Note: The gang back at the CSN office did a nice job putting together a tribute for Johnny Marz. For those of us who grew up dreaming of glory as an athlete, there was nothing more impressive than the Olympian. Oh sure, big leaguers were cool because they got to travel around the country from city to city to play games. To be a pro in some sport was always the goal of every kid. But pro athletes are one of many. To be an Olympian is to be a part of a very select group. Olympians are the best of the best. Moreover, Olympians are chosen once every four years. That just adds to aura. John Marzano was an Olympian. A member of the first U.S. Olympic baseball team in 1984, Marzano's teammates were former Major League MVPs and All-Stars Mark McGwire, Will Clark, Barry Larkin and B.J. Surhoff. That team finished second to Japan in the Los Angeles games, but the title of Olympian was not lost on Marzano. Though he spent 10 seasons as a backup catcher in the Major Leagues and 16 years in pro ball, Marzano seemed the most proud that he was an Olympian. Almost as proud of his baseball academy where he taught kids the right way to play the game that had been so good to him. Mythical, impressive, teacher, Philadelphian, Olympian. That was John Marzano. Marzano, a native of South Philadelphia, was found dead inside his home on Passyunk Ave. in the city today. He was just 45. It was in his home, the report states, that a family member called police to break down the door where Marzano apparently fell. Marzano reportedly fell down a flight of stairs in his home, but the cause of his death was not immediately clear, police said. Marzano graduated from Philadelphia's Central High School and Temple University, where he was a member of the school's athletic Hall of Fame. As a catcher for Temple, Marzano earned a spot on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team before being drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round (14th overall pick) of the 1984 draft. Marzano played in the big leagues for the Red Sox, Rangers and Mariners. He also played in the minors for the Indians and Phillies organizations. He also played for the U.S.A. Better yet and more impressive than all of that was how easily and readily Marzano made friends. At the ballpark or in the newsroom at Comcast SportsNet, Marzano knew everyone. Even more amazing was how well he knew everyone - from the top to the bottom, anyone who came into contact with Johnny Marz! as he was affectionately known, was always greeted with a quick smile, pat on the back and a pointed joke delivered directly and personally. It was a joke meant just for you specially delivered from Johnny Marz. "You always knew when John was in the room," said Michael Barkann, the host of many of the shows on Comcast SportsNet in which Marzano appeared. "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." Most important of all, Marzano was a husband to Terri and a father to Dominique and Danielle as well as a grandfather. For that, The Olympian will be missed most of all.