Mike Flanagan December 16, 1951 – August 24, 2011

UPDATE: August 26, 2011. has an Associated Press article which says that Flanagan’s death was a suicide.

Former Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head, the Maryland medical examiner ruled Thursday.

A police investigation revealed that the 59-year-old pitcher was upset about financial issues. He left no note.

Flanagan’s body was found Wednesday afternoon about 250 feet behind his home. An investigation showed he was home alone when he took his life.

Stunning. Simply stunning.

Former Baltimore Oriole, Oriole Hall of Fame member and Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan has passed away at the age of 59.

[Flanagan] spent more than 30 years with the Orioles as a player, coach, front office executive and broadcaster.

Selected by the Orioles in the seventh round of the 1973 amateur draft, Flanagan went on to pitch 18 major league seasons, including parts of 15 with the Orioles. He was a key member of the 1983 world champions, going 12-4 with a 3.30 ERA in the regular season and winning Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Chicago White Sox.

The left-hander won 141 games in his Orioles career, including an American League-leading 23 in 1979, when the Orioles lost the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games.

Flanagan won the American League Cy Young Award that year as the league’s top pitcher and finished sixth in Most Valuable Player voting.

His lone All-Star season was in 1978, when he won 19 games in 40 starts, tied for the most in the league.

When we heard of Flanagan’s death last night, we were stunned. We remember him on the mound at Memorial Stadium and being, well, just being Mike Flanagan.

To explain what that means, read Tim Kurkjian’s piece over at on Flanagan. Kurkjian has a lot of memories of both Flanagan the pitcher, the general manager, but most all, the friend. Like many, Kurkjian remembers Flanagan’s sense of humor.

When Memorial Stadium closed down in 1991, after the game, all the players went to the positions at which they had played for the Orioles. There were two dozen pitchers on the mound when former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey got behind the plate and put down a sign. Dempsey was terrific defensively, and one of the game’s best throwers, but he wasn’t a particularly good game-caller. “All 25 pitchers shook him off,” said Flanagan.

Rest in peace, Mike. You will me missed.

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