Connect with us

NFL

Superfan Mo Gaba, beloved by Orioles, Ravens, dies at 14

Published

on

Mo Gaba, a beloved Baltimore superfan, died Tuesday at the age of 14 after his fourth battle with cancer.

A frequent caller on a local sports talk radio show, Gaba became an inspirational figure for players on the Orioles and Ravens for his positive attitude and selflessness.

Last year, Gaba made NFL history by becoming the first person to announce a pick off a card written in braille. On Tuesday, he was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame just hours before passing away.

“The world has lost a beautiful spirit and a shining light,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after learning of Gaba’s death. “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.”

Gaba’s celebrity in Baltimore started five years ago when he secretly called 105.7 The Fan while his mother was at work. Soon, he was throwing out the first pitch before an Orioles game and calling a play inside the Ravens huddle at practice, which resulted in a Lamar Jackson touchdown pass.

Gaba grew close with Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment after having a cancerous tumor removed from his colon in March. Mancini spent an entire day with Gaba during the All-Star break two years ago.

“Your kindness, bravery and positivity has left a lasting impact on all of us who were lucky enough to have met you,” Mancini said Tuesday night. “You have truly made this world a better place.”

It has been estimated that Gaba spent 75% of his life at hospitals. His mother, Sonsy, first discovered Gaba’s health issues at 9 months old, when she noticed his eyes appeared white in a photo taken at a family gathering. He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the retina and soon lost his sight.

Gaba then underwent operations, aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and a bone marrow transplant to treat tumors on his neck, legs and lungs.

Less than two months ago, scans showed cancer had spread more into his lungs and his brain.

“I lost my best friend today,” Gaba’s mother posted on social media. “Your legacy will live on love bug.”

Six weeks ago, Gaba’s eighth-grade graduation was celebrated with a car parade, which included Mancini, Orioles catcher Austin Wynns, Ravens offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman and the Ravens marching band. Gaba was presented with a montage video that included several Orioles and Ravens wishing him the best.

“He’ll never know how many lives he touched,” said Ravens guard Ben Powers, who was selected in the fourth round in 2019 after Gaba announced the pick. “He will always have a special place in my heart.”

On Tuesday, Gaba became only the second fan to be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame. Laying in bed, he had the announcement read to him.

“Mo Gaba you have brought so much joy to so many people,” former Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said. “Your 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!”



Source link

NFL

Carroll Hardy, who hit for Ted Williams and built Broncos’ ‘Orange Crush’ dies at 87

Published

on

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Carroll Hardy, a multi-sport star best known as the only man ever to pinch hit for Ted Williams, died Sunday at age 87.

Hardy was also known as the football executive who helped assemble the “Orange Crush” defense in Denver during the 1970s.

The University of Colorado, where Hardy was a three-sport star, said he died of complications from dementia. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Hardy went on to play professional baseball and football after starring in track, baseball and football at Colorado from 1951-55.

CU athletic director Rick George called Hardy “a true icon of the state. His list of accomplishments in his lifetime and the people he touched are really second to none. We have lost a great Buffalo.”

Hardy earned a record 10 letters altogether in the early 1950s. An All-American honorable mention in 1953 and ’54, Hardy rushed for 1,999 career yards with a whopping 6.87-yard average per carry, which remains the best in school history among players with at least 60 carries.

Hardy led the nation in kickoff return average in 1952 and had six interceptions for the Buffaloes.

On the diamond, Hardy was CU’s all-time career batting average leader (.392) with 118 hits in 301 at-bats with 15 homers, 80 RBI, 107 runs scored and 45 stolen bases.

He once ran a 9.8 in the 100-yard dash on the indoor track.

Hardy was the 33rd overall pick in the 1955 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. and averaged 28.2 yards a catch as a rookie with 12 receptions for 338 yards and four touchdowns.

Before reporting to the 49ers camp, Hardy signed with the Cleveland Indians and played on their A-league team in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1956, he was hitting .365 in 21 games with the Indians’ Triple-A team in Indianapolis when he was ordered to report to the U.S. Army.

