ARIZONA STATE

ASU coach Tracy Smith thankful for friendship with Pedro Gomez

Feb 9, 2021, 4:04 PM

Tracy Smith and Pedro Gomez lived so close to one another that the Arizona State baseball coach said he could hit the late reporter’s house with a golf ball if he had a good enough swing.

Ever since Smith made the move from Indiana to Arizona to coach the Sun Devils, he built a strong relationship with the famed baseball writer and Arizona resident, who died unexpectedly Sunday at the age of 58.

Smith and Gomez had not seen each other since the start of the initial coronavirus lockdown, but met up when Smith’s wife Jaime recently ran into Gomez’s wife Sandy. They had the opportunity to have dinner together last Saturday, the coach said in a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

“My wife and I, and Sandy and Pedro, spent all last Saturday together and just talked about life, work, baseball, family and about his cooking,” Smith said. “Less than 24 hours after that, he’s gone.”

Even with handfuls of memories and years of friendship, Smith said his favorite moments with Gomez were the last ones they shared together.

“I’ve known him for seven years since I’ve been here. … Truly my favorite memories with him were last Saturday night learning about him as a human,” Smith said.

Smith mourned the loss of his friend and was not sure how his final moments with Gomez came to fruition. Despite his shock, Smith could not help but be thankful.

“While I am devastated and tremendously upset at the loss of a friend, I am thankful that I had that opportunity,” Smith said. “I’m not a very affectionate guy, but as we were leaving, I hugged Sandy and Pedro. I’m so happy we had the night and shared that conversation.

“Life is very precarious and we should not take it for granted. I am so thankful that we had last Saturday evening.”

Arizona State

Arizona St. center fielder Joe Lampe (5) fouls off a pitch during the game between the Arizona Stat...
Alex Weiner

Bracket set for inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament in Scottsdale

Eight teams will compete in the inaugural 2022 Pac-12 Baseball Tournament in Scottsdale starting this week.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/ASU Softball)...
Arizona Sports

ASU softball wins Pac-12 regular-season title, receive No. 8 national seed

ASU softball won its first regular-season Pac-12 title since 2011 and received the No. 8 national seed during the NCAA selection show Sunday.
8 days ago
Spencer Torkelson #7 of the American League Futures Team stands on defense during a game against th...
Alex Weiner

Former ASU 1B Spencer Torkelson makes Tigers’ Opening Day roster

Former Arizona State infielder Spencer Torkelson will make the Detroit Tigers' Opening Day roster, the team announced on Saturday.
2 months ago
Phil Mickelson of The USA during a practice round prior to the PIF Saudi International at Royal Gre...
Associated Press

ASU alumnus Phil Mickelson decides to sit out the Masters

ASU alumnus and three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson has decided not to play at Augusta National this year.
2 months ago
Arizona State Sun Devils baseball head coach Willie Bloomquist. (Twitter photo/@ASU_Baseball)...
Jake Anderson

Willie Bloomquist looks to bring ASU baseball back to national prominence

ASU baseball's Willie Bloomquist joined Arizona Sports' Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday for Newsmakers Week to discuss his vision for the team.
3 months ago
Arizona State defensive lineman Shannon Forman (97) celebrates a defensive stop against Southern Ut...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State maintaining run gap integrity is priority No. 1 against UNLV

Even in the new era of pass-happy spread offenses across the college football landscape, the game will always be won and lost in the trenches.
9 months ago
ASU coach Tracy Smith thankful for friendship with Pedro Gomez