Longtime Mets Spanish radio broadcaster Juan Alicea passed away on Monday morning at his home in Florida, the team announced. Alicea was 85.
Alicea joined the Mets organization in April 1969 and worked in a variety of roles, including scouting and community relations. He eventually found his home in the team’s Spanish language broadcasting booth in 1982.
Alicea broadcast more than 4,000 Mets game before his retirement in 2019. The Mets named the Spanish radio booth in Citi Field in his honor in 2021.
“Juan was an innovator and pioneer in the Spanish broadcasting field as well as renowned and respected throughout the industry as an extraordinary broadcaster,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “He was instrumental in the creation of [the Mets’] Hispanic Marketing, Promotions and Community Events. His 50 years of service made him a highly regarded member of the Mets family. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his son John and granddaughter Damiana.”
Alicea was the lead voice on the International Spanish Network during the 1986 postseason when the Mets won their last World Series title. Those broadcasts were carried in the United States and throughout Latin America.
“Juan was a legendary figure on the Spanish Mets broadcasts,” Tim Scheld, brand manager of the Mets’ flagship radio station WCBS 880, said in a statement. “We’ve been proud and honored to have worked alongside someone of such character, kindness and talent.”
Before he entered the booth, Alicea scouted Lee Mazzilli and Nino Espinosa, who both played for the Mets. But it was behind the mic where Alicea left his most enduring legacy.
“Juan was not only my role model, but a father figure as well,” Mets Spanish radio broadcaster Max Perez Jimenez said in a statement. “We have all lost a true master professor of baseball and all his teachings and wisdom will remain with me forever.”