ESPN baseball reporter Pedro Gomez dies

February 8th, 2021

The baseball world was shocked and saddened upon learning from ESPN that longtime baseball reporter Pedro Gomez passed away unexpectedly Sunday. He was 58.

"Pedro was far more than a media personality," Gomez's family said in a statement. "He was a dad, loving husband, loyal friend, coach and mentor. He was our everything and his kids' biggest believer."

Gomez was one of the most beloved reporters in the game. He began his career with the Miami News, where he wrote from 1985-88. He then wrote for the San Diego Union from 1988-90, before becoming the Athletics beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News in '90.

From 1994-95, while still an Athletics beat reporter, Gomez was the national baseball writer for the Miami Herald. In '95, he remained on the A's beat, but moved over to the Sacramento Bee, where he wrote until '97, when he joined the Arizona Republic as a national baseball writer and sports columnist.

Gomez joined ESPN in 2003 and said his favorite event to cover was Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Marlins and Cubs at Wrigley Field. In all, Gomez covered 25 World Series and 20 MLB All-Star Games.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn that our friend and colleague Pedro Gomez has passed away," said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and Sports Content. "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."

Pedro's son, Rio, played in the College World Series for the University of Arizona in 2016, and was drafted by the Red Sox in '17. The 26-year-old left-handed pitcher posted a 2.20 ERA over 39 relief appearances between Class A Greenville and Class A Advanced Salem in '19.

Pedro had the opportunity to report on the 2016 College World Series for ESPN and described how emotional he was while watching Rio in Omaha. "It's beyond belief to think that your son could be here on the biggest stage in college baseball," Pedro said during an ESPN SportsCenter segment. "... I remember when they won the Super Regional, he had a big, key inning against Mississippi State, and after they won, he gives me a huge hug, maybe the tightest hug he's ever given me. And he just said, 'Dad, I'm so glad you were here and able to share this with me.'"

There was a huge outpouring of grief and remembrance for Gomez on social media from the many people he impacted both inside and outside the game.

Ozzie Guillen:

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ESPN columnist Jeff Passan:

Alex Wood:

Luis Gonzalez:

Writer, former scout Bernie Pleskoff:

MLB.com reporter Juan Toribio:

Baseball America writer Teddy Cahill:

Gomez was the son of Cuban immigrants and was born in Miami just 20 days after his parents arrived in the United States in August 1962, two months before the Cuban Missile Crisis began. Gomez was able to travel to Cuba to cover the Rays' historic exhibition game against the Cuban National Team on March 22, 2016, with President Barack Obama in attendance as the first U.S. president to visit the island in 88 years.

"I lost my brother 10 years ago and my father 12 years ago," an emotional Gomez told Scott Van Pelt from Havana during a special segment on SportsCenter. " ... My father, when he left Cuba in 1962, had never returned -- he said he would never return as long as the Castro regime was in power here. I had been hanging on to their ashes for well over a decade, and I brought them with me, and I was able to sprinkle their ashes here in Cuba. It was very emotional for me because I know that it was their wishes to have this done, and I was very, very honored and happy and proud to fulfill a wish that each of them had. ... There's a big piece of me that is here, always."

Gomez was an award-winning journalist, but his impact on the people with whom he worked and those who read his work and watched him reporting on baseball is indelible. As the many social media posts and other responses to the news of his passing have conveyed, Gomez was among the kindest and most generous individuals in sports media. Whether it was mentoring young reporters or providing comprehensive coverage of major events and storylines in baseball, Gomez's enthusiasm and vibrancy shined through and will be missed.

Gomez is survived by his wife, Sandra; sons, Rio and Dante; and daughter, Sierra.