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Mike Flanagan Passes Away

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Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  GNG on Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:28 am

Read it in the Telegraph. I can't believe it. Fifty nine years old. My love of sports first started watching him play both basketball and baseball when I was a boy. Both him and Ron Beaurivage were guys that a kid could look up to.

For my money the best two sport athlete that I ever saw in NH. The guy had the sweetest jumpshot in class l hoops. I want to say his teams won back to back titles in both hoops and baseball.His curve was his best pitch in the majors, but when he was in high school his fastball was unbelievable. My brother was a backup catcher on those teams, and he would come home and soak his hand after he caught Flanagan.

This is exactly why I like to have fun. You never know when your last day on this planet is going to be. So sorry to hear this news and my heart goes out to the Flanagan family.

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:30 am

I am very saddened by the news of the passing of Mike Flanagan. He was certainly the greatest 2 sport athlete NH has ever produced. Arguably, one of the 3 or 4 greatest NH athletes.

Much will be made about his sense of humor and wit. I can tell you he received it from his mother. A while back I had the pleasure of knowing some members of the Flanagan family. Mrs Flanagan commanded the room when she was around. She made every body laugh and just feel good. She was such a bright and vibrant lady with a comical sense about her. She passed that on to Mike. I just feel so sad for their entire family.

I saw him play high school basketball for Memorial. He was as good as they say he was. He was certainly one of the best shooters in the history of NH. When he went to UMass to play basketball he was a team mate of Dr. J. He credits playing against him for turning his full attention to baseball.

Tim Kurkjian wrote a very nice piece on Mike on ESPN.com which tells some nice stories about him. Give it a read to get some insight to Flanagan's wit and humor.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6894031/mlb-cy-young-winner-mike-flanagan-1951-2011



Flanagan is the person who came up with the line:

"You go from Cy Young to Cy Old to Cy-onara."

Here are 2 quotes that stick out after reading some early information on Mike Flanagan's passing:

From Buck Showalter - "He made great use of his time on earth"

From Tim Kurkjian - "No one made me laugh like Mike Flanagan. Tonight, he made me cry."

In total agreement. A piece of my sport's youth and my sport's heritage as a Granite stater is gone. Sad.... So sad.


Last edited by Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:41 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:37 am

Yes, GNG. I agree on the fun part. We will exchange Mike Flanagan stories on the Patio tomorrow. We will have a toast in celebration on what Mike meant to Memorial, Manchester and NH. We will celebrate his great life and the great person he was.

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:45 am

For discussion sake. Flanagan finished 5th in a poll of greatest NH athletes. I don't know the list, but I would presume the 4 ahead of him would be 4 out of the following 5 people:

Carlton Fisk
Red Rolfe
Chris Carpenter
Bode Miller
Matt Bonner


I would have Flanagan a bit higher on the list.

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  EBlessNHSP on Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:25 am

He was a 1,000 scorer - before the three point line. Fairly significant feat in that time.

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  GNG on Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:17 pm

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that it was suicide. A self inflicted gunshot wound. What a flippin shame. This is a tough pill to swallow.

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:10 pm

Very nice posting on the UL comment section by one of Mike Flanagan's class mates at Memorial:


David Emery said:

I have learned today of Mike Flanagan's death. I am extremely saddened by this terrible news. I was part of Mike's 1971 Memorial High School basketball team and followed his career with the Orioles and B-Jays. He was a 'hero' to me because he was a superstar in my eyes as a teenager/high school kid who said 'Hi' to me when we passed in the corridor each afternoon, my Junior year, his Senior year. I remember him driving his small sportscar in the parking lot for practice. I followed his career even when I move to CA. I always told people that when he was pitching that I actually knew him. He was and will always be one of my baseball 'trivia' questions - winner of the 1979 Cy Young. My mom told me about him pitching the final inning in Baltimore Stadium....the crowd chanting "we want Flanagan"...I wish I had been able to be there as my voice would have been New Hampshire 'loud' as well. The image of him hitting the second free throw beating Nashua in Durham in 1970 will be and has been always one of the top memories I have carried with me all of my life. I still have the 1970-71 Class L basketball schedule with that picture on the front cover. It has always been one of my treasured possessions and will remain so. As much pain and tears one has when your parents pass as both of mine have, I have cried a great deal today as Mike was, to me, a great guy, a super pitcher and of course, one of Memorial's legends.
My prayers for his family. I will miss him, as he was one of the 'good guys'.


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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:21 pm


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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:43 pm

An interesting article by The Sun's Peter Schmuck on not speculating what caused the tragic event of yesterday:

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/schmuck/2011/08/flanagan_speculation_serves_no.html

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:27 pm

Nice excerpt from a Richard Justice article entitled, "If you were lucky enough to know Mike Flanagan, you were better off for it."



Peter Gammons is going to cry some, too. I can guarantee it. They were both New Englanders, friends and kindred spirits in so many ways.

Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray had to be devastated about the news. And Jim Palmer and Earl Weaver and thousands upon thousands of others Mike Flanagan touched through the years.

When the Orioles were the smartest, most efficient franchise in all of baseball, Flanagan could very well have been their poster boy.

