Longtime ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez died “unexpectedly” Sunday at the age of 58, according to a statement from ESPN and Sports Content Chairman James Pitaro.
“Pedro was an elite journalist at the highest level and his professional accomplishments are universally recognized,” Pitaro said. “More importantly, Pedro was a kind, dear friend to us all.”
A son of Cuban refugees, Gomez joined ESPN in 2003 from the Arizona Republic, where he was a sports columnist and national baseball writer for about six years, the network said in a news release Sunday.
Before that, he had also written for the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, the Miami Herald, the San Diego Union, and the Miami News.
Best known for his coverage of Major League Baseball, Gomez covered more than 25 World Series and 22 All-Star Games throughout his career, ESPN said.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra, as well as his two sons, Rio and Dante, and his daughter, Sierra, according to the network.
“Pedro was far more than a media personality. He was a Dad, loving husband, loyal friend, coach and mentor,” Gomez’s family said in a statement published by ESPN Front Row. “He was our everything and his kids’ biggest believer.”
The family added that Gomez died at home.
Following news of his passing, tributes poured into social media highlighting not only his professional excellence, but his kind spirit and glowing personality.
“Pedro Gomez was one of the nicest and warmest people I ever encountered during my time at ESPN,” journalist Jemele Hill wrote on Twitter. “This is just brutal.”
The Boston Red Sox tweeted their “hearts go out to the Gomez family, including Pedro Gomez’s son, Rio, a pitcher in our minor league system.”
“Pedro Gomez was one of the kindest and most genuine people you’d ever come across in our game,” Alex Wood, a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, wrote. “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.”