Ryan Freel wasn't a member of the Chicago Cubs for very long; he was acquired May 8, 2009 in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles for Joey Gathright. Two months later he was sold to the Kansas City Royals in a straight-cash deal.
He played in just 14 games for the Cubs and hit .143/.226/.143, scoring just one run. I remember that run well -- he reached on an error, went to third on a single and then took a daring dash home on an infield out to give the Cubs a brief 7-6 lead in this game, which they eventually lost to the White Sox.
Freel died Saturday, an apparent suicide:
Ryan Freel, who played for five teams over an eight-year major league career, was found dead in his Florida home Saturday as a result of a self-inflicted shotgun wound, Jacksonville police said. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said they were treating the 36-year-old Freel's death as a suicide. Freel, who grew up in Jacksonville, last played in the majors in 2OO9 when he played for four organizations.
Freel had an imaginary friend named "Farney", and was often made fun of for that. We don't know what inner demons he dealt with; this article seems to indicate he suffered multiple concussions during his career.
The Cincinnati Reds, for whom Freel played most of his career, issued a statement:
"The Reds family is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ryan Freel," the team said in a statement. "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."
Former Reds teammates tweeted their condolences:
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!— Sean Casey (@TheMayorsOffice) December 23, 2012
#RIP to my friend & great teammate #RyanFreel! Really hurt by his passing! You'll never will be forgotten... lockerz.com/s/271146472— Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP) December 23, 2012
Our SB Nation Reds site, Red Reporter, wrote that Freel is survived by his wife, Christine, and two daughters.
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