I hope that everything goes smoothly and that we (society) can control this pandemic and allow sports to actually happen and it would be a nice distraction assuming everyone can remain healthy,” Rojas states as he is hopeful that sports in general return. However, it is easy to see that he cares about everyone’s safety and well being.
We discussed his humble beginnings in his career when he got the shot to call games on radio for the Newark Bears as he related being on the radio is similar to a catcher. The similarities of the two are that both are exhilarating and exhausting while everything seems to revolve around the catcher and the person calling the game. “You have to be in on everything from the description and the like for the listener.” The catcher is of equal importance to the team as they must be on the same point as the pitcher, worry about runners on base, and also hit at the end of all of it which is why many people should value the importance of someone calling a game on the radio as opposed to television.
He then proceeded to call games for the Bears for two years before he got an opportunity with the Arizona Diamondbacks, something he considered to be the beginning of his career on the Major League side. While he enjoyed his time with the Diamondbacks, he always wanted to move forward in his career path he mentions as he then took an opportunity with the Texas Rangers. “The one thing I have taken away from my experience has been my willingness to put myself in uncomfortable situations knowing that if you succeed, the rewards are going to be that much greater.”
After spending some time with MLB Network, he then got the opportunity to work as the Angels play by play broadcaster after talking with team owner Arte Moreno and team president John Carpino. It has been a wonderful relationship between him and the organization as many Angels fans recognize his calls and is now entering his 11th season with the Angels. When asked about how the Angels will fair this season being only 60 games he stated “It’s just a sprint, anyone can take off and run away with it or they can find themselves buried early. It’s a tough division, a lot of good teams, there’s a lot of good talent.”
With the restructuring of the division due to COVID-19, the Angels will have to face teams from the NL West more frequently, and as Rojas mentioned, there is no shortage of talent on those teams. It will certainly make up to big an exciting race to watch as teams will be in sprint mode throughout the entire season as 60 games isn’t a lot. For Victor Rojas, calling games was his main source of income and with his job on hold, while the shutdown happened, no money was coming in until there are games to call.
Luckily for him, he started an apparel company in February of 2019 called Big Fly gear which has kept him busy. His company was off to a hot start until the impact of COVID-19 arrived, however, most of his customer base has stuck with him during these stressful times. Without the support of his main job as a broadcaster, however, it has been difficult as he states “My job as a broadcaster helped fuel that fire because that’s not there, I’m really dependent on the sales.” His company has been focused on interesting graphics that would appeal to any baseball fan and with the addition to new masks, he’s also promoting safety.
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Victor Rojas’s experience in providing Angels fans with in-depth coverage on plays is missed among many and they will have him calling games again. No matter how many games there are it seems he is more than ready to be back in the booth and giving fans his iconic calls. It won’t be long now until fans hear him again, hopefully saying “Light that baby up!”