RIP Mo Gaba: How a 14-year-old Orioles and Ravens superfan captured the heart of an entire sport
After becoming a regular on the radio and inspiring many with his story, Mo made history by becoming the first person to announce a draft pick while reading it in braille
Baltimore Ravens and Orioles superfan Mo Gaba died on Tuesday, July 28, at the age of 14 after losing his battle with cancer. The news regarding his death was announced by his mother Sonsy Gaba on Facebook. Many heartbroken members of the Baltimore sports community mourned the loss of Mo Gaba with emotional posts.
Ravens wrote on their official Twitter account, "Thank you for everything, Mo. Rest In Peace" while Orioles shared, "Forever #MoStrong Thank you, Mo, for sharing your joy and contagious laughter with the team and all the countless memories we will never forget." Little Mo came to be known among the fanbase through his calls to 105.7, the fan’s sports programming in 2015, at the age of nine. He also went to form strong friendships with several of his favorite baseball players.
Mo was first diagnosed with cancer when was only an infant. All his life, he fought a courageous battle against the illness, with it recurring five times. However, he succumbed to the disease after it spread across his lungs and to the rest of the body.
Mo became a star in his own rights even in the little time that he had. After becoming a regular on the radio and inspiring many with his story, Mo made history by becoming the first person to announce a draft pick while reading it in braille. Besides this, he’s also thrown the first pitch at Orioles games, flipped a coin at a Ravens game and held his own press conference with Adam Jones and Manny Machado at Orioles Fan Fest. Mo was also named the PressBox’s 2019 Person of The Year and posed alongside Lamar Jackson for a cover picture. On July 28, Orioles announced that Mo had been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame, becoming the second-ever recipient of the Wild Bill Hagy Award.
Although Mo isn't among us anymore, his role in building the sports community will also be remembered and appreciated. On hearing about his demise, Baltimore players and fans took to social media to pour tribute. While Justin Tucker of Ravens tweeted, "Miss you already, bud. Thank you for blessing us with your spirit!", Minor League Baseball team's Bowie Baysox wrote, "Rest In Peace, sweet Mo. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his mom Sonsy, his family, friends, media & Baltimore players who grew so close to him. He fought so hard & was a treasure to the Baltimore sports community."
Meanwhile, people from across the world als shared prayers and condolences on Twitter, remembering the young superfan who left a mark in the history of Baltimore sports. "Bird fan way over here in Thailand. I love the city of Baltimore and we have such a wonderful base of supporters for our @Orioles. None better than Mo Gaba. #MoStong Rest in peace. You were Baltimore & Baltimore will forever be you. I hope the uniform will honor you in some way," shared one disheartened fan.
"To have heard Orioles/Ravens fan Mo Gaba on the radio was to experience one of the real thrills in life. Such a positive, upbeat young man with an infectious joy for sports. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and the whole city of Baltimore. Just devastating," wrote another.