Major League Baseball is mourning the loss of longtime reporter and analyst Mel Antonen, who passed away on Saturday from a rare autoimmune disease and complications from COVID-19.
Antonen was 64. He joined USA TODAY in 1986, covering baseball as well as Olympics and bowling. He would later go on to become an analyst for MASN and radio host for Sirius-XM.
In 2017, Antonen was inducted into the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.
“I love baseball because it always brings me home,” Antonen during his induction speech. “A baseball park in my mind is a home. It doesn’t matter if it's next to a cornfield, as it is in Lake Norden, or if it is next to a rumbling subway, in New York.”
This afternoon, tributes to Antonen began pouring in from around the baseball world. Clearly, the man left a lasting impact.
Antonen is survived by his wife and son. We're sending them our deepest condolences during this time.