Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Baseball Suicide: Pitcher Mike Flanagan
A Major League Baseball champion and award-winning former Baltimore Orioles great was found dead Wednesday, August 24, 2011, apparently from suicide.
Former Orioles pitcher and general manager Mike Flanagan was found dead on his northern Baltimore County property, WBAL-TV 11 Sports Director Gerry Sandusky confirmed through multiple sources close to Flanagan. He was 59.
Flanagan's body was found outside his house in the 15000 block of York Road in Monkton shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Sheldon Dutes reported from the scene that police had blocked the driveway to the property.
Police did not immediately identify the cause of death, but sources confirmed that Flanagan took his own life "despondent over what he considered a false perception from a community he loved of his role in the team's prolonged failure," Sandusky said.
The soft-spoken and well-liked left-hander grew over the years into a fixture in the Orioles organization. From 2002-08 Flanagan shared or held the top baseball executive position in the organization. During that time Flanagan, according to those closest to him, struggled with not being able to the job the way he wanted to do it, Sandusky said.
A relative confirmed that Flanagan has wrestled for some time now with the perception of fans and colleagues alike of his role in the team's failures. Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos issued the following statement at about 10:45 p.m.: "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."
Baltimore County police and fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost told WBAL-TV 11 News that police officers discovered a man's body alongside a trail in Monkton late Wednesday afternoon. Armacost did not identify the man.
Police were called to the area for "a person with a suspicious condition." When officers arrived at the scene, they found the man's body along a trail on the property, Armacost said. Police declined to speak about the manner of death until the investigation is complete.
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