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Ravens will honor Mo Gaba with special stadium section, end-zone design at season opener

Superfan Mo Gaba might be gone, but he won’t be forgotten Sunday in Baltimore.

The memory of the Baltimore sports fanatic, who died of cancer in late July at age 14, will be honored inside M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens will kick off their season against the Cleveland Browns without fans in attendance.

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The Ravens have filled one section of their stadium with 575 photo cutouts of Gaba, who first gained notoriety by calling into local sports radio stations. Another cutout of his mother, Sonsy, will join them in what the team is calling “Mo’s Rows.”

In one end zone, the team also painted gold the “MO” in “BALTIMORE.” Sonsy was invited to help apply the final brushstrokes of paint to her son’s name in the end zone.

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“It’s hard to believe that my son left behind a legacy, and it was just being himself,” Sonsy said in a team-produced video. “He did nothing out of the ordinary, and what he did in 14 years of his life, I can’t help but be proud of him. ... Seeing his name in the end zone at this game, it’s going to be a great moment. I’m looking forward to it.”

A Glen Burnie resident, Gaba became the first person to announce an NFL draft pick via braille last year. The selection, Oklahoma offensive lineman Ben Powers, is now in his second year with the Ravens. Gaba was also elected into the Orioles' Hall of Fame as the second recipient of The Wild Bill Hagy Award, given to “fans who have inspired others with their devotion to the team, and demonstrated an exceptional commitment in support of the Orioles.”

“The world has lost a beautiful spirit and a shining light,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement after Gaba’s death. "With his infectious laugh, amazing love of life and love of Baltimore sports, Mo captured the hearts of not only our organization, but the entire state of Maryland.

“We send heartfelt condolences to his mother, Sonsy, who will always be part of our family.”

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