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After his playing career, Flanagan worked as the Orioles‘ vice president for baseball operations and executive VP. He teamed with Jim Duquette in the front office from 2005-07 in an effort to make Baltimore a winner.

“We spent hour after hour, day after day, trying to improve the Orioles,” Duquette said late Wednesday night. “What stood out to me was his love for the Orioles and Baltimore. He was just so passionate about trying to get the Orioles back to where they were.”

Duquette said he was “devastated and heartbroken” to learn of Flanagan’s death.

“I just talked to him yesterday,” Duquette said. “He was looking forward to broadcasting the Yankees series coming up.”

In recent years, including this season, Flanagan did color commentary for the team’s TV network, combining his wry sense of humor with a knowledge of the game that came from decades of experience.

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening,” Orioles owner Peter Angelos said in a statement. “In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field. His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him.”

Flanagan grew up in Manchester, N.H., and pitched for the University of Massachusetts before being drafted by the Orioles in the seventh round of the 1973 draft. He made his major league debut in 1975. From 1977 through 1983, he made more starts (223) than any pitcher in the American League and was third in wins (109) during that span.