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On the field and in the booth, Flanagan starred

When Mike Flanagan departed this life Wednesday, the Orioles lost one of the all-time good guys in their long, once-proud history.

For those of us who covered the Orioles from the mid-70's to the mid-80's, Flanny, the 1979 Cy Young Award winner, was the go-to guy for thoughtful, intelligent analysis of the game.

Equally important to a young columnist for The Evening Sun new to Baltimore, the young left-hander was an endless source of sardonic humor in the clubhouse, a guy who enjoyed firing off one-liners with his deadpan delivery as much as he enjoyed being an integral cog on some great Orioles teams.

"He's calm and invisible and lays back. And then for about 10 seconds, he's hilarious," former teammmate Ken Singleton once said of Flanagan.

Even in this train-wreck of a season for the Orioles, while he worked as a color analyst for MASN, Flanny's wit was as sharp as ever.

It's hard to be funny when you're covering a team as bad as the Orioles, but somehow Flanny and play-by-play guy Gary Thorne managed to do it.

Their banter --  it seemed Flanny could make Thorne cackle just by reading the out-of-town scoreboard -- ranged from the sublime to the inane.

 But it was a welcome relief on those nights when the Orioles were getting pounded in the early innings and you knew the rest of the game would be another grim, tedious slog toward an inevitable defeat.

I'll miss him. So will Orioles fans everywhere.

Comments

Flanny will be missed for sure. I wore my white-paneled cartoon-bird fitted cap on the MARC train and at work in his honor.

the orioles bird mascot fell and was helped up. flanny tells the bird..take two worms and call me in the morning.

i grew up watching flanny pitch. him palmer,mcgregor,both martinez's and sammy stewart etc. i just can't believe he would take his own life. my thought and prayers are with his family.

i grew up watching flanny pitch. him palmer,mcgregor,both martinez's and sammy stewart etc. i just can't believe he would take his own life. my thought and prayers are with his family. i love the"he was cy young palmer was cy old and i think dennis martinez was cy anura if you don't pitch well " excuse my spelling

I still can believe it was a suicide. Flanny didn't seem to be that type of person. Have the police ruled out any kind of foul play or homicide?

You summed it up well, Kevin. Growing up in Bowie in the 70s and 80s, Flanagan was as familiar as an out of town uncle.. Great memories..
Life is precious

Well said, Kevin. Kenny Singleton's quote captures Mike Flanagan so well. As a dedicated Oriole fan who grew up with the glory days of Frank and Brooks, Mike's death hurts so much. I join so many others in wishing we could have reached Mike with kindness to help him.

Mankind has lost a truly Great Man and the city has lost a very good friend also. I too have many fond memories of that special human being that I will remember the rest of my life,
May his soul rest in peace.

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