Reporting Mike Schuh
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SPARKS, Md. (WJZ)– Orioles fans are still in disbelief. One of the most popular pitchers in team history, who helped guide the Birds to their last World Series championship, is found dead near his Baltimore County home.
Police tell Mike Schuh, he committed suicide.
What happened way up on York Road in Sparks, mystifies friends and fans alike. Police confirm the worst.
“Mrs. Alex Flanagan last spoke to her husband at 1 o’clock in the morning yesterday (Wednesday),” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County. “She said that he sounded upset.”
She was out of town, and didn’t hear from him. So the next day, she asked a neighbor to check. That neighbor couldn’t find him. Police arrived and found his body 250 feet behind his house.
“The investigation showed that Mr. Flanagan had communicated that was upset about financial issues,” Armacost said.
For those who knew Mike Flanagan personally, talking about his death and the way that he died is a very hard thing to do.
“I’m sorry for people who knew him because this is part of being my age, and having a chance to be with guys who were this special,” said Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles announcer and former pitcher for the team. “So, it’s pretty much all I have to say. It’s devastating.”
“One of the strongest ball players I ever played with. He was a tough guy, he just emulated what the team was all about. It’s a tremendous loss,” Orioles legend Rick Dempsey said.
“He impacted so many lives, including mine. Sitting in my office drinking coffee with him. It’s tough,” said Orioles Manager Buck Showalter.
“That is mystifying, isn’t it? Anybody could take their life. Human beings are fragile. We’re all fragile, and something got to Mike,” said Mike Gibbons of the Sports Legends Museum.
At Sports Legends, a special tribute is being affixed to the museum walls.
In the end, it’s perhaps better to remember him when he was at the top.
Flanagan did not leave a suicide note. His friends say that he was down after being removed as an Oriole executive, but they downplay earlier reports that he felt personally responsible for the team’s lack of success.
Flanagan was a key player on the Baltimore Orioles 1983 World Series Championship team.