“I wasn’t the best player but I was there and never missed practice,” said Del Barrio. “When I was a junior I broke my teeth diving for a ball. The specialist didn’t want me to play. The varsity team needed someone to announce the starting lineups for the games so I offered to do it. Afterwards the coach asked me to do it for all the rest of the games because I enjoyed it so much.”
Little did Del Barrio know that that confluence of events was the first step in a journey that, almost 10 years later would lead him to taking a job with one of the most recognized sports teams in the world.
Starting December 26, Del Barrio will be touring as the play-by-play man for the Harlem Globetrotters, a job that will take him around the country doing what he loves to do.
“Even while on the basketball team they wanted me to do the starting lineup so I would be in the back doing both team’s lineups,” said Del Barrio. “I did some softball games and people would start to ask and I gladly volunteered. It was just a matter of getting experience and getting people to listen to me. I learned that I had a gift for it. That made me feel good.”
Upon graduation from high school in 2001, Del Barrio attended Boston University where he worked at the student radio station doing hockey and soccer play-by-play announcing as well as pre-game and post-game shows. Del Barrio enjoyed being a part of sports in any capacity and so found ways to further learn about every aspect of every game.
“I even worked as a mascot,” said Del Barrio. “I tried to be around sports all the time because it was what I enjoyed.”
Upon returning to the Valley Del Barrio worked for the Edinburg Road Runners in 2004 as their voice on the radio. The following year Del Barrio found himself working on a sports talk show called “The Sportsline” on 1240 ESPN Radio in McAllen. Soon after, Del Barrio was the play-by-play voice for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
After nearly six years, Del Barrio found himself at a crossroads and he decided to venture just a bit further in the career he had carved out for himself.
“I had a general manager of a team tell me that if you throw enough spaghetti on the wall, something is going to stick,” said Del Barrio. It’s a simple cliché but it’s the truth.”
Del Barrio made a demo reel of his work to date and sent it around the country as well as posted it on the Internet. It wasn’t long before he was contacted by a few interested people. After a bit of back and forth with the Globetrotters, Del Barrio was asked to travel to New York for training and was hired shortly thereafter.
Now, he’s simply waiting. But in retrospect, Del Barrio says he’s glad he didn’t simply just wait around.
“I volunteer for the National Hispanic Institute and we deal with college bound students and try to get them to not just live up to their potential but surpass it,” said Del Barrio. “It’s almost a whole other country down here and there are a lot of good things about that. But one of the bad things is that people are afraid to dream. I have a special place in my heart for people that dream and go for their dreams. Your window for accomplishing your dreams is very small. You have to go for them.”
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.