Results tagged ‘ Mike Flanagan ’
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.
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.
Today’s a sad day for Baltimore Orioles fans, as on this day in 2011 we lost the late Mike Flanagan. A well-beloved former player and broadcaster, Flanagan’s death is a moment that will nary be forgotten among Orioles fans. On that day I swore that I’d never let this day pass without writing a tribute column of sorts for Flanagan so long as I covered the Orioles.
Please don’t let the passage of time allow you to forget how tough August 24, 2011 (and the subsequent days following) was. The O’s were in Minnesota, and just prior to the game there were reports of a body having been found on Flanagan’s property. As the game wore on the news that many already seemed to fear became official. It was Flanagan himself whose body was found, a victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
None of us who lived through that night will forget the likes of Rick Dempsey and Jim Palmer sorrowfully weaving their way through the MASN postgame show that night. And that moment really shows how close the Orioles family is. All of these guys played together in Baltimore. They adopted the city, and became a part of its fabric. Their families got to know one another, and their kids grew up together.
On this night in 2011, the likes of Palmer, Dempsey, and others lost a brother. And Baltimore lost a friend. Mike Flanagan loved playing here. He loved this community, and he loved raising his kids here. While never far from his New England roots, he became as much a part of Baltimore as crabs and beer.
My hope for the current crop of young Orioles is that they look to that example, and understand what type of organization of which they are a part. It’s an organization who for generations has made family out of total strangers. Look no further than guys like Schoop and Machado, both of whom of course were recently traded. So the likes of Mullins, Nunez, Mancini, and others should take note of the example set by Flanagan, Palmer, and Dempsey. Because closeness with your teammates and your city is never a bad thing.
My hope is that the fans never forget Mike Flanagan. Obviously as time passes he fades further and further into the past. Eventually the generation (my generation) who sat in the grandstand at Memorial Stadium as kids watching him pitch will be old and tired. But there’s another Mike Flanagan out there, ready to find his way to the Orioles, and ready to lead the team back to glory.
The O’s tonight open a four-game set with New York, which features a split-doubleheader tomorrow at Camden Yards. Alex Cobb gets the start tonight for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s CC Sabathia. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.
It’s probably fitting that today is an off day for the Baltimore Orioles, as the franchise marks an anniversary that it would rather not remember. In 2011 I was penning the Birds Watcher column, and the Orioles were in Minnesota on a Tuesday night. Just prior to game time that evening news started to spread of a body found on the property of former Oriole great Mike Flanagan.
And you know the rest. As the game went on it was confirmed that in fact the body was Flanagan’s, and that he was a victim of his own hand. This is a story that affected me very deeply. It’s something that I unfortunately had to write about and cover, but it was about as tough as anything I’ve ever seen as an Orioles writer.
Mike Flanagan was on the Oriole teams that I grew up watching as a child in the 1980’s. He was still of the generation where you played for a team and you moved your family to that city and became part of that community – raising your kids there and all. And until his dying day, Mike Flanagan was proud to call Baltimore home. He was a proud New Englander as well, but he loved Baltimore and he was very much a part of this community.
And that’s part of why it was so tragic that he died the way he did. Part of his issue stemmed from his belief that he had done irreparable harm to the franchise when he was the VP years ago. He felt that he had let Orioles fans down in a sense. Orioles fans, the very people who in reality loved him more than he ever knew.
It would be unfair of me to go into any more detail than that. You all know the story – we all do. However on that day six years ago I swore that so long as I covered this team, I’d always mark the day that Mike Flanagan died with a special article. Few will ever forget the so very honest and sorrowful reactions of his MASN associates that night, or the outpouring of support and love from the Baltimore community in the aftermath.
But there’s a slight redemptive spin on this story as well. 2011 was a lost year. However one year later in 2012, the Orioles returned to glory and returned to the post season for the first time in 14 years. Two seasons later, they won the AL East pennant. And there’s no team with more wins since 2012 than the Baltimore Orioles. Flanagan loved this franchise and this city. He would have been so proud.
Mike Flanagan’s death was tragic. But mind you that the real people who suffered were those who knew and loved him. Not the fans or the people who follow the team. Nevertheless, death is a part of life. And if the number of people who loved Mike Flanagan is any indication, he made a huge impact in this world. Rest in peace Mike, we miss you.