John Robert Marzano (February 14, 1963 – April 19, 2008), commonly referred to as "Johnny Marz", was an American catcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1987 to 1998 for the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners, generally as a backup catcher. He was a member of division champions with the 1988 and 1990 Red Sox and the 1997 Mariners, when he batted .287.
|Born: February 14, 1963|
|Died: April 19, 2008 (aged 45)|
|July 31, 1987, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 23, 1998, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||72|
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marzano graduated from its Central High School, and briefly attended Holy Family College, studying radiologic technology. He then attended Temple University, where he played catcher for the Owls' baseball team from 1982 to 1984. In the 1984 Major League Baseball draft, he was selected fourteenth overall by the Boston Red Sox of the American League.
As a reserve catcher with the Mariners in 1996, Marzano became a cult hero in Seattle when he threw a haymaker at New York Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill during a game in the Kingdome on Wednesday, August 28. It occurred after O'Neill complained to the umpire about a pitch from reliever Tim Davis was high and inside; the ensuing brawl in the eighth inning resulted in six ejections.
In later years, Marzano was the usual guest of Phillies Post Game Live on Comcast SportsNet. He co-hosted a show with Rob Charry on Saturdays, and was also a regular guest on WIP's morning show. He also commonly appeared on AT&T Daily News Live with Michael Barkann on Comcast SportsNet.
Marzano died unexpectedly at age 45 at his home on Passyunk Avenue in the city's South Philadelphia neighborhood. He was found after having fallen down a flight of stairs. It was originally speculated that he may have suffered a heart attack, but the Medical Examiner's Office reported on July 17 that his death was actually caused by positional asphyxia after the way his body landed after the fall. His last public appearance was on Daily News Live on Thursday, April 17, from the Wachovia Center. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and two grandchildren. He is buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.
- Marzano Baseball Academy
- "Mariners outslug Yanks, at least in the game itself". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. August 29, 1996. p. 3B.
- "M's take fight from New York". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. August 29, 1996. p. C1.
- The Official Site of Major League Baseball: Radio: MLB Radio Hosts
- "Former major leaguer John Marzano dies at 45 in Philadelphia". Associated Press. 2008-04-19. Archived from the original on April 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- Medical examiner says a fall killed John Marzano | Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/18/2008 Archived August 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.