Mo Gaba was a special kid.
Mo Gaba already has a permanent place in the hearts and minds of the Ravens and Baltimore radio listeners. Now his mark on NFL history will be preserved in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
At 14 years old, Mo Gaba passed away last Tuesday after a fifth battle with cancer. While it robbed him of his sight long ago and other functions during the battle after, Gaba’s spirit and warmth never wavered.
In 2019, Gaba became the first person to announce an NFL draft pick using Braille. He announced the fourth-round selection of guard Ben Powers live from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which set off an emotional applause inside the Ravens draft room.
That braille card is now displayed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. The exhibit went live last Monday and Gaba and his family knew about it before he passed.
President and CEO David Baker recorded a message for Gaba to tell him the good news on Friday.
“That was a history-breaking performance, Mo, and we want to remember that at the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Baker said in his message. “So we’re going to put it on exhibit, along with Ed Reed’s bronze bust and Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis’ bronze busts. And we’ve also got a lot of jerseys from Lamar Jackson. He doesn’t have a bronze bust yet, but he’s on his way.”
“But you’re in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations. Welcome to the Hall of Fame, Mo.”
Once the card was on display, Baker recorded a video from inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame to show and tell Gaba and his family about his exhibit. The exhibit calls Gaba a “Baltimore sports legend” and says he is “one of the bravest fans in all the NFL.”
Gaba’s health problems began at nine months old when he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the retina and lost his sight soon thereafter. Gaba has spent much of his life in hospitals since, but he still found time for his passion of Baltimore sports.
Gaba liked listening to sports talk radio, and one day in 2015 – at nine years old – he decided to call in when his mother, Sonsy, was out of the house. It didn’t take long for Gaba to become one of 105.7 The Fan’s most beloved callers – one that even got his own entrance music.
The Ravens had a special relationship with Gaba. Head Coach John Harbaugh surprised him with the news that he would be announcing a Ravens draft pick last year. After the 2019 draft, Gaba visited a practice last season and met Powers, Jackson and the rest of the team.
The Ravens recently helped Gaba celebrate his graduation from middle school when the Marching Ravens played at a car parade with hundreds of cars driving by his apartment honking their horn and shouting their congrats.
Ravens guard Bradley Bozeman presented Gaba with a Ravens game ball, which he promptly lifted over his head and dedicated to his mom.
Gaba’s positive energy, selflessness and bravery captured the hearts of the Ravens and their fans. Now he’ll not only forever be a Raven, but also a treasured piece of NFL history.
Mo was a special kid.