Ryan Paul Freel, the American Major League Baseball player, was found dead yesterday, December 22nd, in his home in Jacksonville, Fla. According to police reports Ryan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“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!” tweeted Sean Casey, Ryan’s former teammate with the Cincinnati Reds.
Freel was a Reds player from 2003 to 2008 and during a 3-year stretch he had 110 stolen bases. During his career he was paid $11.55 million. Unfortunately a succession of injuries plagued him after 2006 and in 2009 he was hit in the head with a pickoff throw, putting him on the disabled list. In 2010 he retired and returned to his hometown, Jacksonville. In June he was named coach of St. Joseph Academy but resigned after a short time.
Freel was twice arrested for alcohol-related offenses, in 2005 he pleaded guilty for DUI and in 2006 he was charged with misdemeanor disorderly intoxication.
“I have not had a sip of alcohol in (nearly) three years. I definitely learned from that,” Freel told the Baltimore Sun when the Orioles acquired him in 2009. “Me and drinking probably wasn’t a good thing. Kicking that whole thing was probably the best thing to happen for me, my family and my career.”
Ryan Freel will be remembered as an outgoing, high-energy and hilarious person, a hard player and a man who loved giving back to the community.