Rafael 'Felo' Ramirez (1923 - 2017)
By: Legacy Staff
11 months ago
Rafael “Felo” Ramirez, Hall of Fame Spanish-language radio voice of the Miami Marlins, has died at the age of 94, according to multiple news sources.
The Miami Marlins announced today that Ramirez died on Monday, August 21, 2017.
"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 the statement. "Since our inaugural season, he brought home practically every magical moment in franchise history to generations of fans. A true broadcast legend ... his extensive contributions to our game will never be forgotten."
Ramirez was still broadcasting Marlins games when he fell while getting off the Marlins’ team bus on April 26. He was recovering in Miami.
Ramirez started his broadcast career in Cuba in 1945. He called 31 World Series and All-Star games in Spanish. In 1993, he became the Spanish-language announcer for the Marlins. He was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame after receiving the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters in 2001.
His longtime broadcast partner Luis Quintana told the Miami Herald:
"There's never been anybody in Spanish broadcasting who has called as many games as he has. He's dedicated his life to baseball. When the season ended here in the United States, he would go call games in Venezuela, Puerto Rico. He would call winter league games -- even juvenile games.
"His life is baseball, and there isn't a broadcaster in Spanish radio today who isn't influenced by Felo."
Ramirez was born in Cuba in 1923. He left the country in the early 1960s, after Fidel Castro's revolution.
Tony Perez, a Cuban-born Hall of Fame first and third baseman, said he recalls listening to Ramirez call games in Cuba with his father. Perez now works for the Marlins.
"He was a great man and we all loved him," Perez said, adding that Ramirez was always talking about baseball. "He never wanted to quit. He wanted to keep doing games and traveling."
According to the Marlins, Ramirez was the first Hispanic broadcaster to have his narration included at the Hall of Fame, with his call of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, his call of Roberto Clemente’s 3000th hit and Don Larsen’s perfect game during Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
In an interview with the Associated Press in 2001, Ramirez acknowledged he was entering the twilight of his career.
"But every time I sit down to describe the game, I can still see everything that happens and it still comes naturally for me."
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