Mel Antonen, the longtime baseball writer and MASN analyst, died at 64 on Sunday following battles with a rare acute autoimmune disease and leukemia, coupled with complications from COVID-19.

Born in 1956 in Lake Norden, South Dakota, Antonen wrote and reported on the baseball world for more than 35 years. His work was featured in various networks and outlets, including MASN, USA Today,, and MLB Network Radio. He joined USA Today in 1986 and covered some of the sport’s most historic moments, including Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games streak, the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run race and subsequent fallout, and the 1989 World Series earthquake. Later on, he joined MASN Mid-Atlantic Sports Report and worked as a radio analyst on Sirius-XM, amongst other things.

In July 2020, Antonen detailed his battle after testing positive for COVID-19, saying at the time, “For me, I’m just glad I’m around to see.”

“I love baseball because it always brings me home,” Antonen said when he was inducted into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. “A baseball park in my mind is a home. It doesn’t matter if it’s next to a cornfield, as it is in Lake Norden, or if it is next to a rumbling subway, in New York.”

Colleagues and fellow journalists took to social media upon hearing of Antonen’s passing to share their tributes and condolences.

[Argus Leader]


About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to