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Spotlight On ... Chris "Mavo" Mavraedis
The Natural

 

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From Left: Audrey and Bob Sockolov with Liz and Chris Mavraedis (front) at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

 


May 25, 2018
- San Francisco, California

“Perseverance, strength and amazing personal courage.” These are words used to describe Chris Mavraedis by those who know him. Chris is a Bay Area boy, born in the San Francisco Mission district in 1952 directly across from the old Recreation Park, the former ballpark of the San Francisco Seals baseball team. It’s been thought that his love for baseball started there. Growing up in Sunnyvale and Fremont, Chris lived and breathed baseball. When he wasn’t playing the game, he would be collecting baseball cards, spending hours on Strat-O-Matic baseball and devouring, each week’s baseball bible, The Sporting News.  Chris played semi-pro briefly after high school. Realizing his young family needed more regular support, he began college, thus giving up his dream of making a career in baseball.

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Chris pictured with his wife, Liz Mavraedis.

 



In 1986 he met the new love of his life, Elizabeth. They married in 1988 and they will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Together Chris and Liz created a successful computer technology consulting company.  He and Liz attended numerous games and traveled to spring training when they could. In 2003 they moved into a condo directly across from AT&T Park so they could stroll to their beloved Giants games in five minutes.

In 2009, Chris and Liz’s life was turned upside down when Chris was diagnosed with ALS. As he gradually lost his ability to talk, Chris turned to writing. It was through the loss of his voice that Chris found a talent for telling stories, fueled by his passion for baseball.  He began posting on baseball blogs and sending emails to baseball friends. His writing was well received and was featured by Marty Lurie on KNBR and on the CSNBA’s website. Chris’ friend, Bob Sockolov, encouraged Chris for several years to publish some of his writing. In 2016, Bob, his wife Audrey, and their granddaughter, Jill (who is a graphic artist), created a layout for a book. A year later, after much hard work by all involved, Falling in Love With Baseball was published on May 19th, 2017 by Chronicle Books of San Francisco.

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The cover of Falling in Love with Baseball: A collection of e-mails and memories, by Chris Mavraedis.

 



The book consists of 24 chapters, (in honor of the jersey number of Chris’s idol, Willie Mays) and numerous photographs from the Giants archives.  The stories are inspiring, often hilarious, and at times heartrending, that will delight anyone who ever fell in love with baseball. Chris and Bob generously donate a substantial portion of the book’s sale proceeds to the ALS community and the search for effective treatments and a cure.  Additionally, the San Francisco Giants are donating 15% from the sales of the book in their Dugout stores. The friendship between Chris and Bob transcends their shared love of baseball and the many challenges of living with ALS. Their dedication to making a difference to people living with ALS and their families is inspiring.

Recently, Chris had the opportunity to go to spring training in Arizona - his first time in over 10 years. This was his first long trip traveling in his wheelchair, and he writes in his blog with humor about the escapade. His wife and friend ensured he had a fabulous, fun time. “My beautiful wife Liz and our equally beautiful dear friend Sherri Miller worked extremely hard to take care of all the complicated needs of this ALS patient! If I live to 120 I could never thank them often enough!”

Chris and Bob were honored with the Spotlight Award at The ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s 2017 Bay Area Champions for Care and a Cure event. This past April, the duo put on a special event at the Cooperstown SF Baseball Hall of Fame Exhibit by AT&T Park to benefit the Chapter.

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2017 Bay Area Champions for Care and a Cure honorees, Chris Mavraedis and Bob Sockolov.

 


The ALS Association Golden West Chapter salutes Chris Mavraedis for raising his voice via his love of baseball, and for helping to raise public awareness about living with ALS and the impact of the disease on loved ones and caregivers. Information about his book and blog can be found at the website https://mavobooks.com/.

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Second from Right: Chris Mavraedis with The ALS Association Golden West Chapter staff at Cooperstown S.F. in 2018.