News of John Marzano's death shocked us all on Saturday. I was sitting in the 11th row at Citizens Bank Park when I received a text message with the extremely sad news. The exact cause of death is still uncertain but word of a fall down the stairs in his home in South Philadelphia have been reported.
Some will remember Johnny Marz for his lengthy career as a back up catcher for the Red Sox and Mariners but I'll remember him fondly from his days at Comcast Sportsnet and 610 WIP. I can't say I ever had the chance to listen to Marz on his most recent gig with MLB.com but certainly thought he did a great job with his Phillies analysis in years past. Whether it was his guest appearances on the morning show or his Saturday afternoon shows talking everything Phillies, Marz was a Phillies fan willing to call things like he saw them.
Jim Salisbury has a great remembrance piece and I thought it was worth quoting this excerpt.
Yes, everyone in baseball knew where John Marzano was from. Wherever he
went, wherever he played, from Boston to Texas to Seattle, he let it be
known that he was proud to be from South Philadelphia, proud to be from
Central High, proud to be from Temple.
Johnny Marz was the kind of guy you loved representing the Philly sports community. He was a true Philadelphian. He worked hard on the field, played gritty, gave back to the community, knew baseball in and out, and perhaps most importantly, wore his passion for the game on his sleeve.
John Marzano - 1963-2008 [MLB.com Tribute]
A video tribute after the jump.