August 24th is a day that Baltimore Orioles’ fans will likely never forget. In 2011 the team was in Minnesota on a road trip. As that evening’s game unfolded, news from back in Baltimore started coming in of a body being found on the Baltimore County property of former Oriole Mike Flanagan.
At some point during the game local police confirmed that the body was that of Flanagan. The next few days were a blur for Orioles fans. At that point in time Mike Flanagan was a color analyst for Orioles games on MASN. But obviously his entire adult life had been dedicated to the Baltimore Orioles.
On that day I swore that so long as I penned and Orioles’ column I’d always remember the late Mike Flanagan on this day. He was the very heart and soul of the team and perhaps the city through some very magical years. He was witty and had a charm about him that was symptomatic of his New England upbringing.
Flanagan also came from a time when athletes moved themselves to the city in which they played. That doesn’t really happen any longer. Some do that, but not many. So Flanagan and his family lived amongst the fans. His kids went to school with your kids and so forth. He was very much a member of the greater Baltimore community much more so than just playing for the Orioles.
I suppose I’ll never forget the way that this horrible news was received by Orioles fans and the Baltimore community. There was an outpouring of support both for and from the Orioles themselves, and from fans all over when the team returned from Minnesota that weekend. And my hope is that Mike Flanagan is never forgotten. He was a great Oriole, and remains so in death.
Some events rock the world. This one very much did for Orioles fans. Mike Flanagan will always remain a focus in the Orioles’ story over time. While his death sent shock waves across Baltimore, my hope is that Orioles fans just remain grateful that he came their way.