Ryan Freel was found dead of a suspected suicide, leaving baseball fans to mourn the loss of a player who logged 594 games with five different teams during a MLB career that spanned eight seasons.
First Coast News reported that Freel committed suicide, and Sgt. Mike Paul of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that Ryan Freel was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The 36-year-old Freel had been living in Jacksonville.
Freel is best known for his time with the Cincinnati Reds, where he became a favorite of fans and teammates. After retiring in 2009, Freel joined the organization Big League Development Baseball, where he coached youth baseball players. He lived in Jacksonville.
The Cincinnati Enquirerreceived this 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.”
Ryan Freel saw the best years of his career with the Reds, eventually becoming an everyday player, MLB.com noted. He was a .268 hitter with 143 stolen bases in his 594 career games.
“He was a guy who was always all in, the way he tried very hard and hustled like he did,” his former agent, Tommy Tanzer, said after Ryan Freel was found dead. “He played all out and he lived that way too.”
Freel was also remembered by Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who tweeted a picture of Freel with the words “Rest in Peace” written on it.
“Really hurt by his passing,” Phillips wrote on his Twitter feed after learning the news that Ryan Freel was found dead. “You never will be forgotten.”