Longtime ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez died unexpectedly Sunday at his home, the network announced. He was 58.
“Pedro was an elite journalist at the highest level and his professional accomplishments are universally recognized,” Chairman James Pitaro said in a statement. “More importantly, Pedro was a kind, dear friend to us all.”
During his 35-year-long career, Gomez was best known for his coverage of Major League Baseball, covering more than 25 World Series and more than 20 All-Star Games, the network said in a news release Sunday.
Gomez, of Miami, was the son of Cuban immigrants and studied journalism at the University of Miami, the network said. Before joining ESPN in 2003, Gomez worked as a sports columnist and national baseball writer with the Arizona Republic for about six years.
He had prior stints with the Miami News, the San Diego Union, the San Jose Mercury News, Miami Herald and the Sacramento Bee.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra, two sons, Rio and Dante, and his daughter, Sierra, according to the network.
“Pedro was far more than a media personality,” his 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.”
Fellow journalists and sports teams expressed their grief on social media following his unexpected death.
ESPN radio host and reporter Jorge Sedano wrote on Twitter that Gomez was a “trailblazing journalist” who “opened the door for Latinos in sports tv.”
“Pedro Gomez was one of the nicest and warmest people I ever encountered during my time at ESPN,” former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill tweeted. “This is just brutal.”
“Our hearts go out to the Gomez family, including Pedro Gomez’s son, Rio, a pitcher in our minor league system,” the Boston Red Sox added.
“More than an elite journalist, Pedro Gomez was a good and decent man, so proud of his family, and his heritage,” former ESPN anchor Bob Ley wrote on Twitter. “His loss is a hammer blow to all who knew this life force.”