Mike Flanagan’s sudden death tonight prompted many in Baltimore, especially those in Orioles circles, to react and reflect on what Flanagan meant to them. On a sad night, many are finding some comfort by remembering Flanagan for who he was; a great man who was a hero for Baltimore.
Both on and off the baseball field, Mike Flanagan had a profound impact on this city, and the lives of people around him.
WNST.net gives us a great roundup of quotes from those closest to Flanagan, ranging from Cal Ripken Jr. to Peter Angelos. One statement I found particularly touching was Jim Palmer’s:
It wasn’t just about what happened on the field. He was one of a kind. I’m sorry for the people that knew him. It’s devastating.”
Even current Orioles players were feeling the loss. Adam Jones tweeted that the “O’s family, fans, supporters lost a great man today in Mike Flanagan.” Chris Jakabauskas posted a similar tweet, and Jeremy Guthrie, the current holder of Flanagan’s #46 jersey, reflected on what the number means to him [all sic]:
From day I was given #46 as Oriole,the fans always reminded me of the legacy Mike Flanagan left behind. This is a sad day for #Orioles family
Even those outside Baltimore were impacted by Flanagan’s passing. Legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons posted on Twitter regarding “Flanny”:
As devasted as we all are, Mike Flanagan’s life wasn’t wasted, it made most of us what we wouldn’t have been without him.
In a great tribute post,Tony Pente at Orioles Hangout reflects on Flanagan’s life and his love for the Orioles. Tony closes out his post with a phenomenal paragraph that will touch all Orioles fans:
I know there’s a ballgame going on up in the heavens tonight. Flanny will take the mound to the roar of the crowd. He’ll look in for the sign and see Elrod Hendricks smile through his mask before putting down one finger for the heater. Mark Belanger will lean forward on the balls of his feet as Flanagan begins his windup. Cal Ripken Sr. will move to the top of the steps of the dugout to get a better look as Flanagan releases his fastball. As Flanny releases the ball he’ll realize it was his heater of his youth, and as Wild Bill Hagy looks on with his feet propped up on his beer cooler in section 34, the ball will find the mitt after it passes the black of the plate.
After tonight’s game, Jim Hunter discussed Flanagan’s death with Buck Showalter, and understandably, both men became emotional as they remembered the former Orioles great. Even Amber Theoharis struggled to stay composed in the studio. From Buck:
He’s just impacted so many lives, including myself. Sitting in my office drinking coffee with him, and, it’s tough…He made great use of his time on this Earth, and you know, we’ll miss him. We’ll miss him.
Stay with BSR for more reactions on this tragic story.