The Orioles will be celebrating the life of Mo Gaba, an inspirational young Orioles fan who passed away on July 28, 2020, at the age of 14, during Friday night's opener against the Yankees at Camden Yards. The second ever recipient of the Wild Bill Haggy Award, Gaba was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 6 and ultimately lost his eyesight.
But this did not stop the young superfan of the Orioles and Baltimore Ravens from capturing the hearts of fans and players alike. A sweet, gentle, and knowledgeable fan, Gaba was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame and is affectionately known as the team's "10th man." The Orioles celebrate Mo Gaba Day on July 28 every year in a great gesture to the late Gaba and his family.
Remembering Mo Gaba ahead of Mo Gaba day at Camden Yards
Gaba memorably developed a beautiful friendship with former Oriole Trey Mancini, who himself battled cancer and missed the entire 2020 season as a result. On Mo Gaba Day in 2021 and 2022, Mancini homered, with the 2022 home run comically bouncing off Rays' outfielder Josh Lowe's head and rolling around to allow Mancini to circle the bases.
Following the 2022 inside-the-park home run, Mancini said: "I can't believe that just happened. Of anything that's happened throughout my career, I think getting an inside-the-park home run is by far the craziest thing." He added: "I know [Mo Gaba] was up there smiling and laughing at me running around the bases."
Fan favorite Adam Jones will be returning to Camden Yards tonight to catch the first pitch being thrown by Gaba's mom, Sonsy, tonight against New York. On why he is returning to the field he spent 11 seasons playing at, Jones said: "It's Gaba. Period. Nothing else." The traditional celebration of Gaba's life on July 28 is a terrific gesture by the Orioles and something the team has clearly gotten right.
The Orioles will try to celebrate Gaba's legacy by seeking to snap a two-game losing streak tonight against the Yankees. Watching the game from above, I imagine Gaba would like nothing more.