Dan's Dugout: Marlins Lose Their Spanish Voice • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Marlins Lose Their Spanish Voice

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MIAMI — Age is a matter of mind: if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Bartolo Colon is back on track with Minnesota

Bartolo Colon is back on track with Minnesota

Julio Franco, a prime physical specimen who played well into his 50s, mastered the concept years ago and created a path that Bartolo Colon, with three straight wins for Minnesota, is following

But Felo Ramirez has them both beat. Before he banged his head while deboarding the team bus of the Miami Marlins April 26, he was still active as the Spanish voice of the Florida ballclub.

At the ripe old age of 94. Even Jack Benny didn’t live that long.

Hospitalized since his fall, Rafael Ramirez had the same name as a shortstop who played for the Atlanta Braves. But he was an entirely different guy.

Just as the team was readying to celebrate the ownership transfer

The Felo Ramirez death is a sad day for new Marlins CEO Derek Jeter

The Felo Ramirez death is a sad day for new Marlins CEO Derek Jeter

from Jeffrey Loria to Derek Jeter, tragedy reared its ugly head.

“The entire Marlins organization is deeply saddened by the loss of a great friend, Hall of Fame broadcaster and community icon, Felo Ramirez,” the Marlins said in a media message.

“Since our inaugural season (in 1993), he brought home practically every magical moment in franchise history to generations of fans. A true broadcast legend, Felo lent his voice to over 30 World Series and All-Star Games. His extensive contributions to our game will never be forgotten.”

Because they are the closest club to Latin America, the Marlins have a vast following not only in the Little Havana area of Miami but also throughout the islands where Spanish is the primary language. That’s especially true in the Dominican Republic, home of the shortstop factory in San Pedro de Macoris, and Puerto Rico, which is still celebrating the recent enshrinement of Pudge Rodriguez into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In those lands, Felo Ramirez was as well known as Juan Marichal or Roberto Clemente.

Giancarlo Stanton id chasing Roger Maris

Giancarlo Stanton id chasing Roger Maris

The timing is also tough for the Marlins because the team, led by home run machine Gioncarlo Stanton, is doing unexpectedly well.

Even after losing star pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident last September, the Fish have hooked most of their opponents since the All-Star Game. The team, flirting with .500, is a solid second to the Washington Nationals in the National League East and even within striking distance of the NL’s second wild-card spot.

Stanton, on pace to top the Roger Maris mark of 61 home runs in 1961, will even draw strong consideration for the Most Valuable Player award.

Nothing would be a greater tribute to the memory of Felo Ramirez.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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