The mere mention of Mo Gaba’s name is sure to elicit an emotional reaction from anyone in Baltimore.
Gaba, a massive Ravens and Orioles fan who became beloved in the city as a young child when he called into 105.7 The Fan secretly, passed away on Tuesday, July 28 after a long battle with cancer. He was 14.
"The world has lost a beautiful spirit and a shining light," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in July. "With his infectious laugh, amazing love of life and love of Baltimore sports, Mo captured the hearts of not only our organization, but the entire state of Maryland."
Both the Ravens and Orioles expressed their condolences with a video tribute on social media after Gaba’s passing.
Gaba was first diagnosed with cancer before his first birthday and spent the majority of his life in hospitals. He lost his eyesight as an infant, but not his love for Baltimore’s sports teams, and certainly not his positive, infectious attitude.
Gaba’s joyous laugh and loveable persona soon gave him relationships with the Ravens and Orioles organizations, where he became friends with Trey Mancini. The Orioles announced that Gaba was the second ever recipient of The Wild Bill Hagy Award and was elected into the Orioles’ Hall of Fame.
“Mo’s positive energy has been constant throughout every battle and continues to bring the entire city of Baltimore together in the face of ongoing crisis,” the Orioles said in a statement announcing his election. “His unwavering positivity and kindness are qualities every Baltimorean aspires to emulate. Mo Gaba has impacted more people in his 14 years than most people do in an entire lifetime, and the Orioles are honored to forever celebrate him as a member of the Orioles Hall of Fame.”
The Ravens let Gaba announce offensive lineman Ben Powers’ selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, the first ever draft choice announced by reading braille. They also even let Gaba call a play during practice, a play that went for a touchdown.
Jeremy Conn, a host for 105.7 The Fan, grew close to Gaba during his fight with cancer and hosted “The Big Mo Show,” where Gaba was the host for a show with special guests, from John Harbaugh to Ray Lewis to Adam Jones.
“Mo Strong” shirts and hashtags were commonplace after Gaba’s passing, but his memory lives on in Baltimore.
The Ravens have “Mo” painted in gold in the end zone at M&T Bank Stadium, as well as “Mo’s Rows” in the corner of the end zone.
Losing Gaba was something that no one in Baltimore was ready for. But like so many said in the aftermath of his passing, his memory, and the lives he touched, certainly live on in Baltimore and will for a long time.
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