The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has confirmed that former Cincinnati Red, Ryan Freel, has died at the age of thirty-six in an apparent suicide. Freel, clearly one of the more eccentric, acrobatic, and beloved Reds in recent memory, spent six seasons with the club from 2003-2008 in the role of utility man and starting outfielder. Freel's leave-it-all-out-on-the-field style of play likely contributed to multiple concussions sustained over his major league career. He is survived by his wife Christie and his two daughters.
The Reds have released a statement on Freel's passing:
"The Reds family is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ryan Freel," the team said in a statement.
"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."
Also weighing in with his condolences is former teammate Sean Casey:
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!
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!— Sean Casey (@TheMayorsOffice) December 23, 2012
As more information comes to light, we will present it to you. Until then, our thoughts and prayers are extended to Freel's family.