O’s superfan Mo Gaba elected to Orioles Hall of Fame (updated)

He is a superfan who has faced super challenges in his young life. But today, in part due to his passion, knowledge, courage and so much more, the Orioles honored Mossila “Mo” Gaba in a super way.

He has been elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame as the second recipient of The Wild Bill Hagy Award.

Mo, a resident of Glen Burnie, began calling in to 105.7 The Fan’s sports programming in 2015 at the age of 9. Unbeknownst to his mother, he would call in on afternoons when he got home from school to share his vast knowledge of Baltimore sports with local fans and radio listeners. He became a favorite of other listeners and local sports fans.

When they learned of the challenges the young guy has had to face, they became even bigger Mo fans, always appreciating his infecious laugh and optimistic outlook on just about anything and everything.

Despite losing his eyesight due to a malignant tumor when he was just nine months old, and enduring four different battles with cancer throughout his life, Mo has became a Baltimore celebrity and a household name.

As just the second recipient of The Wild Bill Hagy Award, the Orioles honor Mo as one of the most passionate and devoted fans in franchise history. The award, which was established in 2007 following the passing of William G “Wild Bill” Hagy, expanded the Orioles Hall of Fame to include fans who have inspired others with their devotion to the team and demonstrated an exceptional commitment in support of the Orioles. Appropriately, Hagy, who rooted for the club year in and year out, was named the first recipient of the award in 2008.

mancini and mo.jpgMo’s celebrity status has grown tremendously since 2015, and he regularly makes appearances at Orioles games and events. Mo was invited as a special guest at Orioles FanFest in 2015, where he was able to meet some of his favorite Orioles. He has since attended other games, including in 2017, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of Kids’ Opening Day, and in 2019, when his “Play Ball!” call on Kids’ Opening Day officially marked the start of a new season. After inspiring countless fans and Baltimoreans with his positivity, Press Box recognized Mo as its 2019 Sportsperson of the Year.

As his involvement with the Orioles grew, so did Mo’s relationships with the players, most notably Trey Mancini. The two met for the first time in 2017, beginning an extraordinary friendship. During a challenging season in 2018, Mancini spent time with Mo during the All-Star Break, which he credits as helping him break out of his slump in the second half of the season. When Mancini rebounded with a remarkable 2019 season and was named Most Valuable Oriole, Mo was in attendance for the ceremony to surprise his friend.

“There is no one more deserving of this incredible honor than Mo,” said Mancini. “Throughout his battles with cancer, Mo never lost his kind spirit, his sense of humor or his love of the Orioles. His tremendous courage and unwavering positivity in the face of such challenging circumstances have made him an inspiration to me and so many others.

“It is fitting that Mo will now have a place in the Orioles Hall of Fame alongside some of the most iconic figures in franchise history, and for him to be honored as the recipient of the Wild Bill Hagy Award is truly special. I could not be happier for my friend, Mo, and his mother, Sonsy.”

Mo also is a beloved of the Ravens and made history last year when he became the first person to announce an NFL draft pick read from a Braille draft card. Mo announced the selection of Ben Powers from Oklahoma with the Ravens’ fourth-round pick.

Last month, Mancini and Powers, along with O’s catcher Austin Wynns, pitcher Bruce Zimmermann, representatives from the Orioles and Ravens, and hundreds of friends, family and supporters attended a special parade to celebrate Mo’s eighth grade graduation from Lindale Middle School. Some of those same friends also called in to speak with Mo as he hosted “The Big Mo Show” with Jeremy Conn on 105.7 The Fan in early July, fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams to host his own sports radio talk show.

Mo’s positive energy has been constant throughout every battle and continues to bring the entire city of Baltimore together in the face of ongoing crisis. His unwavering positivity and kindness are qualities every Baltimorean aspires to emulate. This young man has impacted more people in his 14 years than most people probably do in a lifetime.

The O’s announced they are honored to forever celebrate him as a member of the Orioles Hall of Fame. A complete list of Orioles Hall of Fame members can be found at Orioles.com/hof.

Given the unusual circumstances of the 2020 season, additional details about Mo’s formal induction will be announced at a later date.

Sad news tonight: It was devastating tonight to hear about Mo’s passing. That young man did more and impacted more people in 14 years than many can do in a lifetime. No youngster should ever have to deal with all he had to. May he rest in peace. Anyone in Baltimore that ever heard him on the airwaves will never forget him.

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