On this day in 2011 I said that so long as I penned a Baltimore Orioles’ column I’d remember August 24th. That was the evening that we learned of the untimely death of former Oriole Mike Flanagan. It’s a day that few people who follow the Birds will ever forget.
The Birds were in Minnesota, and the story of Flanagan’s death in essence unfolded as the game played out that night. It wasn’t until after the game that the Orioles and MASN television acknowledged Flanagan’s death. And that was by design.
This affected anyone who knew what Flanagan meant to the organization. Mike loved being an Oriole during his playing days. And he loved being affiliated with the organization after he retired. He spent numerous years in roles such as pitching coach, Vice-President of Baseball Ops, and of course as a broadcaster. He was beloved by the fans.
And he’s missed by the fans. His dry New England wit was unparalleled. But of course the reason he was so loved is because he was a great Oriole to begin with. Famously he was the last Oriole to pitch at Memorial Stadium. That means something. And it was done by design. He loved the Orioles and he loved the fans. And the fans loved him back.
So to Mike Flanagan’s family, I hope they know that Orioles fans are thinking of them today. These types of anniversaries are never easy. But they also help to remember the person. And no matter how he was connected to you, Mike Flanagan was someone you’d want to remember. May he rest in eternal peace.