"He has been a great friend for a long time," McLaren added. "We were together with the Red Sox in '91 and again in Seattle. I last saw him at the Winter Meetings and talked to him three our four times since then. He was doing so well in his new career."Marzano, who also played for the Rangers during a 10-year MLB career, was in his second season as an on-air personality at MLB.com. Griffin said Marzano's second career fit the former catcher perfectly. "We always teased him about knowing exactly where to be to get on TV during a game," Griffin said. That usually was in the dugout celebration following a Griffey or A-Rod a home run. Marzano used to say that congratulating Junior and and/or Rodriguez was the only way his daughters -- Dominique and Danielle -- could see him. Charlton recalled the time when some fans were razzing Marzano.
"One guy asked Marzy how many home runs he had," Charlton said. "Without missing a beat, he turned around and said, 'Junior and I have combined to hit 50.' Of course, Junior had 49 of them."McLaren recalled that three of Marzano's closest friends in the game were three of the game's biggest names. "I remember telling him that one of the hardest decisions he would ever have to make would be to choose who to have dinner with -- Junior Griffey, A-Rod or [Roger] Clemens," McLaren said. "Knowing him, he'd find a way to have dinner with all three. John was a wonderful person." And he definitely left an impression. "He was a stand-up guy," Charlton said. "He laughed and joked and played around, but ask him a question and you would get an honest answer. He was a working man's player."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.