Appreciating Victor Rojas

As we welcome our new Angel Play-by-Play announcers, it is appropriate that we look back at a staple of Angels baseball last decade: Victor Rojas.

Starting Out

Victor Rojas did not start with the Angels. He had experience in Arizona as the radio voice in 2003. From 2004-2008 he was with the Rangers for a mixed role on TV. Then, in 2009, he was the first host of MLB Network. Fox Sports West was impressed, and he was chosen to be the new Play-by-Play announcer in 2010.

It was definitely a difficult situation to step into. Nick Adenhart had died the year before due to a drunk driver, the team who just made the playoffs 6 of the last 8 years was losing key players to free agency, and Rory Markas, the previous voice of the Angels, died that January.

Yet he handled it well, even as 2010 proved to be a disaster on the field. Kendrys Morales broke his leg at home plate, the team finished below .500 for the first time since 2003, and despite the Angels hosting the All-Star Game, only Jered Weaver and Torii Hunter made the team.

Calling It

Broadcasters tend to have unique calls, separating them from the others in their business. For Victor Rojas, it was, of course, BIG FLY! Big Fly is even a brand for him, as he uses it for his merchandise.

It isn’t the only catchphrase he has, however, as Angels fans know what you should do after a walk-off win (DRIVE! HOME! SAFELY!—which is good advice on its own). There is also 3-run Jimmy Jack and Oppo Taco, which are more rarely used.

2011 was the Angels 50th anniversary, which did not turn into good on field results, but it did bring memories. Like Mike Trout’s debut, which Victor Rojas is glad to have announced.

Milestones

Victor Rojas has to be one of the luckiest announcers ever. There are only 9 players who have hit 600 home runs. He called 2 of them. Sammy Sosa in 2006, and Albert Pujols in 2018.

For Pujols, there were quite a few milestones that Victor Rojas got to call, like his 500th home run, his 2000th RBI, 600th double, and Pujols’ 3000th hit. Victor Rojas had one last one to call for him, Pujols’ 661st home run, passing Willie Mays.

Not that Pujols was the only one making milestones. From the booth, Victor Rojas witnessed Mike Trout’s entire career up until now. Trout’s first hit, first home run, and his first Cycle. He was there when Mike Trout amazed the baseball world with his glove, when he did it again, hit his 1000th hit, and 300th home run.

As if two legends weren’t enough, Victor Rojas called the first Major League games of Shohei Ohtani, and he had a blast. Here we had the first true two-way player in decades, and Victor Rojas called his first hit, first MLB win, first amazing pitching start, first Cycle, the first by a Japanese MLB player, and the 3rd ROY for the Angels, with Victor Rojas calling two of them.

Victor Rojas coined of the most beautiful phrases ever, BIG FLY OHTANI-SAN! It is the thing I will miss the most about Victor Rojas.

Skaggs and COVID

Things are not always great in this organization, and tragedy is no stranger to this team. Tyler Skaggs’ passing was a blow to the team, and Victor Rojas did his absolute best to honor and mourn with the Angels and us, the fans.

So when the team pitched a combined no hitter, it was an amazing moment, one that made us all cry. It was an image to define 2019 for the Angels and Victor Rojas was able to covey it all to us, as fans.

2020 then featured the well-known pandemic, and Victor Rojas provided us with a podcast to fill the void when baseball was put on hold. When baseball finally returned, he handled it well even as distance prevented him and Gubi from being in the booth for away games. He was a voice of reason during a trying time.

Fun In The Booth

The Angels did not do well as a team in the time Victor Rojas was here, but you did not know that listening to him. Despite the outcomes, he would bring this positive energy to every game. From the arrow game, to the many, many, many walk offs, and the opposite of a walk off. He called 3 no hitters, Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver, and the Taylor Cole/Félix Peña one honoring Skaggs.

Even when the Angels do not do well, he is upbeat. However, he won’t sugarcoat things, and speaks his mind which comes across in his interactions with us here on this site and is truly refreshing.

His chemistry with Gubi was genuine and a joy to listen to. Victor Rojas is quick and caught a foul ball, swore on camera by accident, and just has a ton of fun.

Raul, Jessica, and Jeff with Victor Rojas

Fan interaction is another area in which he excels. He takes time to get out there, whether that be that with kids, some small Youtubers, Podcasts, or us. I know that many of us here will miss him, his genuine personality and interactions allowed us to deeper understand the game and behind the scenes. We will miss him, and wish him well on his passion on being a MiLB GM.

