OAKLAND -- Richard Durrett, a multi-talented sports journalist who covered the World Series and broadcast Minor League baseball in the Class A Northwest League, passed away on Tuesday. He was 38.
Durrett had been with ESPN Dallas since September of 2009. The Rangers were his main beat, but his tremendous versatility allowed him to write with vigor and clarity on many other sports, including golf, hockey, auto racing and college sports. He was a prolific writer with frequent daily posts on his blog, but could also turn out in-depth feature stories that unearthed new information and insight on his subjects. It was not uncommon for him to write on multiple sports in a single day
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Richard Durrett, who covered the Texas Rangers and other sports for ESPN Dallas for the past five years," said Patrick Stiegman, vice president and editorial director, ESPN digital and print media. "He was a dedicated colleague and friend, who was extremely respected and well-liked. He was known for creativity and an exceptional work ethic throughout his ESPN tenure, and nearly a decade at the Dallas Morning News before that.
"He will be deeply missed by his friends, colleagues and many sports fans he enlightened every day. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his wife, Kelly, and two children, Owen and Alice."
The Rangers also released a statement late Tuesday night.
"The Texas Rangers are shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Richard Durrett. Mr. Durrett covered the Texas Rangers with professionalism and integrity for the last decade, first for the Dallas Morning News and more recently for ESPNDallas.com. He earned the respect of team management and field personnel for his fair and thorough coverage on the Rangers beat. Mr. Durrett was a versatile journalist in every sense of the word with both his written and electronic coverage. He was always willing to contribute to Rangers publications and even did occasional radio play-by-play on Rangers broadcasts in Spring Training and the regular season. The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization go out to Mr. Durrett's family."
Durrett worked at the Dallas Morning News prior to ESPN Dallas, rising to prominence as a beat writer covering the Stars. His electronic work included play-by-play broadcasting in the Minor Leagues, a talk show on 103.3 FM in Dallas-Fort Worth and regular contributions to ESPN's SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight. Durrett was a graduate of Texas Christian Univeristy and later taught journalism there. He lived in Wylie with his family.
The Rangers announced a fund for his family on Wednesday. Donations can be made at texasrangers.com/foundation.
Fans can also donate by mail by sending to: Richard Durrett Family Fund, Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, 1000 Ballpark Way, Suite 400, Arlington, TX 76011. Donations can also go to the Richard Durrett Family Fund, c/o Liberty Bank, 3880 Hulen Street, Suite 100, Fort Worth, TX 76107, or at any of their five metroplex locations.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.