The sports media and baseball industries are reacting to the tragic news that ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez passed away unexpectedly Sunday afternoon. He was 58 years old.

Word of Gomez’s death was reported and circulated on social media as many of us were watching Super Bowl LV, suddenly reminded of life’s fragility amid one of our culture’s biggest diversions. In light of the news, love for a genuinely kind person and respect for his work were the prevailing sentiments among those expressing shock and condolences.

Late Sunday night and early Monday morning, many of Gomez’s media colleagues shared their feelings and cherished memories, some of which came with poignant stories.

Several, such as ESPN’s Jeff Passan, were reminded of Gomez’s 2016 appearance on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt during which he got emotional talking about what his visit to Cuba meant for him and his family.

That pride in his family, upbringing, and heritage was also cited by Bob Ley.

Keith Olbermann typically draws headlines for who he rips on social media. Yet he was effusive in his praise for Gomez, who set an example that so many could follow.

Gomez’s Latino colleagues at ESPN made sure to mention how inspiring he was as a mentor and how his work opened the doors for many others to write and appear on TV for the network.

Naturally, many of Gomez’s fellow baseball reporters remembered the conversations they had with him in clubhouses and press boxes when their paths crossed during a season.

Howard Bryant posted a particularly heartening story in a Twitter thread about the time Gomez stuck up for a reporter covering a baseball team for the first time and facing the wrath of manager Tony La Russa.

In another Twitter thread, T.J. Quinn remembered Gomez’s fearlessness as a columnist, pointing out uncomfortable truths and saying what needed to be said even when it contrasted with fans wanting to praise and celebrate players.

And several major league players mourned for a reporter who they enjoyed talking to, with whom they enjoyed working. Those conversations weren’t always just about baseball business, either. As the relationship between athletes and media has become increasingly strained — or detached, in the era of COVID-19 — baseball players remembered Gomez fondly.

Gomez’s sudden death is a tremendous loss for family, friends, and fans. Those who worked with him, befriended him, benefited from his generosity and time, and enjoyed reading and watching his work for ESPN, the Arizona Republic, San Jose Mercury News, Miami Herald, Miami News, Sacramento Bee, and San Diego Union-Tribune already miss him deeply.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.