For someone who amounted to part-timer, Ryan Freel gave a lot of joy to baseball fans. He exhibited a colorful, sometimes bizarre personality and demonstrated an acrobatic, sometimes reckless style of play that took a toll on his career. He was fun to watch and write about. But he also was troubled. And now we are left to wonder why he took his own life.Please bookmark!
Freel was found dead at his home in Jacksonville, Fla. on Saturday afternoon, victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed via the Florida Times-Union. Freel was 36 years old, leaving a wife, Christie, along with three daughters, notes C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Eye on Baseball.
First Coast News of Jacksonville reported his death first.
Freel played in parts of eight major league seasons, seeing action in 594 games — 544 with the Cincinnati Reds — and four other teams, from 2001-2009. He batted .268/.354/.369 with 143 stolen bases and 22 home runs. He logged most of his innings in the outfield, particularly center, but was known for having enough versatility to play third base and second.
Ex-Major Leaguer Ryan Freel Found Dead