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Ex-Sox John Marzano, RIP


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#1 philly sox fan


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 02:42 PM

Jesus, I remember when he was the Olympic Hero heir apperent to Gedman in the mid-1980s.

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-- Former Major Leaguer and sports broadcaster John Marzano has died at the age of 45.

Marzano, a native of South Philadelphia, was found dead inside his home on Passyunk Avenue.
A family member called police to break down the door shortly before noon, officials said. Marzano apparently fell down the stairs



#2 curly2

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 02:52 PM

Wow, this is shocking. Rest in peace.

#3 Lanternjaw


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 03:53 PM

That's terrible. Sad to hear that.

#4 templeUsox


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:05 PM

Awful to hear. He was doing work for MLB.com very recently. Red Sox alum and Temple alum RIP.

#5 Norm Siebern

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:25 PM

Sad, terrible news. Godspeed and Rest in Peace.

#6 fletcherpost


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:31 PM

Awful to hear. He was doing work for MLB.com very recently. Red Sox alum and Temple alum RIP.


His broadcasting work for MLB in my opinion was very good. I used to listen to Leading Off, the show he did with Vinni Micucci most afternoons. He was an incredibly jovial broadcaster, good with the banter and loved to tell a story about his playing days. I thought his wise guy schtick was pretty entertaining and whilst he liked the sound of his own voice a heck of a lot...what came out of it wasn't without substance.

Not living in the USA and not having easy access to local Radio in the USA, MLB Radio and MLB.TV are pretty decent gateways to the wonderful world of baseball. I'm pretty gutted.

#7 amarshal2

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 04:47 PM

Yikes. He used to live in my town. I think every boy I knew knocked on his door at one point or another and asked for an autograph. He was a friendly guy who didn't seem to mind.

At my first ever Red Sox game, Clemens was pitching and some guy on the Tigers took offense to a HBP and charged the mound. Marzano got up out of the crouch and was able to sprint after him and tackle him from behind before he got to the mound. It was awesome.

Just yesterday I saw that he was doing that MLB.com gig and was happy for him. It's too bad...

#8 KenTremendous

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:36 PM

I used to trade Mark McGwire 1984 U.S. Olympic Team Topps cards for the Marzano ones, because Marzano was on the Sox. I didn't care about the book value -- I just thought it was awesome that the Sox had an Olympian. This news makes me incredibly sad. Best wishes to his friends and family.

#9 Jinhocho


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 07:20 PM

Wow - just terribly sad news. I was running some errand and put the game on XM and heard the news. Just terribly shocking and sad news to hear tonight.

#10 rskelley75


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 07:44 PM

ugh, what awful news...so random, falling down stairs?

leaves two kids and two grandchildren...

don't know what to say other than RIP...

#11 Robinson Checo

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:06 PM

I was always a Marzano fan as kid. I recall his Statis-Pro card from 1987 or 88 was incredible and loved to have him start over Gedman (his card was lame) or else I would pinch-hit him right away. I too checked him out on MLB.tv. RIP John Marzano.

#12 philly sox fan


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:11 PM

At my first ever Red Sox game, Clemens was pitching and some guy on the Tigers took offense to a HBP and charged the mound. Marzano got up out of the crouch and was able to sprint after him and tackle him from behind before he got to the mound. It was awesome.


Hey, I was at that game! I didn't remember that Marzano was the backup catcher, but my recollection is that Clemens gave up back to back bombs to Deer and Incaviglia and then threw at John Shelby's head. Shelby not only charged the mound, he charged the mound with the bat raised in his hand. The backup catcher - Marzano I guess - tackled him before Shelby could get out to the mound and beat Clemens' skull in with the bat. Crowd really was charged up by the violence, of course, but then on top of that the umps tossed Shelby, but not Clemens and then Sparky Anderson went crazy and got tossed. And then the Sox came back and won with Clemens getting the win. Let's see if I can find the boxscore and see if our memories are right...

Yup. Here it is July 6, 1991.

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Marzano was hitting .300 with a .661 OPS, not much on the secondary skills, but a hell of a tackle and a very memorable game.

