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Former MLB utilityman Ryan Freel commits suicide

Dec 22, 2012, 10:31 PM EDT

ryan freel getty Getty Images

Via Chad Cushnir of

First Coast News sports director Dan Hicken has learned that Ryan Freel, a Jacksonville native and former Major League Baseball has died at the age of 36.  The cause of death is suicide.

There aren’t many details available at this time.

Freel batted .268/.354/.369 with 143 stolen bases over parts of eight seasons in the major leagues. He played for the Blue Jays, Reds, Orioles, Cubs and Royals before finishing his career with the independent-league Somerset Patriots in 2010.

Freel, who began working with youth baseball players after his retirement, was 36 years old.


UPDATE, 11:05 PM: A couple things to add …

  • SB Nation’s Red Reporter notes that Freel, who had just been named the head baseball coach at St. Joseph Academy in Florida, was a father and a husband.
  • Known for an aggressive, go-all-out style of defense, Freel told reporters in June 2007 that he had already suffered “nine or 10” concussions.
  1. close account - Dec 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I don’t follow baseball – or really any sport for that matter – but when I looked up this individuals name and then saw every picture posted, his face screamed unahppy. I am not sure why – but his pictures did not portray a happy individual. Take a look.

  2. Utley's Hair - Dec 23, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    RIP Ryan Freel, and thoughts and prayers go out to his family, especially, but not solely at this time of year, which is focused so much on family and togetherness. Sadly, some people do feel the need to escape their problems with such a permanent solution. However, by doing this, they leave it all on the people they leave behind to clean up the pieces. A sad, sad story to be sure.

  3. macjacmccoy - Dec 23, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    I dont know why everyone is talking about what can cause someone to resort to suicide. If you read any sports blog over the last few years they will tell you that every suicide is a result of head trauma. Because there’s no way these sports supermen could actually be weak . No way could my cousin had have killed himself over a girl and money bc that means that a sports hero could do the same thing. And that’s just unacceptable there has to be an excuse why the did it..

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