Over the last few years, Mo Gaba became a beloved figure in the Baltimore sports scene. The young fan, who battled illness throughout his life, passed away on Tuesday after a lengthy fight with cancer.
Gaba gained some fame five years ago, when he decided to call into local sports radio station 105.7 The Fan to discuss his favorite teams, the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens. He’d go on to throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards, and build a relationship with a number of players on both teams.
His family discovered his health issues early on, before his first birthday. He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the retina, and lost his sight. He’d go on to have operations to treat tumors throughout his body.
This spring, the cancer spread to his brain and lungs. Unfortunately, he succumbed to the disease this week, six weeks after celebrating his eighth grade graduation, which was celebrated by members of both the Orioles and Ravens with a car parade. He really meant a ton to both organizations and their players.
Our most dedicated fan is forever with us in our Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/usFYQk7s0p
— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) July 28, 2020
Orioles star Trey Mancini is currently undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with a tumor on his colon in March. He hosted Mo Gaba during the 2018 All-Star break, and has been inspired by the young fan.
Rest In Peace, my friend. Your kindness, bravery, and positivity has left a lasting impact on all of us who were lucky enough to have met you. You have truly made this world a better place. We love you, Mo. pic.twitter.com/QzXMFFyG5S
— Trey Mancini (@TreyMancini) July 29, 2020
In 2019, Gaba became the first person in NFL Draft history to announce a selection with braille. He did so for the Baltimore Ravens’ selection of guard Ben Powers in the fourth round. Powers shared a tribute to him on Tuesday night.
Honored to share this special moment with Mo. He’ll never know how many lives he touched. He will always have a special place in my heart. Rest In Peace Mo💜 https://t.co/oHsY3I2Xws
— Bennett Powers (@BigBen_72) July 29, 2020
Adam Jones, an Oriole star outfielder from 2008-18, also took to Twitter to share his respects.
Mo GABA you have brought so much joy to so many people. You legacy will live on as a positive young man who never made an excuse and wanted your team to play hard. You’re such an inspiration. Rest easy big fella. You will be missed! #MoStrong pic.twitter.com/iwEivmSVlx
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) July 29, 2020
On Tuesday, the Orioles inducted Mo Gaba into their team Hall of Fame. He is only the second fan to receive that honor from the franchise.
Rest in peace, Mo.