Rio Gomez debuts at World Baseball Classic as late father Pedro foresaw

Mar 14, 2023, 3:01 PM

Pitcher Rio Gomez #29 of Team Colombia gestures as he leaves the game against Team Canada during th...

Pitcher Rio Gomez #29 of Team Colombia gestures as he leaves the game against Team Canada during the seventh inning of the World Baseball Classic Pool C game at Chase Field on March 14, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Rio Gomez making his World Baseball Classic debut for Colombia on Tuesday held the on-paper significance: A Desert Vista High School product who went to play college ball for the Arizona Wildcats got to play in the ballpark he grew up attending.

But the importance that Tuesday held went way beyond a return to Chase Field.

His late father, former ESPN and Arizona Republic baseball reporter Pedro Gomez, had told Colombia pitching coach Walter Miranda in 2017 that his son would play in the next iteration of the World Baseball Classic.

The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan included Gomez’s foresight in a profile of Rio Gomez’s baseball journey and the impact his father had on it leading into the WBC.

It was the spring of 2017, and Pedro was covering the World Baseball Classic in Miami. One day, he saw Colombia pitching coach Walter Miranda. “My son is going to play for you guys in the next one,” Pedro told him. Miranda, who also coached in the minors with the Red Sox, wrote that off as typical sports dad bravado. Boston drafted Rio that summer, and Miranda didn’t put two and two together until he saw father and son talking the next spring.

Over the last six years, Miranda has watched Rio blossom into a professional. Colombia named him to its roster in January. “That was his dad’s wish from his heart,” Miranda marvels. Pedro was right.

So when Gomez took the mound Tuesday, there were emotions abound.

MLB reporters who had worked shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Pedro Gomez could not bring anything impartial to the moment.


Gomez went 1.1 innings in relief with two strikeouts, a walk and no runs allowed against Canada.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Bobby Witt Jr....

Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks struggle to contain red-hot Bobby Witt Jr. in loss to Royals

The Diamondbacks ran into the hottest hitter in baseball on Monday, and Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. finished a single shy of a cycle. 

9 hours ago

Manager Torey Lovullo...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo ejected as tensions rise vs. Royals

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ejected from Monday's ballgame at the Royals after tensions rose following a pair of hit-by-pitches.

10 hours ago

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks...

Alex Weiner

Reports: Diamondbacks sign draft picks Ivan Luciano, Tytus Cissell

The Arizona Diamondbacks took the next step adding a large segment of their 2024 draft class to the organization.

12 hours ago

Yilber Diaz...

Aaron Schmidt

Diamondbacks-Royals preview: Pitching probables, key players

The Arizona Diamondbacks look to keep their momentum as they open a three-game series against an improved Kansas City Royals team on Monday.

17 hours ago

Arizona Diamondbacks designated hitter Ketel Marte reacts to striking out during the eighth inning ...

Associated Press

Nico Hoerner’s bases-loaded walk in the 10th gives the Cubs a victory over the D-backs

Nico Hoerner walked with the bases loaded in the 10th to give the Chicago Cubs a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

2 days ago

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run in ...

Associated Press

Homers by Carroll, Thomas lead D-backs to victory over Cubs

Corbin Carroll hit a two-run homer and Alek Thomas had a solo shot in Arizona’s three-run fifth inning to help the D-backs beat the Cubs for their sixth win in seven games.

2 days ago

Rio Gomez debuts at World Baseball Classic as late father Pedro foresaw