If you’ve tuned into an episode of SportsCenter or an ESPN baseball broadcast some time in the past two decades, odds are you’ve seen Pedro Gomez at work.
The longtime ESPN reporter died Sunday, the network announced in a statement. He was 58.
The cause of Gomez’s death is currently unknown, with ESPN only saying he “passed away unexpectedly.” A tweet had been posted from Gomez’s Twitter account as recently as Sunday morning, about eight hours before the announcement was made.
“Pedro was far more than a media personality. He was a Dad, loving husband, loyal friend, coach and mentor,” the Gomez family said in a statement. “He was our everything and his kids’ biggest believer. He died unexpectedly at home this afternoon.”
Gomez’s death ends an ESPN tenure that goes back to 2003. Before that, Gomez had worked as a baseball reporter for newspapers across the country, including the Arizona Republic, Sacramento Bee, Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News and San Diego Union.
With ESPN, Gomez was a fixture of the network’s baseball coverage and widely respected throughout the sport:
“We are shocked and saddened to learn that our friend and colleague Pedro Gomez has passed away,” said Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content James Pitaro. “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’s proudest accomplishment, however, might have been watching his son Rio get drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2017 MLB draft. In 2019, Rio Gomez posted a 2.20 ERA in 69.2 innings pitched as a reliever between Class A and Class A Advanced.
News of Gomez’s death was met with shock and sadness from baseball reporters, players and personalities, both inside and outside of ESPN.
Heartbreaking news. Always enjoyed the conversations every time he’d come through the clubhouse. He’ll be missed by all. Prayers with his family 🙏🏻 https://t.co/ITpmqY2JpJ
— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) February 8, 2021
Life is more goddamn fragile than we ever truly realize. Pedro Gomez grew up in the same Miami neighborhood where I was born, Westchester (“Wechetter,” as we used to say). He was a Cuban-American who spoke Spanish as a first-language, became a prolific columnist …
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 8, 2021
More than an elite journalist, Pedro Gomez was a good and decent man, so proud of his family, and his heritage. His loss is a hammer blow to all who knew this life force. Send one up tonight for his family and friends.
— Bob Ley (@BobLeyESPN) February 8, 2021
Pedro Gomez was one of the kindest and most genuine people you’d ever come across in our game. We were all better off for knowing him personally and professionally. My deepest condolences to his family. What a terrible loss for our baseball community.
— Alex Wood (@Awood45) February 8, 2021
Wow just heard Pedro Gomez passed. Wow. What a terrific guy. I’ll always cherish our convos. Prayers for the Gomez family. Just wow 😢😢😢😢
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) February 8, 2021
Pedro Gomez was an unbelievable person. 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. Rest In Peace, Mi Hermano 🇨🇺 🇺🇸 https://t.co/hxMLWotLRP
— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) February 8, 2021
Just the worst way to end the night.. One of my favorite reporters who became a friend off the field. Loved talking about his son who plays, and just a genuinely damn good person. This one hurts. https://t.co/PegWEN7nfN
— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) February 8, 2021
A husband, father, friend and respected colleague. So, so sad. Pedro was able to laugh at himself and make others laugh. A story teller whose friendship was a gift. A great teammate. Thoughts to his wife and children. Just awful news. https://t.co/hUSHKjzmDN
— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) February 8, 2021
From dinners shared to stories swapped, kindness and goodness personified Pedro Gomez. We loved asking him about Rio because he always beamed with pride when talking about his son. Hermano.
— Adam Amin (@adamamin) February 8, 2021
More from Yahoo Sports: