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CCBL Hall of Famer Flanagan will be Remembered

08/25/2011 10:04 PM

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CAPE COD, Mass. -- The Cape Cod Baseball League is saddened to learn of the death of Mike Flanagan, former Baltimore Orioles pitcher, coach, front office executive and broadcaster, and a member of the Cape League’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2000.
Flanagan, 59, was found dead Wednesday at his suburban Baltimore home.

      The left-hander pitched for 18 seasons with the Orioles (1975-86 and 1991-92) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1988-90). He won the Cy Young Award in 1979 after posting a 23-9 record and a 3.08 ERA. In 1983, he was 12-4 for the World Series champion Orioles. His career record was 167-143 with a 3.90 ERA.

      Flanagan had pitched and played the outfield for the 1972 Falmouth Commodores, compiling a 7-1 record and 2.18 ERA on the mound and batting .286 with seven home runs.

      "The Cape League is in shock and deeply saddened by this news,” said CCBL President Judy Walden Scarfafile. Mike was a star athlete in the Cape League, an outstanding pitcher for Falmouth in 1972. He was inducted into our inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2000. This isa tremendous loss for the entire baseball community and our hearts and prayers go out to the Flanagan family.”

      At his Hall of Fame induction, Flanagan recalled his Cape League days with great fondness. He said that while driving over the Bourne Bridge, memories of his summer on the Cape came flooding back to him. He thanked Falmouth manager Bill Livesey, saying, “He prepared me for anything Earl Weaver could hand out.”

      Orioles manager Buck Showalter, also a Cape League Hall of Famer (class of 2002) said the team learned of Flanagan's death during the game. "We were hoping and praying that it was erroneous," Showalter said.

      In a statement, Orioles Managing Partner Peter Angelos said, "It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan. 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 ball club and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club, I extend my condolences to his wife, Alex; and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall."

      After he retired in 1992, Flanagan served two stints as Orioles pitching coach and was the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations. He and Jim Duquette shared general manager responsibilities for a time, but Flanagan's front-office influence lessened with the 2007 hiring of Andy MacPhail as president of baseball operations.

      In 2010, Flanagan was hired by Mid-Atlantic Sports Network to work as color analyst on Orioles telecasts.

      As the Orioles' game at Minnesota unfolded Wednesday night, color analyst Jim Palmer called the action knowing his good friend, teammate and broadcast partner had passed away. Palmer, a Hall of Famer who played with Flanagan for 10 years, could not hold back tears on air when Flanagan's death was confirmed.

      "We were a family," Palmer said. "I think about who played for the Orioles in the years we did, we understand how lucky we were. He was one of a kind."

      Though Flanagan spent parts of four seasons with the Blue Jays, he finished his career pitching two more seasons with the Orioles, re-casting himself as a successful left-handed reliever. He fulfilled a dream by recording the final two outs by an Orioles pitcher at old Memorial Stadium in 1991.