In my book about my year with the Orioles (IT’S GONE!…NO, WAIT A MINUTE) this is one of the sections I wrote about Flanny.
For all the hoopla regarding the Jim Palmer comeback, Mike Flanagan, at thirty-nine, who toiled for the Orioles from ’75 to ’87 and won the Cy Young Award in ’79, actually has a chance to make this ball club. Last year he was released by Toronto. In August he attended Jim Palmer’s induction ceremony into the Hall of Fame and bumped into Orioles’ GM Roland Hemond, who told him to call if he was ever interested in giving it another try. Roland’s phone rang this winter. Flanagan is a wonderful guy – great personality and (unusual for ballplayers) genuinely funny. On Toronto’s retractable roof he once remarked: “I wish it had retractable fences.” On teammate Mike Boddicker’s fastball after Boddicker had just pitched a game in Toronto, Flanagan observed: “We had him throwing eighty-eight miles per hour on the radar gun, but with the Canadian exchange rate, it was only eight-three.”
59. Way too young. He should not only still be alive, he was a lefty – he should still be pitching. RIP Mike Flanagan.