#13 Flynn4ever

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:45 PM

I too don't remember a lot about Marz' career, but did find him very entertaining on mlb.com podcasts. There was one near the start of the season when Dave Niehaus, the Mariners broadcaster who won the Fricke award this year and Marzano were telling Griffey Jr. tales that was very touching. What a shame. Best to his family.

#14 Section86

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:56 PM

At my first ever Red Sox game, Clemens was pitching and some guy on the Tigers took offense to a HBP and charged the mound. Marzano got up out of the crouch and was able to sprint after him and tackle him from behind before he got to the mound. It was awesome.


I remember this so clearly. Such sad news. May he rest in peace.

#15 OilCanShotTupac


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:26 PM

Hey, I was at that game! I didn't remember that Marzano was the backup catcher, but my recollection is that Clemens gave up back to back bombs to Deer and Incaviglia and then threw at John Shelby's head. Shelby not only charged the mound, he charged the mound with the bat raised in his hand. The backup catcher - Marzano I guess - tackled him before Shelby could get out to the mound and beat Clemens' skull in with the bat. Crowd really was charged up by the violence, of course, but then on top of that the umps tossed Shelby, but not Clemens and then Sparky Anderson went crazy and got tossed. And then the Sox came back and won with Clemens getting the win. Let's see if I can find the boxscore and see if our memories are right...

Yup. Here it is July 6, 1991.

link

Marzano was hitting .300 with a .661 OPS, not much on the secondary skills, but a hell of a tackle and a very memorable game.


I was at that game too. I was about fifteen rows back on the first base side. Tremendous.

A highlight was watching Mo Vaughn and Cecil Fielder sumo in front of the Sox dugout when the benches cleared.

I remember the catcher tackle very clearly, but I didn't know it was Marzano. He was always a class act. Very sad news.

Edited by OilCanShotTupac, 19 April 2008 - 09:27 PM.


#16 pedro1918

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:31 PM

At my first ever Red Sox game, Clemens was pitching and some guy on the Tigers took offense to a HBP and charged the mound. Marzano got up out of the crouch and was able to sprint after him and tackle him from behind before he got to the mound. It was awesome.


I was there too. I was in the old "Roof Box Seats" third base side. That is definitely my Marzano moment.

45. Ugh.

#17 Chuck Schilling

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:37 PM

I was at that game too. I was about fifteen rows back on the first base side. Tremendous.

A highlight was watching Mo Vaughn and Cecil Fielder sumo in front of the Sox dugout when the benches cleared.

I remember the catcher tackle very clearly, but I didn't know it was Marzano. He was always a class act. Very sad news.

I was also at that game, had amazing seats first row right behind the visitors' on deck circle. Shelby got beat up pretty good in that fight, the welts on his face were already starting to swell as he was leaving the field.

#18 drtooth


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:38 PM

From his co-host Vinny Micucci

When you took a walk with "Johnny Marz" for just five minutes through the streets of South Philly, you got a sense of just how many lives he touched.

I spent a lot of time with him and walked away with a huge smile on my face just for having known him. John took me under his wing and treated me as if I were his own son. He always spoke fondly of his former teammates, his loving family and his love of baseball.

He repeatedly used to tell me that his father's best advice to him was: "It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice." He lived every day that way and I will take it with me forever. My heart goes out to his family.

I love him like family and I already miss him.


Vinny



#19 The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:07 AM

John Marzano. That's a name I haven't thought of in a very long time. Makes me feel young just thinking about him. Saw a lot of him in New Britain. Always good with the fans. Had a really cool signature too.

Very sad indeed.

#20 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:17 AM

I was also at that game, had amazing seats first row right behind the visitors' on deck circle. Shelby got beat up pretty good in that fight, the welts on his face were already starting to swell as he was leaving the field.

Center field bleachers for me, and my recollection is that it was hotter than holy hell out there. Also, Clemens quite obviously was throwing at Shelby, and he was throwing at his head. For non-Red Sox fans, it must have seemed a travesty that he remained in the game. He was getting rocked, but he turned it around immediately after the fight.

Marzano was part of a very exciting wave of players that came up in the late 1980s, including Greenwell, Burks, Horn, Reed, Benzinger. I really liked him, and was surprised when he didn't turn out the be a star.

