Baltimore Orioles: Top ten pitchers in franchise history
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Flanagan – Perhaps the greatest southpaw to ever take the mound for the O’s was Mike Flanagan. With a career win percentage of .539 and an ERA of 3.90, Flanagan was your classic “wirey” left-handed starter. He pitched 18 years in the big leagues, 14 of which were with the Orioles.
More so perhaps than how great he was on the field, Flanagan was also what one might call the spirit of the team and of the fans. He LOVED the Orioles and everything about them. He loved Baltimore, loved raising his family here, and he loved the fans. Perhaps there’s no player that symbolized the spirit in Memorial Stadium in the late 1970’s and early 80’s than Mike Flanagan.
Flanagan was traded to Toronto partway through the 1987 season, and in essence became a reliever. However when his contract was up he re-signed…with the Orioles. And to me that shows people how much he loved this organization and the city. Flanagan of course has the distinction of being the final Oriole pitcher to pitch at Memorial Stadium, as he was brought in to pitch the top of the ninth in the last game there in 1991, representing past, present, and future.
Flanagan had two separate stints as Orioles’ pitching coach after retiring, along with two separate stints as a color commentator on Orioles’ television. He was also an executive with the team in between all of that, and thus in effect never left the Orioles’ organization after retiring. Flanagan tragically died in 2011 on his farm in Monkton, MD.
Next: Dennis Martinez