Orioles Great Mike Flanagan Found Dead at Maryland Home

Thursday, Aug 25, 2011  |  Updated 5:12 PM EDT
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Orioles Great Flanagan Found Dead at Md. Home

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Pitcher Mike Flanagan pitching against the Oakland Athletics on May 8, 1991.

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One of Baltimore’s best and most beloved players of all time passed away Wednesday afternoon.

Mike Flanagan was found dead outside his Maryland home. He was 59.

The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide by a shotgun wound to the head.

Flanagan's wife, Alex, was out of town and said whe talked to her husband at about 1 a.m. Wednesday and he sounded upset but promised to talk to her late that day. When she couldn't get in touch with him, she called a neighbor to check on him. The neighbor called police when she couldn't find him.

The investigation revealed that Flanagan had financial concerns, police said. He did not leave a note.

Flanagan pitched for the Orioles from 1975-1987 before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. He returned to Baltimore as a free agent in 1991 and pitched two more seasons before retiring.

In his seasons with the Orioles, Flanagan went 141-116 with a 3.89 ERA.

The high point of his career came in 1979, when he led the American League with 23 wins on his way to the Cy Young Award.

He also helped Baltimore defeat the Philadelphia Phillies to capture the 1983 World Series.

After he retired, Flanagan served as a pitching coach, broadcaster and general manager for the Orioles.

Fellow players, analysts and fans are heartbroken over the loss of who they call one of funniest baseball players they’ve ever met.

ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian said, “He was the wittiest, sharpest, most clever baseball player I've ever seen, a guy who -- no matter the subject -- always provided perspective and context, usually wrapped in a laugh.”

Right now, police have not identified the cause of Flanagan’s death.

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