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Sports world shocked by baseball great's suicide

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 27th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Baltimore Orioles, along with the rest of the sports world is still reeling from shock and disbelief at the word of former pitcher Mike Flanagan's suicide. Officials at the scene confirmed his demise at his Baltimore home. Police say that they are waiting for a ruling from the medical examiner on the circumstances surrounding the death.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was a highly tragic end of an illustrious career on the baseball diamond. Flanagan had pitched for 18 seasons with the Orioles, 1975-87 and 1991-92 and the Toronto Blue Jays through 1988-90.

The "southpaw" had won the Cy Young Award in 1979 after posting a 23-9 record and a 3.08 ERA. In 1983, Flanagan went 12-4 for the World Series champion Orioles. In 1991, he was part of a no-hitter with starter Bob Milacki, middle reliever Mark Williamson, and closer Gregg Olson at Oakland. Flanagan had a career record of 167-143 and a 3.90 ERA.
 
"It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening," Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos said in a statement. 

"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."

Former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey expressed his dismay with his colleagues' passing. "It's just shock right now," "I know everybody that played with him loved him to death. He was the backbone of that pitching staff. He never quit - this guy never quit. He was there for the duration. We had so many great games and so many great times. I just can't believe it."

Following his retirement in 1992, Flanagan served two stints as Orioles pitching coach and was the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. Jim Duquette and Flanagan shared general manager responsibilities for a time. Flanagan's influence lessened with the 2007 hiring of Andy MacPhail as president of baseball operations.

Flanagan was hired by Mid-Atlantic Sports Network to work as a color analyst on Orioles telecasts last year.

News of his passing came as the Orioles' game at Minnesota unfolded Wednesday night. Color analyst Jim Palmer, a Hall of Famer who played with Flanagan for 10 years, could not hold back tears when Flanagan's death was confirmed after the game.

"We were a family," Palmer said. "I think about who played for the Orioles in the years we did, we understand how lucky we were. He was one of a kind."

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