There’s a collective sense of heartbreak being felt among players, fans, and the entire city as the Orioles head into their home opener at Camden Yards. Last night, only hours after it was announced that he had been awarded the Wild Bill Hagy Award and elected into the Orioles Hall of Fame, sports superfan Mossila “Mo” Gaba passed away at the age of 14 after his fifth battle with cancer.
Gaba lost his eyesight to a malignant tumor when he was an infant, but his infectious laughter and positive attitude made him a shining light of positivity for sports fans in Baltimore and beyond. He was known for his frequent calls to local sports talk-radio shows and sideline visits with players at the stadiums. He was also honored as the first person to read off an NFL Draft selection from a Braille card in 2019.
Gaba’s outlook on life was perhaps summed up best in a 2018 interview conducted by outfielder Trey Mancini, one of Gaba’s closest friends and supporters: “Every day when I wake up in the morning, I always feel like I’m going to achieve something that’s pretty cool,” Gaba said then, sitting in his wheelchair on the field at Camden Yards. “I just think positive.”
Many local athletes and community members have taken to social media to share tributes to Gaba and send condolences to his mom, Sonsy, and the rest of his family.
Our most dedicated fan is forever with us in our Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/usFYQk7s0p— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Orioles) July 28, 2020
Forever a Raven.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 29, 2020
We love you, Mo. 💜 pic.twitter.com/iQisDcoaIc
Absolutely heartbroken by the passing of Mo Gaba, a bright light who brought joy to all who knew him and hope to everyone who heard his story. Our prayers go out to his family and loved ones. #MoStrong pic.twitter.com/O30flCokGo— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) July 29, 2020
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
Nothing I write can sum up how inspirational this young man was to me. His courage and grace has left a lasting impact on so many people. I’ll miss seeing his smile and hearing the joy in his voice. You made us all better Mo. We will never forget you. https://t.co/h8sJfie0lA— Zack Britton (@zbritton) July 29, 2020
It’s been an honor to know you, Mo Gaba. Your impact on the world in your short 14 years is incalculable. Rest In Peace, and may we all learn from your joy. pic.twitter.com/6n8mobTMuA— Reagan (@ReaganWar) July 29, 2020
RIP Mo pic.twitter.com/YhBaox4Xjb— Shawn Hubbard (@shawn_hubbard) July 29, 2020