Enrique Oliu, Rays’ Blind Broadcaster, Navigates a Year Without Fans

Oliu cherishes the bond that he types each day along with his baseball listeners in radio land, as he calls it. His spouse, Debbie, says he has by no means complained of being drained from pulling double responsibility; he has labored full-time for 28 years as a group outreach consultant and interpreter on the Hillsborough County Public Defender’s workplace.

He may ultimately retire from his day job, he stated, however by no means from behind the microphone. “You’re going to have to bury me here,” he stated. He is grateful that his beloved sport is being performed in any respect, even when it doesn’t sound the identical.

“I’ve always been a very optimistic guy from the day my parents sent me away to boarding school at the age of 5 all the way up to now,” he stated. “I always try to find something good. Is it better not to have baseball? No. So, it’s great.”

Born in Matagalpa, a metropolis in central Nicaragua, the place baseball is the nationwide sport, Oliu left dwelling as a younger boy to attend a faculty for the blind in Costa Rica as a result of it was the one one in Central America on the time, he stated.

Five years later, with out realizing any English, Oliu moved in along with his aunt to check on the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine. There, he realized from a trainer methods to visualize what he was listening to whereas devouring sports activities on the radio and dreamed of changing into a broadcaster himself, very similar to Milo Hamilton or Marv Albert.

“My dad always said, ‘How you going to do it? I don’t want to hear about you want to do it. Show me,’” Oliu stated. “That was his thing: No one is going to care if you’re blind or not so you better have resolve.”

After increase expertise calling minor league and senior skilled baseball video games, Oliu broke into the key leagues in 1998. Orestes Destrade, who met Oliu at Florida College earlier than happening to play 4 seasons within the main leagues, really useful his previous classmate for the growth Rays’ Spanish-language broadcast, and Oliu has been with the membership ever since.

Source link Nytimes.com

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