Rafael “Felo” Ramirez passed away yesterday at the age of 94. He was the Spanish-language radio announcer for the Miami Marlins. But he was much more than that.
Ramirez was born in Bayamo, Cuba, on June 22, 1923. Growing up in Cuba he played second base for a local team. As the story goes, one day he began calling plays with a friend’s microphone. And the rest was history.
According to the Miami Herald, Ramirez began his professional radio career at Radio Salas in Havana in 1945, where he worked for 9 years. Later he became a broadcaster in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. In fact, Ramirez was involved in more than 40 Caribbean World Series. He also was a boxing expert and called many professional boxing matches.
In 2001, the Baseball Hall of Fame honored Ramirez with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting and in 2003 he was inducted in to the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame. Venezuela’s Magallanes Navigators honored him in 2012 for his more than 60 years as a sports announcer.
Earlier this year, I posted a link to an oral history with Ramirez. I only wish I’d had more time to listen to him call ball games.
Thanks for sharing baseball with us, Felo!