21 Comments
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tommyshalo
Trusted Member
3 years ago

couldn’t manage to attach the image so link here
https://images.app.goo.gl/6pgtTtnvzRZNE32r9

tommyshalo
Trusted Member
3 years ago

Probably you’ve seen this one, but it was sensational to see ads of this front cover on major commuter trains in Tokyo.
Your calls shall ever last with the memories of certain games and I wish you the best for your next stage.

Last edited 3 years ago by tommyshalo
WallyChuckChili
Legend
3 years ago

Gone! Big Fly Mike Trout!

Drive Home Safely!

Light That Baby Up!

GREAT FUCKIN SONG!

rspencer
Trusted Member
3 years ago

Victor, I will miss you. I already miss you. You are a class act, and a top-flight play-by-play man. Best of luck in your new endeavor, and I look forward to seeing you as GM of an MLB team. Thanks for the memories.

Angels2020Champs
Legend
3 years ago

Great article!
Thank you Mr Rojas, I wish your run was filled with more wins but appreciate all the effort you put in to make games enjoyable to watch/listen to!

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
3 years ago

I too will miss him very much and wish him well in his new endeavor. The chemistry with Gubbi was just awesome but what I think was his greatest moment were the days after we lost Tyler Skaggs with him being so professional in keeping things so smooth and respectful. The no hitter was at the peak though and I forgot the Santana No-No. Good Luck Victor in your future. GPB.

Last edited 3 years ago by GrandpaBaseball
FungoAle
Legend
3 years ago

Very impressed Victor that your were reachable to the leaders of the HH/GTPG Staff, gave us readers a virtual connection. Also, big shout out to your dad, 5-time All-Star! Great baseball family, thanks for your contributions. Best of luck in Frisco.

Last edited 3 years ago by FungoAle
angelslogic
Super Member
3 years ago

Victor, your insightfulness and wit will be sorely missed! Best of wishes in your new endeavors.

Last edited 3 years ago by angelslogic
Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

I’ll add that the dynamic duo of you and Gubi will be very difficult to recreate/replace from a fan perspective. I’m certain the new team will develop its own chemistry. But you and Gubi had something special and that chemistry made for enjoyable/fun listening. Even during crappy games (and there were a lot of them) you two made listening a pleasure. The two of you should have an off-season sports podcast.

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

To the Victor goes the spoils!

Going to miss you Vic. You are up there in my top-3 with Enberg and Markus.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fansince1971
boyjohn
Member
3 years ago

Not a huge fan of Victor’s but he was at least competent and easy to listen to. Which is more than I can say for some previous announcers such as Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler, which made me turn off the TV sound and put on the radio when possible.

Last edited 3 years ago by boyjohn
Victor Rojas
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  boyjohn

Competent is good…

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Victor Rojas

Ha!

Mia
Legend
Mia
3 years ago

You get used to someone when you listen to them for 3+ hours a day, 162 days a year, give or take.

It’s a quiet comfort. Hopefully we feel that eventually with Matty V and Daron Sutton.

Wishing Victor nothing but the best, the team he now works for, less so. 😉

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Mia

speaking of this. When my wife was pregnant and we were reading all the “What to Expect” stuff we came to a part where it stressed the importance of talking to the baby so he would recognize my voice when he was born.

My first thought was that I had the Angels game on every day and that my unborn son was listening to Vic for 3 hours a day. I kept the volume low and talked a lot more that season ha ha.

And, my son has always liked Vic. Would run up to him and let Vic hold him.

Jim Atkins
Super Member
3 years ago

Always loved your candor, enthusiasm, and full-scale goofiness with Gubi (70s heavy metal night, reciting the Baseball Bugs “percussion pitch” speech) but most of all your professionalism. Victor, you always did your best to deliver a good call to the viewers. Thanks so much for all those moments-

Victor Rojas
Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Atkins

Thanks, Jim.

Victor Rojas
Member
3 years ago

John (& to all at CTPG), thank you from the bottom of my heart. Whether it was here or HH or AW, everyone was really cool to me and my family. It’s crazy to look back on those 11 years and think of all the fun I/we had in the booth and beyond. The Angels Family allowed me to be myself & that, in turn, allowed me to be true to you. I had a kick ass time in a great place with an unbelievable fan base…I was fortunate and will be forever grateful. Thanks again. ✌🏽

steelgolf
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Victor Rojas

Victor, if you approach your GM job like you did your announcing job you will be successful and I fully expect to see you as a MLB GM in the future. Best of luck to you, and by the way, your clothing line is really nice and high quality. Even my wife approves.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago

Great piece, John. Victor has a significant place in franchise history thanks to his personality and the moments he covered.

I’ll really miss Vic, who has become a good friend.