Uncle: Slain White Sox vendor Nicholas Ramirez loved baseball, ‘treated people well’

By Emily Gray Brosious
Originally published at Homicide Watch Chicago
Apr. 29, 2014

Chicago White Sox vendor Nicholas Ramirez loved baseball and hoped to be an emergency medical technician, family said.

Family photos at memorial outside Ramirez’ home / Photo by Emily Brosious
Family photos at memorial outside Ramirez’ home / Photo by Emily Brosious

Ramirez’ uncle, Oscar Mendoza, described him as a “warmhearted” young man who “treated people well.”

“He was easygoing and always laughed things off,” Mendoza said. “People were drawn to his happiness.”

Ramirez, 19, was driving south on Ashland Avenue in an attempt to get away from a vehicle that was chasing him, authorities said. Ramirez eventually hit two vehicles about 2:30 a.m. Saturday and crashed into a concrete median in the 1600 block of West Hubbard Street.

A gunman exited the vehicle that was chasing Ramirez and shot him in the head, authorities said. Ramirez, of the 3900 block of South Rockwell Street, was dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police said the shooting could be gang related, but family members said Ramirez was not involved in any gang activity. Ramirez had no felony convictions but was sentenced to 10 hours of community service for drinking on the public way in April 2013, according to court records.

Ramirez attended Malcolm X College and wanted to be an emergency medical technician, Mendoza said.

Ramirez’ real passion was baseball and he worked as a vendor at White Sox games at U.S. Cellular Field.

“He loved baseball,” Mendoza said. “He identified himself as a baseball player.”

Ramirez played catcher in little growing up and won a championship with Brighton Park’s community team, Mendoza said. People called him “Pudge” after former Chicago White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk.

“His friends made shirts for his funeral with [Fisk’s] number 72,” Mendoza said.

As an adult, Ramirez enjoyed spending time with his new puppy “Beya,” Mendoza said. Ramirez was affectionate with the dog, whose name means “Beautiful,” and wanted to take good care of her.

“The dog was like his baby,” he said.

Ramirez lived in Brighton Park with his mother, who was not pleased when he brought the puppy home without permission, Mendoza said.

Beya has comforted her after Ramirez’ death and she is thankful for the dog’s company, Mendoza said.

More than 500 people attended Ramirez’ wake, said Mendoza, who is comforted that his nephew had a positive, lasting impression on many different people.

“I was inspired by how much he touched people’s lives,” Mendoza said “It lifted my spirits. I’m proud to be his uncle.”

Nobody has been charged for Ramirez’ murder.

Area Central detectives continue to investigate.

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