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'Viva Los Dodgers' staple Rivera dies in plane crash

Organization mourns loss of Long Beach singer

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a member of their extended family over the weekend, when it was confirmed that singer Jenni Rivera, one of the stars of "Viva Los Dodgers Day," was among those killed in a plane crash in Mexico.

Rivera was 43.

A longtime baseball fan and friend of the Dodgers' Spanish radio broadcast made up of Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin, Pepe Yniguez and former pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, Rivera was a regular at "Viva Los Dodgers Day" festivals and called one inning during the Spanish broadcast following her August performance. She was a regular visitor to the broadcast booth.

The Long Beach native and former wife of Dodgers pitcher Esteban Loaiza, Rivera also sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium on more than one occasion. She had befriended several current and former players during her visits to the stadium over the years.

"This is such a shock, and I still can't believe it," Jarrin said. "I've known Jenni since she was 4 or 5 years old when her father would visit us at the radio station to his promote music. She was such a wonderful person and so accessible. She was special, but also one with everybody. This is devastating. Such a sad day."

Rivera's plane was bound for Toluca, Mexico, after a concert in Monterrey on Saturday night and was reported missing 10 minutes later, according to The Associated Press. U.S. authorities confirmed her identity on Monday.

"We join her millions of fans all over Los Angeles and Mexico in mourning her passing," said Yvonne Carrasco, the Dodgers' assistant director of public relations. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and supporters."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.
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