Thursday, August 25, 2011

RIP, Mike Flanagan

Sad and shocking news out of Baltimore last night when it was revealed that former Orioles star Mike Flanagan had died as the result of an apparent suicide. At first it was reported that a body was found on Flanagan's property and it was later revealed it was the one time Orioles ace. Police would not give any specific details of the death of Flanagan, who was just 59.

The southpaw was one of the best pitchers in baseball during the period from 1977 - 1984 and won the AL Cy Young Award in 1979 when he went 23-9, 3.08 with 190 strikeouts and a league high five shutouts. He also finished sixth in the AL MVP voting and helped the Orioles win the World Series over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also earned a ring when the Orioles topped the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1983 Series.

Flanagan was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays at the 1987 trade deadline, but returned to Baltimore for the final two seasons (1991-1992) of his 18 year career. Once his playing career was over Flanagan worked in the Orioles front office, as the team's pitching coach and was among the Orioles' broadcasters. Orioles owner Peter Angelos released the following statement:

"It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening. In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field. His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club, I extend my condolences to his wife, Alex; and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall."

UPDATE - Flanagan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He left no note.

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