Ron Smith calls getting Ravens game ball a 'tonic'

The Baltimore Sun

Long-time WBAL talk-show host Ron Smith said Sunday night that being awarded the Baltimore Ravens game ball after the team's win over the Cleveland Browns was a "tonic."

Smith, who is in home hospice after ending chemotherapy for Stage Four pancreatic cancer that has metastasized throughout his body, said in a telephone interview after news of the award that Sunday had been an "extraordinarily tough day" in terms of his health.

But after "the Ravens win and the [coach John Harbaugh] press conference and what [Ravens announcer] Gerry Sandusky said on the air, it was a tonic," Smith said in a telephone interview. "For a moment, I feel better."

Smith said he spoke on the phone to Harbaugh Friday and told him how much the "Ravens mean to the community."

Harbaugh told reporters last night that he brought that message to his team in their meeting Saturday night before Sunday's 24-10 victory over the Browns.

You can hear Harbaugh making the award of the ball to Smith here.

And you can hear WBAL play-by-play announcer Gerry Sandusky interviewing Harbaugh about the game ball and Smith's message to the team here.

You can read the Sun's report of award out of Cleveland Sunday night here.

Commenting on the game ball, the tributes and the conversations with Harbaugh that she and her husband had, Smith's wife, June, said, "It's kind of hard to top all of that."

June Smith said friends and colleagues continue to arrive at the Smith home in Shrewsbury (PA).

"We stopped counting at 26," she said of the number of visitors Saturday.

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