Pedro Gomez, an ESPN reporter since 2003 and one of the country’s leading baseball journalists, died unexpectedly on Sunday. He was 58.
Gomez, which was based in Phoenix, covered baseball for SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight and other ESPN studio shows, live events and radio. During his 35-year career, he covered more than 25 World Series and more than 20 All-Star Games.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear 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 achievements are widely recognized. More importantly, Pedro was a kind, dear friend to us all. Our heart belongs to Pedro’s family and all who love him in this extraordinarily difficult time.”
Gomez is survived by his wife, Sandra; sounds, Rio and Dante; and daughter, Sierra.
“Pedro was far more than a media personality,” the family said in a statement. “He was a father, a loving husband, a loyal friend, a coach and a mentor. He was everything and the children’s greatest believers.”
Gomez’s son Rio is a pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization.
“Our hearts go out to the Gomez family,” the team tweeted Sunday evening.
The son of Cuban parents who went to Miami just before he was born, Gomez was part of ESPN’s landmark 2016 coverage when the Tampa Bay Rays met the Cuban national team in Havana. He returned his father and brother’s ashes to the family home on that trip. He also covered an American men’s soccer match in Havana in 2008 for ESPN, and a showdown between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cuban national team in 1999.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez shares the family’s emotional connection to Cuba and discusses several Rays players’ “eye-opening” experiences during the trip.
Gomez was an important part of the network’s coverage of Barry Bond from 2005 to 2007, including covering Bond’s quest to pass Henry Aaron’s home record in 2007.
Gomez also made play-by-play for an ESPN baseball game in 2014. He said his favorite event to cover was Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series, when Chicago fan Steve Bartman reached out and tried to catch an ugly ball over the Cubs. Outfielder Moises Alou in the playoff game against the Miami Marlins, who went on to score eight races in the inning and force a Game 7 in the series.
Prior to joining ESPN, Gomez wrote for Miami News, the San Diego Union, the San Jose Mercury News, the Miami Herald, and the Sacramento Bee – specializing in baseball coverage – before becoming a columnist and national baseball writer in the Arizona Republic in 1997.
Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall tweeted that Gomez “exemplified class and dignity at all times.”
“He was a pro and our sport will miss him very much,” Hall wrote.
I’m so sorry about the news of the passing of my longtime friend Pedro Gomez from @espn who exemplified class and dignity at all times. He was a pro and our sport will miss him very much. RIP good man.
– Derrick Hall (@DHallDbacks) February 8, 2021
Among the teams Gomez covered as a beat writer were Oakland Athletics by Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Gomez once told journalist Jeff Pearlman that it was like “we traveled with The [Rolling] Steiner. “
Athletics tweeted their condolences Sunday night, writing, “Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. We will miss you, Pedro.”
We are saddened by the passing of our friend Pedro Gomez. He was a fixture in A’s clubhouse and covered the club for the San Jose Mercury News (1990-94) and Sacramento Bee (1995-97). Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. We will miss you, Pedro. pic.twitter.com/NLNhUK3WW0
– AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) February 8, 2021
Major League Baseball, former manager and player Ozzie Guillen, and players including Milwaukee Brewers also left player Christian Yelich and Houston Astro’s third baseman Alex Bregman remembers Gomez.
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
RIP my friend this is very sad news for me and my family. This was our friendship. Laughing to have a good time. The game lost a good thank you for always getting your back. We will be extra pic.twitter.com/2wEWgfYAMY
– Ozzie Guillen (@OzzieGuillen) February 8, 2021
Heartbreaking news. Always enjoyed the conversations every time he came through the clubhouse. He will be missed by everyone. Prayers with his family 🙏🏻 https://t.co/ITpmqY2JpJ
– Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) February 8, 2021
🙏🙏🙏🙏 Pedro Gómez … a great man
– Alex Bregman (@ ABREG_1) February 8, 2021
Gomez was an award-winning journalist, including a first-place award winner from the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors’ Association for “Discovering the Home I Never Knew,” about his trip to Cuba in 1999.
Gomez was a native of Miami and attended Miami-Dade Community College, where he found his passion for journalism, and the University of Miami.