45? That hits home for me. Christ that's young.

#21 amarshal2

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:29 AM

I'll be honest. As it was my first ever Red Sox game, I was like 6 (fake edit: according to Philly's box score I was 8) and the fight broke right after my Dad had put me on his lap (we had obstructed view on the 3b side) and told me to watch how the pro's played the game. My best friend and I fought for about 10 years over whether it was Tony Pena or John Marzano who made that tackle. I was convinced, CONVINCED, that it was Tony Pena while my buddy insisted that it was Marzano. When Baseball Reference came out, I looked it up, and now I owe him like one million dollars. Damn.

edit: I definitely remember Deer's HR (over the monster), Reardon closing the game, and this young rookie named Mo who everyone was very excited about going 2/4.

Edited by amarshal2, 20 April 2008 - 12:30 AM.


#22 Pearl Wilson


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:55 AM

I knew him best from listening to the mlb.com podcasts. I loved his stories and admired his warmth towards all the show's many guests. I'll miss him.

#23 mabrowndog


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:22 AM

Someone put together a tribute video on YouTube...

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.c...></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.c...92ve0qZ8&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

#24 mabrowndog


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:25 AM

And here he is with the Mariners in '96, cleaning Paul O'Neill's clock. What an awesome picture:

Posted Image

#25 ShaneTrot

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:30 AM

This is really sad. He was a good guy and very funny on Philly's Comcast Sportsnet. He did a lot of shows with Michael Barkann. I remember when he was drafted, he went in the first round and Maddux, Glavine and Leiter went in the second.

#26 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:32 AM

ugh, what awful news...so random, falling down stairs?

Early reports say heart attack caused the fall.

His dad died of a heart attack at a similar age.

I remember a card show at the hotel on Beacon Street in Brookline that he was at . . . no one wanted his autograph. We talked for about 2 minutes and I ran out of things to say

#27 knucklecup


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:31 PM

I used to have a Red Sox deck of cards with him on one. Don't remember much else about his baseball career but holy hell, heart attack at 45!? Makes me reevaluate what I'm doing with my life spending so much time sitting here on SoSH...

RIP John Marzano

#28 mabrowndog


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:33 PM

Does anyone know if there was any mention or moment of silence at Fenway prior to today's game?

EDIT - Never mind, just saw they had one last night.

MLB.com

MLB Tribute Page

Edited by mabrowndog, 20 April 2008 - 04:37 PM.


#29 HighHeat


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 05:22 PM

Someone put together a tribute video on YouTube...

Wonder how long it will be before MLB pulls it for "copyright infringement."

RIP, John.

#30 xjack


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:21 PM

He was Roger's little workout buddy pre-Andy Pettitte. Come to think of it...nah, not the place.

#31 Eric1984

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:42 AM

Sad news. And he was so much funnier than that LawTown Fool guy.

Seriously, though, that was a shocker. So young too. I still have his Olympic baseball card somewhere.

#32 mabrowndog


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Posted 22 April 2008 - 05:48 PM

Services scheduled for Friday:

A funeral Mass for former major-league catcher John Marzano will be held Friday at Annunciation BVM Church, 10th and Dickinson Streets in Philadelphia, with burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.

Mr. Marzano, 45, was a former Central High and Temple University star who became a big-league catcher and a sports broadcaster. He died Saturday.

Friends may visit Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. at the Baldi/Pennsylvania Funeral Home, Broad and Reed Streets.

Still no definitive cause of death:

An autopsy was completed yesterday on the body of former major leaguer John Marzano, but laboratory results that could establish a cause of death might not be available for another 2 weeks, the Medical Examiner's Office said.

NY Times obit:

Although Marzano was never a star player, he always exhibited a boisterous penchant for getting on camera — a precursor to his off-the-field career on MLB.com’s video stream.

In an interview Monday, Ellis Burks, a teammate on the Red Sox and a close friend of Marzano’s, said: “He was always cracking jokes, always a prankster. Every time someone would hit a home run or Roger Clemens would strike out the side, Marzano would go sit right beside that player and say he wanted to get some TV time, too.”