- Associated Press - Thursday, August 25, 2011

BALTIMORE — The death of former Cy Young Award winner MikeFlanagan has been ruled a suicide.

The Maryland medical examiner said Flanagan, 59, died Wednesday of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.

His body was found about 250 feet behind his home in Monkton, Md. An investigation showed he was home alone and that Flanagan was upset about financial issues. He left no note.

Flanagan‘s wife last spoke to her husband about 1 a.m. on Wednesday, police said. She told police he sounded upset and promised he would talk to her later.

When she did not hear from Flanagan, she called a neighbor to check on him. The neighbor went to the home and called 911 after failing to find him.

Flanagan served the Baltimore Orioles as a pitcher, front office executive and television broadcaster.

“I am so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. He was a good friend and teammate,” said Hall of Fame third baseman Cal Ripken Jr., a former teammate of Flanagan‘s. “… Mike was an Oriole through and through and he will be sorely missed by family, friends and fans. This is a sad day.”

Flanagan was a crafty left-hander who went 167-143 with a 3.90 ERA over 18 seasons with Baltimore and Toronto. He didn’t possess an overpowering fastball, but won a fair share of games by depending on a slow curve, a sinker and a changeup.

An All-Star in 1978, Flanagan received the Cy Young Award with the Orioles in 1979 after going 23-9 with a 3.08 ERA and five shutouts. The Orioles lost the World Series that year in seven games to Pittsburgh.

“He’s one of our family. A great friend, competitor, whit, funny, hysterical, talented,” former teammate and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer said after doing the Orioles‘ telecast Wednesday night in Minneapolis. “He was a breath of fresh air with his humor, his insight all those things. He was just a terrific guy.”

Flanagan played for Baltimore’s 1983 championship team, finishing 12-4 despite missing nearly three months with ligament damage in his left knee.

He was 141-116 with Baltimore and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame. Flanagan was also the final Oriole to pitch at Memorial Stadium, Baltimore’s home from 1954-1991.

“Since the day I was given the number 46 I’ve had thousands of people tell me that that was the number of their favorite pitcher for the Orioles when they were growing up,” Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie said. “From Day One I think I’ve been reminded of the legacy and the work that Mike did not only as a player, but as a member of the community in Baltimore.”

Flanagan’s career with Toronto was not as profound. Traded from Baltimore to the Blue Jays on August 31, 1987, for pitchers Oswaldo Peraza and Jose Mesa, he went 3-2 with Toronto that season, then 13-13 and 8-10.

He signed as a free agent with Baltimore in 1991 and pitched out of the bullpen during his final two seasons.

Story Continues →