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Ryan Freel dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound, confirms Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
Ryan Freel, pictured above in 2007, is dead at the age of 36. (Getty Images)

Ryan Freel, who last appeared in the major leagues in 2009, has died at age 36 of what a representative from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office tells the Florida Times-Union is a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to Sgt. Mike Paul, Freel's body was discovered in his home around 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Freel spent parts of eight seasons in the majors, including six with the Reds. He was a career .268/.354/.369 hitter with 143 stolen bases. Freel also played five different positions during the course of his career. A Jacksonville native and product of Tallahassee Community College, he was originally a 10th-round choice by the Blue Jays in 1995.

The Times-Union notes that Freel over the summer was named head baseball coach at a local school but later withdrew from the position.

The Reds released the following statement:

"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."

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