Former Cincinnati Reds Player Ryan Freel Found Dead of Apparent Suicide

Richard Allen@@RacingWithRichAnalyst IDecember 23, 2012

Ryan Freel was a popular player in Cincinnati.
Ryan Freel was a popular player in Cincinnati.Al Bello/Getty Images

Ryan Freel played for five Major League Baseball teams, most prominently the Cincinnati Reds, over an eight-year time span between 2001 and 2009. ESPN reports that on Saturday the former utility player was found dead in his Jacksonville, Florida home of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

From 2004 to 2006, the speedy outfielder stole 110 bases for the Reds. He posted a career batting average of .268 with 22 HR and 122 RBI. He scored a total of 306 runs over the course of his MLB career.

In 2007, Freel spent five weeks on the disabled list after suffering head and neck injuries following an outfield collision with teammate Norris Hopper. Two years later, he again went to the DL for a head injury after being hit by an errant pickoff throw. At the time of that second incident, he reported that he had suffered "probably nine or ten concussions" in his life.

Freel's hustle made him a fan favorite in Cincinnati, but that hard-charging style also caused him to be prone to injury. Those injuries eventually took their toll and served to end his career prematurely in 2009.

Freel left a wife, Christie, and three young daughters.

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