He maxmized his ability about as well as anyone ever has. He pitched through some awful injuries, but kept getting back up. He was also smart, funny and decent beyond words.

I e-mailed him a couple of years ago telling him one of my daughters was coming to New York and would like to see an Orioles-Yankees game.

“Done,” he e-mailed back.

A few days later, my kid texted a photo from a few rows behind homeplate at Yankee Stadium. She had perfect seats.

At one time, he was part of what John Lowe came to call “the graduate school of pitching.” Orioles pitching coach Ray Miller kept a chart of complete games requiring fewer than 100 pitches.

I can still remember the t-shirts: Work Fast, Throw Strikes, Change Speeds.

But it was more than that. It was winning with class, by respecting the game, representing a city that loved its hardball team.

When I moved to Baltimore in 1984, the Orioles were nearing the end of their great run, but you could still see why they were special. Players made the same stops in the minor leagues—Bluefield, Miami, Rochester—and had the same instructors. By the time a kid came to the big leagues, he already felt like a teammate to the others.

Flanagan won 167 games in 18 seasons, including 23 in 1979 when he won the American League Cy Young Award. My enduring memory—and I promise you Gammons has the same one—was Flanny going 11 innings and allowing one earned run for Toronto on the next-to-last day of the 1987 season.

Injuries had robbed him of some of his stuff by then, but God, did he have grit and brains. On a sunny afternoon, he kept throwing his breaking pitch out of a sea of white shirts in the stands, and he was stunningly good in a game the Jays eventually lost.

I’m guessing Flanagan’s greatest honor in baseball was being chosen to get the final out at Memorial Stadium. When he strolled in from the bullpen that afternoon in 1991, a packed house of 50,700 alternately wept and cheered. Flanagan represented what they hoped their Orioles would always be. To know him was to see the Orioles at their best.

“I tend to be an optimist,” he frequently said.

He said it in good times and bad, even after a knee blew out and then an Achilles’ tendon, as he took more determination than stuff to the mound. He was much more than just an optimist. He was the best in all of us.




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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:42 pm

From page A3 of the Sept. 14th Union Leader:


On Saturday September 17th Memorial High School will host a celebration of the life of Mike Flanagan called "Remembering Mike." It will take place between 1pm and 4 pm. From 1 and 2 pm more than 30 members of the Flanagan family will receive condolences in the school auditorium. Between 2 pm and 4 pm there will be a video featured that will cover Flanagan's career from high school to the pros. Also during this time family members and friends will share stories about Mike ranging from childhood to his pro playing days.

Flanagan's high school baseball coach, Ted Menswar Jr., will be coordinating Saturday's event. There will be no memorial services.

"The entire Flanagan family have felt nothing but sadness over the past few weeks," said Menswar. "It's my hope that this event will replace some of that sadness with smiles and laughter as the family hears stories from people who were close to Mike. There's no question that Mike touched a lot of lives."



If you have a chance check out the article Ted Menswar wrote about Mike Flanagan in the August 26th UL. It is very poignant and moving. Menswar wrote with a heavy heart. Unfortunately, the UL put the article in their print version and chose not to put it online. It is definitely worth it to find the article as it shows the powerful bond, even after all the years, of a coach and a player.

It still makes my heart ache to see the words the passing of Mike Flanagan.


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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:54 pm

Dave Long also wrote a very nice tribute to Flanagan in the Hippo from 2 weeks ago, which is available on the net. Dave tied in the Clarence the angel from the movie "It's A Wonderful Life" with George Bailey. Near the end of Dave's article he sadly says he wishes Flanagan, in his darkest hour, had a Guardian Angel named Clarence to let him know the impact he'd had on the two communities he called home.

I know I would've been able to tell Clarence a story or two to relay to Mike on how he enriched my then and future basketball life.

http://www.e-pages.dk/thehippo/136/12

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Re: Mike Flanagan Passes Away

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:38 pm

If you are able to receive MCTV on your cable the "Remembering Mike" tribute at Memorial on Sept. 17th is being replayed at different times of the day. It is worth it to catch some former teammates and friends tell their stories about Mike Flanagan. It is poignant and emotional to hear Mr. Flanagan give a talk about his son. Mr. Flanagan looked forward to the day he could continue conversations with his son up in Heaven. His oldest sister Elaine wrote a nice poem about her brother, elder by 10 years, about growing up and the special times they had. Ray Perkins, a HS mate of Flanagan's, vividly recreated a couple of stories, one about playing hooky from school and meeting up with a Manchester police officer and the other about fishing.

A friend/associate of the family told a great story about a PSC baseball player in the early 2000s who was diagnosed with cancer and was not given long to live. The friend called Mike while he was in management for the Orioles and explained the situation and to see if there was anything Mike could do about this boy throwing out a first pitch at Fenway Park. Mike said he would call him back in an hour. Mike called an hour later and said it was a done deal and the boy would throw out the first pitch at the opening game of a near future Red Sox - Yankees series at Fenway. The boy did and he said it was the hilight of his life. The boy passed away about 3 years later, but his parents said there was no question that the first pitch experience rejuvenated him and kept him alive longer than the doctors said.


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