Former MLB player Ryan Freel found dead of apparent suicide

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CINCINNATI — Former Reds utility player Ryan Freel was found dead in his home of an apparent suicide on Saturday, the Jacksonville, Fla., sheriffs office told the Florida Times-Union.

According to, Freel, 36, was discovered dead on Saturday in Jacksonville with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police told the newspaper.

“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.”

An eight-year Major League veteran from 2001-09, Freel spent most of his career with the Reds.

“He was a guy who was always all in, the way he tried very hard and hustled like he did,” Freel’s former agent, Tommy Tanzer, said. “He played all out and he lived that way too.”

A .268 hitter with 143 stolen bases in 594 career games, Freel broke out of the utility role and became a regular in 2006 while playing 132 games, mostly in center field.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips tweeted a picture of Freel on Saturday with the words “Rest in Peace” written on it.

“Really hurt by his passing,” Phillips wrote on his Twitter feed.

“You never will be forgotten.”

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