Neyer: Flanagan’s Death Latest Chapter in Baseball’s Tragic History

From SABR member Rob Neyer at SB Nation on September 7, 2011:

I haven’t taken a poll, but I suspect that we harbor a couple of misconceptions about suicides and baseball.

The first is that the phenomenon is fairly modern. The second is that baseball suicides have been fairly rare.

Neither is the case.

Mike Flanagan shot himself to death two weeks ago. Earlier this year, Hideki Irabu hung himself. Both suicides made the headlines. But last year, 56-year-old Keith Drumright’s suicide didn’t make the headlines because Drumright, a second baseman out of Springfield, Missouri, played just briefly with the Astros in 1978 and the Athletics in 1981. Two years ago, two ex-major leaguers died by their own hands: Craig Stimac and Brian Powell.

Rare? Hardly.

According to Baseball Almanac, Flanagan is the 85th major leaguer or ex-major leaguer to commit suicide. Of course the actual figure is higher, as it doesn’t include those men who wittingly killed themselves with drink or drugs.

Below, a few of baseball’s more notable suicides.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 8, 2011. Last Updated: September 8, 2011.