Pedro Gomez, a longtime baseball correspondent for ESPN who covered more than 25 World Series, has died. He was 58.
Gomez died unexpectedly at home Sunday, his family said in a statement. No cause of death was given.
“Pedro was far more than a media personality. He was a Dad, loving husband, loyal friend, coach and mentor,” the Gomez family added. “He was our everything and his kids’ biggest believer.”
Gomez joined ESPN as a Phoenix-based reporter in 2003 after being a sports columnist and national baseball writer at The Arizona Republic since 1997. He was best known at the network for his coverage of Barry Bonds and his pursuit of the home-run record during the steroid controversy.
He was a correspondent on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” “Baseball Tonight” and additional shows, including the network’s “Wednesday Night Baseball” package.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn that our friend and colleague Pedro Gomez has passed away,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement on Twitter and the network’s public relations page. “Pedro was an elite journalist at the highest level and his professional accomplishments are universally recognized. More importantly, Pedro was a kind, dear friend to us all. Our hearts are with Pedro’s family and all who love him at this extraordinarily difficult time.”
Gomez grew up in Miami and said the greatest game he remembered from his childhood was the San Diego Chargers’ win over the Miami Dolphins in a 1981 AFC divisional playoff game. He attended the University of Miami and majored in journalism. He started out covering high school sports for The Miami News in the 1980s.
His parents fled Cuba for the United States in 1962. Gomez was part of ESPN’s coverage in 2016 when the Tampa Bay Rays faced the Cuban national team, and he shared the story of taking his father and brother’s ashes to Cuba.
This is from Pedro’s trip to Cuba in 2016. If you want to know who he was, just watch this video. He loved his family, his heritage, baseball. He was just full of love for everyone. pic.twitter.com/zc6oFACPMo
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 8, 2021
While the visit to Cuba was one of his more emotional assignments, he once said in a network bio that his favorite event he covered was Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Florida Marlins and Chicago Cubs.
Said Gomez: “After Steve Bartman’s attempt to catch the foul ball over Cubs left fielder Moises Alou, producer Jim Witalka and I were whisked from behind the Cubs dugout, where we were getting ready to do on-field interviews with the NL Champs for the first time since 1908, to virtually the same spot behind the Marlins dugout, where we saw Josh Beckett racing back and forth from the clubhouse to the dugout while chugging beers and saying, ‘Rally Beers, Pedro.’ It was a memorable night at Chicago’s venerable Wrigley Field.”
Gomez also worked for the Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, The Miami Herald and the San Diego Union. He was a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America and was a Baseball Hall of Fame voter.
His death brought a lot of reaction throughout social media.
Hired Pedro to cover high school sports with me at the Miami News in 1980s and we forged a quick friendship. He was always smiling, always eager for the next adventure.
So sudden. So sad. Condolences to wife Sandy and their three children. Proverbs 27:1 https://t.co/18eyS5PtaK
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) February 8, 2021
My heart is heavy tonight to hear about the loss of my good friend, Pedro Gomez. Pedro was an amazing man that was respected in every locker room he ever walked into. He will be greatly missed in the baseball and sports community. My family and I send our thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/UWQ4r8kPyY
— Luis Gonzalez (@Luisgonzo20) February 8, 2021
Crushed. Pedro was an amazing person. I loved talking family , hoops and Miaimi sports with him. RIP. This is cruel and heartbreaking. RIP Pedro.
— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) February 8, 2021
Just floored! Pedro was one of the kindest men I’ve come across. Prayers to his family ??
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) February 8, 2021
Absolutely devastated. Pedro was a ray of light, a true pro who adored his family. This was the last story we worked on together…a video tribute to his son Rio. https://t.co/uk6S5oiN8L
— Rayna Banks (@RaynaBanks) February 8, 2021
World Series 2016. Road tripping btwn CHI & CLE w the espn baseball crew when I decided to intvw my co-workers & convinced @pedrogomezESPN to
go first. Its a perfect example of how he was everyday: kind, genuine, happy. Pedro, you are loved.❤️ RIP. pic.twitter.com/WDmIxHQFmY
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) February 8, 2021
We are shocked and saddened by the passing of national baseball reporter Pedro Gomez. He was 58. pic.twitter.com/FVlcocprIh
— MLB (@MLB) February 8, 2021
“More than an elite journalist, Pedro Gomez was a good and decent man, so proud of his family, and his heritage,” said former “SportsCenter” anchor Bob Ley. “His loss is a hammer blow to all who knew this life force.”
Said ESPN’s Jorge Sedano: “I’m forever grateful for his friendship. He was a trailblazing journalist. He opened the door for Latinos in sports tv. I can’t even explain how sad I am right now.”
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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