He returned to the Indians after his two-year tour of military duty and his major league career spanned a decade from 1958-67 with stops in Cleveland, Boston, Houston and Minnesota.

Hardy was the only man ever to pinch hit for Red Sox icons Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.

“I’d like to have people remember me for hitting 400 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .305, but I didn’t do that,” Hardy once told the Denver Post. “But it’s not bad being remembered as the only man to ever pinch-hit for Ted Williams.”

Hardy’s first major league homer was a three-run shot in the bottom of the 11th to beat the White Sox when he was sent to the plate in place of Roger Maris in 1958 when both were with the Indians.

Boston traded Hardy to the expansion Colt 45’s in 1963 and he later joined the Twins, who sent him to their affiliate in Denver.

During his two-plus seasons with the Denver Bears, he began scouting part-time for the Denver Broncos in the offseason.

That led to a 24-year stint with the Broncos in various roles including assistant ticket manager, director of scouting, pro personnel director and assistant general manager.

He finished his major league career with a September call-up with the Twins in 1967, then turned his attention full-time to football.

Hardy was credited with helping to build Denver’s “Orange Crush” defense that led to the Broncos’ first Super Bowl appearance in 1977. That dominant defense included Randy Gradishar, Tom Jackson, Louis Wright, Lyle Alzado, Otis Armstrong and Barney Chavous.

Hardy also helped assemble the Broncos’ 1986 and ’87 Super Bowl teams before his retirement.

Hardy was born in 1933 in Sturgis, South Dakota. He is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Janice Mitchell, son Jay and daughters Jill and Lisa.

With the coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be for family only, but a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jatavis Brown retires at 26

Published

on

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jatavis Brown, a 26-year-old free-agent pickup this offseason, has surprisingly retired from the game.

The Eagles placed Brown on the reserve/retired list Sunday. The word internally was he simply felt it was time for him to step away.

Brown signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia in March that would pay him a base salary of $910,000 and included $550,000 in guarantees. He was in the mix to compete for a starting spot and was at a minimum expected to be a special-teams contributor.

The Eagles already had the least amount of salary-cap dollars committed to the linebacker position for 2020 ($5.9 million), according to Spotrac. The Eagles get about $900,000 in cap relief as a result of Brown retiring.

The remaining linebackers are T.J. Edwards, Nate Gerry, Davion Taylor, Duke Riley, Alex Singleton, Shaun Bradley and Dante Olson, one of the most unheralded groups in the NFL.

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Lions trade CB Michael Jackson to Patriots for 2022 draft pick

Published

on

The Detroit Lions traded cornerback Michael Jackson to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick on Sunday, hours after announcing plans to release the veteran.

Jackson played in one game for Detroit last season, a 19-16 loss at Washington, where he played two special teams snaps. Detroit had claimed him off waivers in September, 2019, after he was cut by Dallas. Trading Jackson clears up part of one of the deepest positions the Lions have on the roster with a handful of cornerbacks still competing for backup jobs behind likely starters Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah and Justin Coleman.

This is the sixth trade, not including in-draft moves, between the Lions and Patriots since Bob Quinn took over as general manager in January, 2016.

The Patriots have multiple openings on their roster after an NFL-high eight players opted out of the 2020 season. Jackson provides depth at cornerback, which is one of the deepest positions on the team’s roster, with reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, followed by Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Joejuan Williams, D’Angelo Ross and Myles Bryant.

The Patriots could have waited and put in a waiver claim for Jackson, but since they are lower in the NFL’s priority order, they wouldn’t have been guaranteed they’d get him. So similar to how they traded for McCourty in 2018, when the Cleveland Browns had declared their intentions to release McCourty, the Patriots swooped in at the last moment with a trade.

The Lions also waived wide receivers Travis Fulgham and Chris Lacy, linebacker Christian Sam, defensive end Jonathan Wynn and guard Josh Garnett, a former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick on Sunday.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss contributed to this report.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending