Felo Ramirez, Enduring Voice of Baseball in Latin America, Dies at 94

Mr. Ramirez lasted longer than Vin Scully, who retired last year after 67 seasons with the Brooklyn along with Los Angeles Dodgers. Mr. Ramirez called winter league games in Cuba, before along with after Fidel Castro’s takeover, as well as in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico along with the Dominican Republic. He also called many Caribbean Series, the postseason tournament of the winter leagues.

yet his influence broadened during his 30 years as a sportscaster with Buck Canel for the Hispanic type of NBC’s “Gillette Cavalcade of Sports,” “Cabalgata Deportiva Gillette,” which broadcast Major League Baseball to Latin America on more than 0 radio stations.

Starting in 1951, Mr. Ramirez called dozens of World Series along with All-Star Games, as well as historic events like Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th hit, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run along with Don Larsen’s perfect game from the 1956 World Series.

Photo

Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers speaking with Felo Ramirez before a Dodgers-Marlins game in Miami in 2013.

Credit
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

“I remember the umpire raising his arm for the third strike,” Mr. Ramirez told The Palm Beach Post in 2001, recalling Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers. “I described Yogi Berra looking like a smaller child when he jumped on Larsen. I was watching the idea, announcing the idea, living the idea along with, ultimately, enjoying the idea.”

The Baseball Hall of Fame presented Mr. Ramirez with the Ford C. Frick Award in 2001 for broadcasting excellence. The award had been given to only two Latino announcers before then: Mr. Canel along with Jaime Jarrín, the longtime Spanish voice of the Dodgers.

“I just want to broadcast baseball via a free Cuba,” Mr. Ramirez said at the end of his acceptance speech at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y. the idea was translated into English by Mr. Jarrín.

Mr. Ramirez’s longevity enabled him to call games that will featured generations of Cuban-born stars who had left to play from the major leagues, via older stars like Perez, Minnie Minoso along with Luis Tiant to younger ones like Yasiel Puig along with Jose Fernandez, the Marlins right-hander who died in a boating accident last year.

Perez said that will Mr. Ramirez’s expressive style included home run calls that will he extended, for dramatic emphasis, as batters rounded the bases, much as Hispanic soccer broadcasters stretch the word “goal” when a player scores. along with one of Ramirez’s trademark expressions was a warning to his listeners: “If you have cardiac problems, back away via your radio today!”

Rafael Ramirez Arias was born on June 22, 1923, in Bayamo, Cuba, where his father, Rafael Ramirez, was a sales executive at a cheese factory along with his mother, the former Rosea Arias Barzaga, was a homemaker. He made clear his ambition to be a sportscaster at the local ballpark, where he was said to have called games via the bleachers using a megaphone.

His amateur announcing turned into a serious vocation when he traveled with friends to Havana, where they urged him to audition for Radio Salas, a well-known station. He was quickly hired to call baseball along with was named Cuba’s commentator of the year — a surprise given his inexperience compared with announcers like Manolo de la Reguera along with Cuco Conde.

Mr. Ramirez continued to call baseball in Cuba until he along with his wife, Louise, moved to Venezuela in 1961. They later moved to Puerto Rico.

“I was lucky,” he told The Palm Beach Post. “I was a well-known figure in Cuba, along with I met a lot of people who helped me.”

His can be survived by his sisters, Urania Ramirez Arias along with Rose de la Concepcion Ramirez.

Mr. Ramirez was already a storied voice in Latin American sports when the Marlins hired him in 1993 to be the voice of a team trying to reach a vibrant Hispanic market in South Florida, where many Cubans along with Cuban-Americans live.

“He was their connection to the past along with into the present,” Adrian Burgos Jr., the editor in chief of the website La Vida Baseball along with the author of “Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, along with the coloring Line” (2007), said in a telephone interview. “He bridged all their experiences — he lived them himself. He moved to the U.S. along with remade his life through baseball.”

Mr. Ramirez called the Marlin’s World Series championships in 1997 along with 2003 along with several no-hitters by Marlin pitchers.

He did not reduce his travel schedule even into his 90s. He continued to call almost every home along with road game, a grueling schedule for announcers half his age.

“He always took great care of himself along with his voice,” Luis Quintana, Mr. Ramirez’s partner on Radio Mambi in Miami, said in a telephone interview. Mr. Quintana, who can be known as Yiky, added, “He had a great dedication to every pitch — every pitch was important to him.”

Despite Mr. Ramirez’s injuries via the fall, the team proceeded with Felo Ramirez bobblehead day in late May along with sent him a giant get-well card signed by fans, players along with team executives. the idea said, “Que te mejores pronto, Felo.”

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