I never had the honor of meeting Mosilla “Mo” Gaba. The vast majority of Baltimore sports fans never met him. But we knew him and we loved him. We met him on the radio, calling into one of the local sports talk stations. I first heard him on the Scott Garceau and Jeremy Conn midday show on 105.7 The Fan. Mo was a breath of fresh air in a sea of armchair coaches and general managers. He was all giggles, infectious energy, and predictions for blowout Orioles and Ravens victories. You couldn’t help but be drawn to him. It wasn’t until you heard him for a while that you learned why he was able to call the radio shows so often.
Mo had been battling cancer since he was 9 months old. Early in his fight he lost his sight. Due to his repeated illness he was home from school a lot and since he couldn’t watch TV he listened to a lot of radio. And he called in. And even though he had been fighting for his life for as long as he had been alive he couldn’t help but think the brightest days were just ahead. Eventually the Ravens and Orioles started hearing about him and Mo went from being a local sports radio celebrity to a well connected super fan. He got to throw the first pitch at Camden Yards and announce a Ravens draft pick to the world (being the first ever person to read a draft card written in braille in NFL history).
Earlier this month he took over Jeremy Conn’s new evening show on The Fan. It was supposed to run 3 hours. It went way over.
No one listening minded one bit.
Today Mo was elected into the Orioles Hall of Fame, just the second fan to ever receive the honor. He was laying in bed when he was read the news.
Sometime after this, some time this afternoon, Mo Gaba passed from this world. When I say Baltimore is a sadder place now I mean it.
Sports and pop culture don’t really intersect very often, and when they do it’s usually something local or a celebrity relationship. Mo burst through because of Damon Amendolara, who talked about him on his CBS Sports Radio show. But even if Mo had never been heard of outside of Baltimore the world would feel his loss. He suffered more in 14 years than most of us would suffer in 5 lifetimes, but somehow he was always the one lifting our spirits.
There has been talk of naming something at Camden Yards for Mo. A street, the flag court, a section of seats…I think we should name the kid’s play area for him because hearing a child laugh will forever remind me of him.
One day we will be able to congregate again. One day we will be able to go to the ballpark and watch our teams. On one of those days Mo Gaba will be publicly inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame. If my body can travel I will be in Camden Yards that day. I expect we will be at capacity. Because even though Mo Gaba is gone we will forever be #MoStrong.