Pedro Gomez, 58, a mainstay and a powerful voice of ESPN’s baseball coverage for nearly two decades, passed away at his Phoenix home on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Pedro, the son of Cuban refugees, was not only a highly respected journalist, but absolutely beloved, with tributes pouring in from around the world. Baseball’s biggest stars, sports celebrities throughout the world, fans, journalists, and neighbors in his Ahwatukee community in Phoenix, remembered his passion and sheer kindness. A legacy is etched into the hearts and minds of others, and the stories they share about you, and Pedro certainly left an indelible mark with millions of people. It was the immortal Jackie Robinson who once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other’s lives.’’ Well, this was Pedro, making such a tremendous impact in this world, without truly realizing it.
Pedro made the transition to TV after being an influential newspaper columnist. He spent 18 years as a columnist and beat writer for the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee and Arizona Republic before joining ESPN in 2003. He covered 25 World Series and 22 All-Star Games throughout his award-winning career. He was a fearless, but trusted reporter in his job. He believed in telling the truth, even if it was unpopular. He was a powerful influence on aspiring journalists, always providing encouragement.
Pedro loved the game of baseball for its history and beauty, but most important, he loved the people that made up the game. He had this presence, charisma and a beautiful smile, making everyone around him feel important. You knew it was going to be a good day, baseball executives fondly said, when you saw Pedro walk through the door.
It was Pedro’s humanity, players will tell you, that set him apart from all of the other journalists.
“Pedro was far more than a media personality,” the Gomez family say. “He was a dad, loving husband, loyal friend, coach and mentor. He was our everything and his kids’ biggest believer.’’
Pedro, a beloved friend to so many thousands of people, may be gone, but his legacy will live forever.
Pedro is survived by his wife, Sandi, two sons, Rio and Dante, and daughter, Sierra.