He was El Paso sports and loved by every person who ever met him. Ray Sanchez, who spent eight decades as a sports writer, columnist, and author, died today at the age of 94. The news came just two days after the passing of legendary football player Don Maynard. Many people took to social media and reacted after they heard the news.

I have so many amazing memories of Ray Sanchez over the 27 years that I have worked in El Paso media. He was always kind to me from the very beginning of my career and he was a longtime colleague of mine when we worked together for the last 20 years at El Paso Inc. He was a frequent guest on SportsTalk when he would take call after call on the Dallas Cowboys and UTEP Miners. I grew very fond of Ray and always admired his devotion to his wife Helen of more than 75 years.

Steve Kaplowitz.
Steve Kaplowitz.

Ray loved Don Haskins, and the two collaborated on his first biography, "Haskins: The Bear Facts" as well as the story of the 1966 TWC team, "Basketball's Biggest Upset". In addition, he wrote five other books on a variety of sports topics, including horse racing, baseball, and the history of the UTEP Miners. His final book, "The Good, The Bad and The Funny of El Paso Sports History" was released in 2013. I met Ray at his media preview for the book's release and had the opportunity to interview him on the project.

A few years ago, I met up with Ray at UTEP's Kidd Field to discuss a profile on him for El Paso Inc. I pitched the idea to him a few months earlier, and we spent an hour in the bleachers talking about his career in sports journalism. It was fitting that after 70 years writing about sports, Ray Sanchez finally had a profile on his own life and career that was published in a newspaper.

I have a strong feeling that the legendary sports writer is swapping stories right now with The Bear and Tom Landry, two of his all time favorite people.

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