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Rio Gomez joins ESPN to speak on late father Pedro’s legacy, support

(Twitter photo/@pedrogomezESPN)

The baseball and Valley sports communities took a big hit in early February when long-time baseball reporter Pedro Gomez died at the age of 58.

Gomez joined ESPN in 2003 and covered more than 25 World Series in his tenure. He was a Baseball Hall of Fame voter and a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He also spent time writing for the Arizona Republic from 1998-2003 and started living in the Valley in 1997.

The passing of Gomez saw a wave of support flood in for his family.

Gomez’s oldest son, Rio, played collegiately for the Arizona Wildcats and is a minor league pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization. He joined ESPN’s broadcast of a Red Sox game on Tuesday to discuss the support his family has received since Pedro Gomez’s death and what his dad meant to him as a son.

“Honestly, I didn’t know how far his reach really was, especially at the professional level … I guess I just assumed he’s just another member of the media,” Rio Gomez said. “But especially in that first week, those first couple days, it was incredible to see the outreach and the support and all these people who have come forward and reached out to me — and whether it be from colleagues at ESPN, other reporters in the industry, athletes, coaches, umpires, even fans — people just all around the baseball world. It’s just been incredible.”

Pedro Gomez was always there for his son through Rio’s minor league journey.

“There were times, obviously, where I’d be struggling, and whatever he could do via the phone — from Arizona when I was in spring training, or somewhere along the East Coast for a minor league affiliate — he tried to always help as best he could,” he said. “And then there would be times where I think he realized that no matter what he could say through the phone, that him showing up in person was what I was gonna need.”

Pedro would make it out to surprise his son and see him play whenever he could.

“There was a time when I was in extended spring training in 2018, and I was just having a tough time, I was really upset, where it felt like my career was just slipping away,” Rio said. “And out of the blue, he just showed up in Fort Myers and surprised me. And he was there for a week, and it was everything I needed just to be able to turn everything around.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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