“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.”
The tragic news was first reported by First Coast News in Jacksonville, Florida.
While Freel was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 14th round of the 1994 MLB Amateur Draft, he never signed with the club. At the time, he was drafted out of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. He would be drafted again in 1995 in the 10th round by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Freel played in the major leagues for 8 seasons, most of them were spent with the Cincinnati Reds as a utilityman for 6 seasons. Freel played portions of both the 2003 and 2007 seasons for the Louisville Bats, wgere I had a chance to see him play. His final major league game was on August 4, 2009, with the Kansas City Royals. He officially retired from baseball in 2010.
It was just this past summer that the former ballplayer was hired by the St. Joseph Academy as the head baseball coach but later backed away according to last night’s report from the Florida Times Union.
I hate to get serious but I will do so here for a few moments. The national suicide prevention hotline number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are in a crisis and are thinking of making matters much worse and need someone to talk to, please call that number. I cannot stress that enough.
Our thoughts are with Ryan Freel’s family, friends, and teammates. May he rest in peace.