|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|
John Robert Marzano (February 14, 1963 - April 19, 2008), commonly referred to as "Johnny Marz", was an American professional baseball catcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners, from 1987 to 1992 and 1995 to 1998. Generally utilized as a backup catcher, Marzano was a member of division champions with the 1988 and 1990 Red Sox, and the 1997 Mariners, for whom he posted a .287 batting average. During his playing days, he stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall, weighing 185 pounds (84 kg). Marzano batted and threw right-handed.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Marzano graduated from its Central High School, and briefly attended Holy Family College, studying radiologic technology. He attended Temple University, where he played catcher for the Owls' baseball team from 1982 to 1984. In 1982, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Marzano finished his collegiate career with a .413 batting average. Named an All-American by three different organizations in 1984, he batted .448, with 15 home runs, and 61 RBI. Marzano finished his career as the all-time Temple University leader in batting average, slugging percentage, and home runs.
In the 1984 Major League Baseball draft, Marzano was selected in the first round, 14th overall, by the Boston Red Sox of the American League (AL) and was a member of the silver medal-winning Team USA at the 1984 Olympic Games.
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, It occurred after O'Neill complained to the umpire about a pitch from reliever was high and inside; the ensuing brawl in the eighth inning resulted in six ejections , including Marzano's own.
In later years, Marzano was a frequent 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. Marzano also appeared often on AT&T Daily News Live with Michael Barkann, on Comcast SportsNet. The Marzano Baseball Academy, founded in 1991, bears his name.
Marzano died unexpectedly, April 19, 2008, 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 Marzano may have suffered a heart attack, but the Medical Examiner's Office revealed in its July 17 report that Marzano's death was actually caused by positional asphyxia, due to 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. Marzano is survived by his wife, two daughters, and two grandchildren. He is buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.