Baltimore Ravens Fill Stadium Section with Cutouts of Teen Superfan Who Recently Died of Cancer
Mo Gaba, a beloved figure of the Baltimore sports community, died in July at the age of 14
The Baltimore Ravens are paying tribute to a beloved superfan, who recently died after several battles with cancer.
In loving honor of Mo Gaba, who died in July at the age of 14, the team filled a section of their stadium with 575 cutouts of the late fan, as well as one cutout of his mother, Sonsy Gaba.
“It’s hard to believe that my son left behind a legacy just being himself,” his mother said in an emotional video posted by the team ahead of their season opener on Sunday.
“What he did in 14 years of his life, I can’t help but be proud of him,” she added. “I miss him, but I’m so proud of him.”
Officially dubbed “Mo’s Rows,” the cutouts serve “as a tribute to the young fan who, with his positive outlook and zest for life, captured the hearts of countless Baltimoreans,” the team said in a statement. The team has also said that “Mo’s Rows” will remain in place until fans are allowed to return to the stadium, CNN reported.
While getting a chance to see the images of her son for the first time, Mo’s mother also learned that the team had another tribute in the works: accenting the "Mo" in "Baltimore" which is stenciled on their end zone.
“Seeing his name in the end zone at this game, it’s gonna be a great moment,” added his mother, who helped fill in the gold lettering on the field. “I’m looking forward to it.”
While documenting the team’s preparation for their first game, the team’s social media account went on to share an extra sweet video, showing all of the photos of the late fan. “Mo is ready,” they wrote.
Gaba first entered the Baltimore sports scene five years ago, when he secretly called a local radio station while his mom was at work, ESPN previously reported.
An MLB blog dubbed the young fan a "household name" thanks to his regular radio call-ins, which he'd make in the afternoons after coming home from school.
Gaba reportedly spent about 75 percent of his life in hospitals and lost his sight as a baby after he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the retina, according to the outlet, which also reported that this spring, the cancer spread to his lungs and brain.
Just hours before his death, Gaba learned he’d been elected into the Orioles Hall of Fame, becoming the second-ever recipient of the Wild Bill Hagy Award, which honors the team’s most dedicated fans.
“Thank you, Mo, for sharing your joy and contagious laughter with the team and all the countless memories we will never forget,” the team wrote in July alongside a video of highlights from the boy's time with the team.
The Ravens also paid tribute to Gaba, who became the first person to ever announce an NFL draft pick in Braille in 2019, when he made the call that the Ravens had selected Oklahoma Sooners guard Ben Powers.
“Forever a Raven. We love you, Mo,” the team wrote.