It has been nearly three years since the death of Orioles pitching great Mike Flanagan, but friends and family members in his hometown of Manchester, N.H., have made sure there will be a permanent reminder of his athletic achievements and his contributions to their community.
The baseball field at the Clement M. Lemire Athletic Complex, which is located behind the high school where Flanagan was a two-sport star, officially was renamed Mike Flanagan Field on Saturday.
Flanagan's high school baseball coach, Ted Menswar Jr., relayed the impetus for the honor in a letter to The Baltimore Sun this week. Menswar recounted the request of Mike's father, Ed, that the community do something to make sure Flanagan's name always would be prominent there and to recognize everyone who contributed to Flanagan's amateur and professional career.
During his playing and front office career, Flanagan was a supporter of the children's wing of Elliot Hospital in Manchester and used his baseball connections to bring together top doctors from Johns Hopkins and local doctors to help Manchester-area children.
The efforts of a variety of community leaders — including Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas — and private citizens contributed to the two-year effort that culminated in Saturday's ceremony, which was attended by about 100 people, including Flanagan's widow, Alex.
"Our family is so thankful and honored," Ed Flanagan said, according to a report in the Manchester Union Leader. "I had feared Mike's name might be forgotten."
This Sunday will be the third anniversary of Flanagan's death. He took his life at his Baltimore County home.