Longtime baseball writer Mel Antonen died on Saturday at 64 years old.
“The disease and the virus were a punishing duo, which I assume was much like pitching against the 1927 Yankees with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig,” Antonen wrote on June 25.
MLB Network Radio and USA Today confirmed his death on Sunday.
Rest in Peace, Mel. pic.twitter.com/B2js7aLZNE
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 31, 2021
Antonen covered some of baseball’s biggest stories
Antonen most recently worked on the MASN Mid-Atlantic Sports Report and as an analyst on MLB Network Radio. He worked for 24 years covering baseball for USA Today starting in 1986, reporting on some of the game’s biggest moments including the 1989 World Series earthquake, Cal Ripken’s Iron Man streak and the Sammy Sosa-Mark McGwire home run race in 1998.
He covered three Olympics for the USA Today, including reporting on the Tonya Harding figure skating scandal.
‘A baseball park in my mind is a home’
Antonen also wrote for Sports Illustrated before shifting his focus to broadcast with MASN and MLB Network Radio later in his career. He spoke about his love for baseball during his 2017 induction into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.
“I love baseball because it always brings me home,” Antonen said. “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.”
Antonen is survived by his wife Lisa Nipp and his 14-year-old son Emmett.
He was remembered fondly on Sunday by the world of baseball and sports media.
The Orioles are heartbroken by the passing of decorated Baltimore sportswriter Mel Antonen. pic.twitter.com/TLBGgDi3C1
— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) January 31, 2021
We are saddened by the passing of long time baseball reporter Mel Antonen, who was a fixture in the Nationals press box for many years.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/ZcQxwCdFDm
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 31, 2021
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 31, 2021
Mel was among the kindest people in any press box he ever graced; we were so lucky any time he was around. He will be so missed. https://t.co/87VGl0NxFR
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 31, 2021
Mel Antonen will be remembered by his colleagues and peers as someone who was unfailingly upbeat and kind. He always looked for the good in people and the bright side of the story. This business can be cynical at times, and he was a rarity in that respect. Rest in peace, friend. https://t.co/ofXk06la9f
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 31, 2021
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 31, 2021
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