MLB player Ryan Freel dies at 36

Ryan Freel (who played for five MLB teams between 2001 and 2009) has committed suicide at age 36, according to multiple reports.
Sgt. Mike Paul of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Florida Times-Union that Freel, a Jacksonville native, was found dead from a self-inflicted shotgun wound Saturday at his home around 4 p.m. local time.
Paul confirmed to the newspaper that authorities were treating the death as a suicide.
Freel (a utilityman who played outfield, second base and third base) spent most of his MLB career (six seasons) with the Cincinnati Reds. He also played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals. He was drafted by the Blue Jays in 10th round of the 1995 draft. He stole over 35 bases in three straight seasons with the Reds from 2004-06.
First Coast News, a Florida television network, first reported Freel’s suicide.

MLB player Ryan Freel dies at 36
Ryan Freel.

Former Major League player Ryan Freel has commited suicide, as first reported by First Coast News.
Freel (a utility player who spent parts of eight seasons in the Majors) took his own life at the age of 36. Best known for his years with the Cincinnati Reds, he played 594 games with five teams from 2001 through 2009.
Citing confirmation from Sgt. Mike Paul of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, reported that Freel was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Cincinnati Enquirer received a note from Reds director of media relations Rob Butcher -
“The Reds family is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ryan Freel. His teammates and our fans loved him for how hard he played the game, and he loved giving back to the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
According to – Freel was a “fan favorite for his gritty play and hustle” during his stint with the team. He participated in a Reds fantasy camp in 2011.

During an eight-year major-league career that took him to five teams, Ryan Freel enjoyed a reputation among teammates as high-energy, outgoing and hilarious. That’s why so many were shocked to learn that Freel (36) was found dead Saturday in his Jacksonville, Fla., home with what police told the Florida Times-Union appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sean Casey, Freel’s former teammate with the Cincinnati Reds, tweeted about his death – “RIP Ryan Freel!! Great teammate, great guy, n loved his family! Such a sad day today with his passing! Awful news! Prayers are with his family!”
Freel played for the Reds from 2003 to 2008, and during one three-year stretch had 110 stolen bases. He was paid $11,55 million in his career, which ended prematurely because of a succession of injuries that plagued him after 2006. He was hit in the head with a pickoff throw in 2009, an injury that put him on the disabled list.
After retiring in 2010, Freel returned to Jacksonville, his hometown, and coached youth players for an organization called Big League Development. He was named head coach of St. Joseph Academy in June but resigned shortly after taking the job.
Freel was raised by his Cuban-American mother, who worked 16 hours a day as a teacher and housecleaner in Jacksonville. He credited her for his gritty, all-out style of play. Freel also had a goofy side. He told the Dayton Daily News in 2006 that he had an imaginary friend named Farney.
“He’s a little guy who lives in my head who talks to me and I talk to him” – he told the paper. “That little midget in my head said: ‘That was a great catch, Ryan.’ I said: ‘Hey, Farney, I don’t know if that was you who really caught the ball, but that was pretty good if it was.’”

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