RIP: Mike Flanagan

Today we lost former Cy Young Award winner, Mike Flanagan who passed away at the age of 59.  Flanagan won the American League Cy Young in 1979 and finished his career with 167 career wins.  He may have never been a serious threat for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but he is a member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.  Flanagan was only 59 years old.
Last modified on Thursday, 19 March 2015 18:47

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0 #3 Darryl Tahirali -0001-11-30 00:00
Committee Chairman, that is what I'-) read: financial troubles. In this economy, that is not surprising-- even for someone who might be assumed to be "succes sful." I'm sure there are other factors.

Don't forget that only a few weeks before Flanagan, Hideki Irabu had committed suicide too, this one apparently involving marital problems. Irabu didn't even have a Flanagan-typ e career, but the hype and playing for Steinbrenner 's Yankees was surely pressure over and above playing in the US and dealing with the language barrier.

Flanagan posted a career ERA+ of 100--exactly league-avera ge, so, no, he was never a Hall threat. (Looking it up, I see that Flanagan was a one-and-done : In his first year of eligibility, he received exactly two votes.)

I don't mean to sound callous. Flanagan did something exceptional: He sustained a career in major-league baseball, and he even earned some lasting recognition by winning the Cy Young*. That is an accomplishme nt that untold numbers could never attain.

*Not to nitpick, but in hindsight it looks as if in 1979 Dennis Eckersley, as a starting pitcher, might have been the League's top pitcher. The difference might be that Flanagan' ;s Orioles went to the World Series, but Eckersley 9;s Red Sox did not.
0 #2 Committee Chairman -0001-11-30 00:00
just read that too..... Apparently financial troubles were part of it too. Sad, one of my faves back in the day.
0 #1 Knuckles -0001-11-30 00:00
Ruled a suicide. There has been speculation the criticism he was receiving about the Orioles was getting to him. Very sad, regardless.

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