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Ex-pitcher Flanagan's death was suicide

The death of former major league pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan has been ruled a suicide.

Flanagan died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head, police said Thursday.

Baltimore County Police said Flanagan was alone at his Monkton, Maryland, home on Wednesday when he took his life. The investigation showed he was upset about financial issues.

Flanagan, 59, didn't leave a note, police said. The extent of his injuries meant police could not accurately identify him where he was found, about 250 feet behind his home.

The former pitcher's family released a statement through the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, saying a private memorial would be held for Flanagan at a later date.

"We thank you for your support and kind words at this difficult time. Thank you for respecting our privacy as we grieve," the statement said.

Flanagan's wife, Alex, spoke to her husband around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to the police report. She told police that Flanagan sounded upset and promised he would talk to her the next day. When she didn't hear from her husband, she called a neighbor to check on him. The neighbor called 911 when she couldn't locate the former pitcher.

The police report details a previous incident on June 30 when Alex Flanagan called 911 expressing concern that she could not reach her husband by phone. Mike Flanagan answered the door to police and said he was having problems with phone service.

Flanagan, who was a TV analyst for the Orioles, went 23-9 and won a Cy Young Award with the team in 1979. He won a World Series with them in 1983.

"In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field," Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos said. "His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him."

A left-hander, Flanagan played for the Orioles from 1975 until 1987 when he was traded to Toronto. He was signed back as a free agent by the Orioles prior to the 1991 season and retired in 1992 with an all-time record of 167-143 with a 3.90 ERA.

He also spent time in the Orioles' front office and served as a pitching coach in 1995 and '98.