One day after ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez died unexpectedly, the network honored him with a touching tribute on Monday night’s SportsCenter.
Reporter Michele Steele narrated the video, which highlighted Gomez’s family and his journalism career that spanned over three decades.
“With his glorious smile and his effusive charm, Pedro Gomez became the light of any room he entered,” Steele said in the video. “And on the baseball field, any baseball field, he was greeted by name, and more often than not, a warm embrace. He was beloved by everyone and kind.”
Tributes to Gomez have poured in this week from his ESPN colleagues, his fellow sportswriters and numerous people across MLB and the baseball community. Many have spoken of Gomez’s kindness, his willingness to help young reporters on the beat and his love for his family.
“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 on Sunday. “He was our everything and his kids’ biggest believer. He died unexpectedly at home this afternoon.”
Gomez, 58, worked for ESPN since 2003. Before that, he wrote for the Arizona Republic as a sports columnist and a national baseball writer since 1997. He also was the beat writer for the Athletics for the San Jose Mercury News and the Sacramento Bee.
Gomez was one of the most beloved reporters in baseball, covering more than 25 World Series and 22 All-Star Games. During his career, he wasn’t afraid to tackle heavy issues and didn’t shy away from baseball’s biggest moments. He covered the steroid era, Barry Bonds breaking the home run record and David Ortiz’s shooting in the Dominican Republican in 2019.
Per ESPN, Gomez stated that his favorite sporting event he ever covered for the network was the famous Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series, saying:
“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 the 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.”