Tests: Fall didn't kill Marzano

April 21, 2008 4:42:34 AM PDT
Former Major Leaguer and sports broadcaster John Marzano has died at the age of 45. Marzano, a native of South Philadelphia, was found dead inside his home on Passyunk Avenue.

A family member called police Saturday to break down the door shortly before noon, officials said. It appeared as though Marzano fell down the stairs.

An autopsy has not revealed the cause of John Marzano's death. But the medical examiner said Sunday that Marzano did not die from falling down the stairs in his South Philadelphia home. The medical examiner is now awaiting lab tests that will hopefully shed more light on what killed the 45-year-old former major leaguer.

He graduated from Philadelphia's Central High School. Marzano went on to play college baseball at Temple University, where he was inducted into the Temple's Hall of Fame.

Marzano played catcher for the Owls from 1982 to 1984 before getting drafted in the 1st round, 14th overall, in the 1984 entry draft by the Boston Red Sox.

He also played for the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners before retiring in 1998.

After baseball, Marzano began a career in broadcasting, working for 610 WIP on radio and Comcast Sports Net on television. He was a frequent guest on Phillies post-game live.

"John was one of those rare persons who put a smile on your face the moment you saw him. He was joyous and he was proud," said Comcast's Michael Barkann, who co-hosted many of the postgame shows with Marzano. "You always knew when John was in the room. You never asked, 'When'd you get here, Johnny?' He always made an entrance, and it was big and it was loud and it was full of joy."

Marzano was in his first year of work with Major League Baseball's BaseballChannel.tv. He co-hosted Leading Off with Vinny Micucci every weekday morning.

"John was a beloved member of our team, a personable, terrific friend to all with whom he worked," said Bob Bowman, chief executive officer of MLB Advanced Media. "He was an engaging, informed interviewer. His energy, knowledge of the game and comedic touch produced admirable results. We miss him dearly already."

In a statement announcing his death, MLB said Marzano had fallen. MLB.com will establish an internship program in Marzano's name, the release said.

Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer played three seasons with Marzano in Seattle and remained friends with him.

"He was a lot of fun to be around," Moyer said after facing the New York Mets on Saturday. "He was the brunt of a lot of jokes, but he could dish it out too. He always used to call everybody, 'Cuz.' He'll be missed."

Marzano is survived by his wife, Terri, daughters Dominique and Danielle, and two grandchildren.

(Copyright ©2008 WPVI-TV/DT and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)