Long time Oriole Pitcher Mike Flanagan was found dead today. He was one of the best pitchers the O's ever had. The was on the 83 worlds series team. He served as General Manager and a broadcaster.
When I was eleven years old my mother remarried. The man she married was in the army. Within a two month period a gained a step-father, two step sisters, and moved to Germany. It was a rough transition for a fifth grader. I had never lived anywhere but my home town of Bel Air, MD. Now I was in a new country with a new family. The thing that carried me through those long three years was reading about my favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, in the Stars and Stripes. (that is the newspaper of the armed forces) When our three years was up, and we moved back to the states, we were stationed in Fort Knox. Still far from home, I was again comforted by my beloved team. Now I could watch them on tv during the national game, and get highlights from their games on this strange station called ESPN. When I was seventeen I decided it was time to live with my father. So I left Kentucky and moved back to my home state. It was then I learned the true meaning of "you can't go home again", but the Orioles where still there to welcome me home. They had moved into a new house, but welcomed me just the same.
It may sound strange to many of you out there. Those of you who have served or were dependents, and lived overseas will understand. The Orioles have been the one constant in my life. The only thing that has remained.
The eleven year old inside me that still lives in Bel Air. The boy who hung pictures of his diamond trotting heroes on his wall so he could transport himself back home across the vast sea.....Is crying that one of them is gone.
If there is a heaven, I hope Flanny is in it.