Former MLB player Ryan Freel has died at age 36
He was the guy who was eligible for damn near every position on the team, and could win the stolen bases category for you single handedly once every few weeks.
If you're a Reds fan, you probably remember him pretty vividly as well. He was the guy who would play anywhere he was asked to play, and gave 110% every time he stepped on the field.
Freel was never the most talented guy on the team, but he showed glimpses of amazing potential.
We'll never know what he could have been on the baseball diamond, because injuries cut his career short.
Now, we'll never know what he was capable of OFF the diamond either.
Ryan Freel has died at age 36, from what police are saying appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This appears to be yet another example of athletes with head trauma going through serious mental struggles later in life.
As exciting as Freel's style of play was, the injuries added up. Notably, he was hit in the head during a pickoff attempt, which resulted in one of his DL stints.
C. Trent Rosecrans, who covered Freel for a few years in Cincinnati, noted that Freel told media members that he had suffered 9 or 10 concussions in his career... and that was BEFORE the pickoff throw that put him on the DL.
It's not just football players. Athletes in all sports can suffer serious head trauma, and it's a concern across the board.
Freel will be remembered as a player who always gave his best effort, and was loved by his teammates. Several of his former teammates, including Sean Casey and Brandon Phillips, took to Twitter to voice their sadness at his passing.
RIP, Ryan Freel.