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John Marzano, a former baseball star at
Central High ('81) and Temple and
later an Olympian, major leaguer and TV/radio commentator, passed away 4/19/08
at age 45.
John was the DN City Player of the Year as a senior at Central while his fellow
award-winner, as Pitcher of the Year, was Penn Charter righthander Mark Gubicza.
We began picking All-City teams in '78. Only that one time have both honorees
advanced to the majors.
John was fiercely proud of his South Philly roots, and the entire Delaware Valley
came to embrace him in his "second career" with the media.
We welcome your comments about John, and they'll be posted below.
Please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, we will gladly post pictures. Those may be sent to the same e-mail
address. Thank you very much.
**Go to very bottom of page for a story written about John during his senior year
at Central. He was drafted by Minnesota, but instead attended Temple and was
drafted again by Boston in '84.**
Contributions . . .
John Marzano was simply an amazing person to be around. He was my favorite baseball instructor by far. I only worked with him from about October to January but every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I'd see good ole Johnny Marz with some smart comment, trying to get me to work harder whether it was taking more balls on the tee or working with the medicine ball, he would just make you want to be better. Then while you're focused hard trying to have a good BP session he'd make a joke that would have you cracking up. Not to mention the stories he would tell, with a kool aid smile on his face. Going down to Marzano's was always fun but you knew that you would be working hard and John made sure of that. About five hours before I heard of his tragic death I was discussing with my mom about playing in his Marzano league and I'm still hoping I play in that league and suggest any other high school player to look into that.
Today at the Central vs Gamp game we had a moment of silence for him and I dedicated the game to him. We lost 7-6 which was pretty disappointing but I went 2-4 with two RBIs and I know John was watching me play smiling down on me.
Every game from here on out will be
dedicated to him. He was a truly great person and I send my prayers
to his friends and family Rest In Peace Johnny Marz.
-- Ian Lewis
Yes, Saturday was a sad day with the shocking news that former Major League and South Philly product John Marzano was found dead at the bottom of his South Philadelphia apartment steps. When most people think of Johnny Marz, they think of his fine Major League career and the fact that he came from the “City Of Brotherly Love”. However, when the name Marzano is mentioned to me, I immediately think of his late father, John Sr. Mister Marzano was the epitome of class. He played catch and threw baseballs to his son prior to his Little League playing days. When Johnny was old enough to play organized ball, his dad stepped aside and let the coaches take control of his son. He stood in the background, as far away as possible from his son and never said a word. This continued all through John’s High School, College and Professional playing career. Unfortunately, behavior such as this from parents of today’s players is few and far between. Come on folks. Let your kids play. Have some fun. Not only in baseball but any extra curricular activity involving young men or woman. There are only a small percentage of athletes who will advance to the professional level. If your kid is good, he will be discovered. There’s no need for an adult to interfere while a child is participating in an event. When a youngster signs up to play he immediately learns about, commitment, dedication and discipline. These abstract traits are used in the Real World when an individual becomes an adult. Well, here’s hoping a lesson can be learned by both parents and their children from two people who made our city proud. May they both “REST IN PEACE”!!!
-- Mark "Frog" Carfagno
Johnny Marz, my All-City brother,
Class of '81, you were like no other.
You gave up your childhood to reach your dream,
An Olympian and professional, you were supreme.
South Philadelphia, your home sweet home,
Anybody had an issue, you made it known.
Before you make your trip to heaven,
You'll always be labeled a Philly legend.
An original guy, you were like no other,
You'll always be remember as my All-City brother!
-- Joe Allen, Mastbaum '81
Retired Philles ground crew member
'81 Daily News All-City teammate