Pete Gomez Obituary, Death-I write this with a heavy heart to notify you of the passing of Pete “Blanco” Gomez of Topeka, who was a true icon in the world of fastpitch softball. He was one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
The term “legend” is thrown about so lightly these days, but in Blanco’s case, it was accurate, and it didn’t simply refer to his exploits as a pitcher; rather, it spoke to his triumphs not only as a man but also as a friend. When I try to put into words what Blanco meant to not just this sport but to all of us who had the wonderful pleasure to know him, I’m not sure if I can do him justice.
It’s hard to put into words what Blanco meant to this game and to all of us. He was a special person. A few quick recollections are as follows: I remember his sending a team from Topeka, and not only did they win first place, but he was named Most Valuable Pitcher, and one of his kids won Most Valuable Player, and the other two earned all-tournament medals. Not only that, but I remember him sending a team from Topeka. Ty Cobb purportedly provided the following response when questioned about the key to being a great hitter: “Every great batter works on the theory that a pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher.” I don’t think that was the situation when Blanco was on the mound. I don’t think it happened.
When I faced him for the first time, I was just 17 years old, and I remember going back to the bench three times in a row with the bat still in my hands, if you are familiar with what that implies. The heritage of Blanco lives on today thanks to the fact that both of his grandchildren, Mike and Brian, are outstanding players. When I faced him for the first time when I was 17 years old, I walked back to the dugout three times in a row. I would never say that I was a good hitter, but I do remember that. Because of the significant impact that Pete had on the lives of so many people, we ask that you keep Pete and his family in your prayers and thoughts.