Former Major League player Ryan Freel has commited suicide, as first reported by First Coast News.
Freel, a utility player who spent parts of eight seasons in the Majors, took his own life at the age of 36. Best known for his years with the Cincinnati Reds, he played 594 games with five teams from 2001 through 2009.
Citing confirmation from Sgt. Mike Paul of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville.com reported that Freel was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Cincinnati Enquirer received a note from Reds director of media relations Rob Butcher:
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.
The team also addressed reports of Freel's passing on its official Twitter account.
According to Reds.com, Freel was a "fan favorite for his gritty play and hustle" during his stint with the team. He participated in a Reds fantasy camp in 2011.