There hasn’t been much baseball to talk about the past few
months years here in Baltimore. Just another lost season. Which actually makes the news of Mike Flanagan’s death that much sadder. He’s a reminder of different era. A time when the Orioles were a proud franchise. An era that I struggle to believe actually existed.
Mike Flanagan was instrumental in the Baltimore Orioles trip to the World Series in 1979 and won a Cy Young award in the process. He was also a member of Baltimore’s World Series championship team in 1983. The last year he pitched for the Orioles was 1987 so I don’t remember watching him play. I’ll remember him as a general manager and, most recently, part of the Orioles’ television broadcast booth.
Last night’s post game show was supposed to be surprisingly upbeat since the Orioles are on a rare two game winning streak. Instead it was a memorial service of sorts. Flanagan was a fan and clubhouse favorite. Jim Palmer broke down at the thought of losing a good friend. However, it’s ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian that has the definitive Mike Flanagan reflection. I wanted to quote nearly the entire article in this post.
Hoops? Flanagan played in his high school alumni game one year, and scored 63 points. He played freshman basketball at UMass with Rick Pitino. Flanagan tried out for the varsity the next year. “I pulled up for a jumper on the break from the top of the key, and Julius Erving blocked it, then swoop-jammed on the other end,” he said. “I knew then it was time to work on my slider.”
I urge you to read the rest of Kurkjian’s piece.