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Orioles great Mike Flanagan found dead outside home

Aug 24, 2011, 9:42 PM EST

mike flanagan card

Tragic news out of Monkton, Maryland.

According to Baltimore’s WBAL 11, former Orioles pitcher, broadcaster and front office executive Mike Flanagan was reportedly found dead on a trail outside his home shortly before 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.

There aren’t many other details available at the moment and the Orioles have not issued a public comment on the unfortunate news.

That should change before the night is through.

Flanagan played basketball and baseball as a youth at UMass-Amherst. He was selected by the Orioles in the seventh round of the 1973 draft and made his debut as a starting pitcher in Baltimore on September 27, 1975.

Flanagan registered a 167-143 record, a 3.90 ERA and 1,491 strikeouts during an impressive 18-year major league career that lasted until 1992.

In 1979, Flanagan earned the American League Cy Young Award after posting a superb 23-9 record, 3.08 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 190/70 K/BB ratio across 265 2/3 innings (38 starts). He found a job in the Baltimore front office soon after hanging up his cleats for good and eventually worked his way up to the position of general manger — or, as the Orioles call it, executive vice president of baseball operations.

Flanagan also did some broadcasting of O’s games for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. He was 59.

UPDATE, 10:37pm: The Baltimore Sun has more details now, along with reaction from old teammates.

UPDATE, 10:46pm: The Orioles have confirmed the tragic news, according to the Sun‘s Dan Connolly.

UPDATE, 10:51pm: Brent Harris of Comcast SportsNet heard from a source that “early indications of Mike Flanagan’s death point to suicide.” Michael Jenkins, also of Comcast SportsNet, passed along the report.

UPDATE, 11:03pm: The Associated Press has a bit more on Flanagan’s death, which has been confirmed.

  1. bhindenemylines - Aug 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    “Flanagan played basketball and baseball as a youth at UMass-Amherst before moving on to Harvard and earning his degree.”

    Worst reporting EVER. Mike never went to Harvard and he never finished his degree.

    • Drew Silva - Aug 24, 2011 at 10:14 PM

      Apologies. Saw that a few different places.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 25, 2011 at 7:31 AM

        He also pitched for the Blue Jays for 4 seasons.

  2. randomdigits - Aug 24, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    We have officially reached the low point in a lost season.

    • Panda Claus - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:19 AM

      The mistake most people make is when they announce they’ve reached “rock bottom”, but don’t really know that for sure.

      Moments like this make me forget there’s even a baseball season still in progress.

      For us O’s fans, Flanagan really was a beloved figure. He was a key player during much of the team’s last successful run. He tried to make a go of it in the organization’s front office and was a color commentator on the TV broadcast team up until his passing.

      He wanted so badly for the Orioles to be relevant again. Sadly, when they do taste success again, Mike Flanagan won’t be around to share it with us.

      • randomdigits - Aug 25, 2011 at 8:02 AM

        Love ya Panda but can it get worse then this?

        “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.””

        I had time earlier in the year to brace myself if something had happened to Brooks, but this?

      • Panda Claus - Aug 25, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        Randomdigits, I really hope it doesn’t get worse than this.

        Simplistically, that was my intended original point. As bad as things seemed with the sinking record of the team, all of that feels relatively unimportant in relation to this kind of news.

  3. bhindenemylines - Aug 24, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    Yeah, see. They deleted that line. “Thumbs down”??? I think not.

    • motherscratcher23 - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:29 AM

      Dude, get over yourself. Which one are you anyway…Woodward or Berstein?

      Silva made a mistake, corrected it, and acknowledged it. What else do you want?

      What the hell is wrong with you anyway?

      • bhindenemylines - Aug 25, 2011 at 10:40 AM

        Well when a member of your family dies, one that you have idolized for as long as you can remember, and the 1st thing you read about it has the facts wrong, let me know how you feel; okay jerk???

        m!m

      • indaburg - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        People are “thumbing you down” because there’s a polite way to point out an error and a d-bag way of pointing out an error. You chose the latter.

        Chill.

        RIP Mike Flanagan.

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 24, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Remember that excellent season he had in “79 very well, heart goes out to his family.

    • cur68 - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:38 AM

      Yeah, what ‘harry said goes for me too. Mike Flanagan always seemed like a decent person. The Orioles, and baseball fans in general, will miss him.

      • Panda Claus - Aug 25, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        I never met him, but watching the local MASN broadcast last night and seeing how none of those folks he worked with could hold it together tells me this was one special guy that most of us never were lucky enough to know.

  5. joeflaccosunibrow - Aug 24, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    His pitching commentary during games was great.
    I posted about the black cloud on Eutaw St a couple days ago. Yikes!
    This passing follows the passing of another lost season by my Orioles.

  6. rcg365 - Aug 24, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    I hate to see an old Vet Go smh.

  7. hoopmatch - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    I don’t watch many Orioles games (having MLB.TV) but Flanagan was always interesting to listen to when I did. I’m hard of hearing, and many color announcer’s voices aren’t good for me. But Flanagan’s voice was easy to understand.

  8. jaysfan64 - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    What I’ll remember about Flanagan is the 11 innings he pitched against Jack Morris of the Tigers in that horrid 7 game skid in 87 when the Jays blew the division lead…after Jimy Williams pulled him the Jays lost…but Flanagan was brilliant in that game….Morris said afterwards that he knew they wouldn’t beat Flanagan – they had to “survive” him…pitchers just don’t turn in those kinds if performances anymore….a terrible time not only for baseball and the Orioles but an unspeakable tragedy for the man’s family…God bless them and keep them through this…Flanny, RIP – you were a winner…..

  9. paulsdamnblog - Aug 25, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    I’m a life long Phillies fan, but where I grew up, I got to see a lot of O’s games on TV and always liked Flanagan. He was a good man and will be missed.

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