Robert Belanger, son of Mark, dead at 47

BALTIMORE — Robert J. Belanger, son of former city native and Baltimore Orioles shortstop Mark Belanger, died on Jan. 2. He was 47.

Belanger died of prostate cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Center in Towson, Md., according to the Baltimore Sun.

Robert Belanger is best known to many in Pittsfield as the son of Pittsfield High School athletic star Mark. But in the Baltimore area, he carved out his own legacy, as a popular church volunteer, musician, businessman and the co-founder of a non-profit to raise money for children's cancer treatment.

The non-profit, called the Cool Kids Campaign, was founded by Belanger and several other individuals in the wake of the death of Mark Belanger in 1998. Mark Belanger, a longtime smoker, died of lung cancer.

The Cool Kids Campaign, according to its website,, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with cancer and their families. Robert Belanger served as president and chairman of the board.

Robert Belanger spent a considerable portion of his childhood in the Orioles clubhouse with his father, according to the Sun obituary. Lean and angular like his father, he was a promising baseball player, and like his father, an infielder. He played second base at Towson State. But a shoulder injury curtailed a potentially promising baseball career.

Belanger was also a talented musician. In his teens and early 20s, he was the guitarist and lead singer of a popular local Baltimore band, Burst of Silence.

Later, he served as musical director for his church, the Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Md.

According to the Catholic Review, more than 1,500 people attended his memorial service on Saturday.

Reach staffer Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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