The Associated Press reports, via Fox Sports, that Ryan Freel, an ex-professional baseball player, has died of what appears to be a suicide. The AP chronicles his extensive head injuries and problems with alcohol as possible causes for such a young man to kill himself at 36 years old.
The Jacksonville native thrilled fans with his all-out style, yet it took a toll on his career. During his playing days, he once estimated he had sustained up to 10 concussions. Freel missed 30 games in 2007 after a collision with a teammate caused a concussion.
Freel showed no fear as he ran into walls, hurtled into the seats and crashed into other players trying to make catches. His jarring, diving grabs often made the highlight reels, and he was praised by those he played with and against for always having a dirt-stained uniform.
This tragedy again spotlights the effects of concussion and chronic traumatic encephalophathy, or CTE, on professional athletes.
The AP goes on to relate Freel's career highlights during his years in MLB.