Sunday, November 2, 2014

Edward Flanagan - Ambidextrous pitcher

Edward Flanagan, Sr.
Edward Flanagan, Sr. (photo)
"Big Ed Flanagan"

Team: Boston Braves 1913

Position: Pitcher
Throws: Both (Ambidextrous)

Edward F. Flanagan Sr., signed his first professional baseball contract with the Boston Braves in 1913. He was a barnstormer who would pitch the first game right-handed and then pitch the nightcap left-handed. (

Ed Flanagan served as a police officer and raised a family of eight children in Manchester, New Hampshire. His son, Ed Flanagan, Jr. played in the minor leagues. His grandson, Mike Flanagan, won a Cy Young Award with the Orioles.

A story about Big Ed Flanagan shared by Peter Gammons ...

In 1987, Mike Flanagan was pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, and we lunched at a wonderful outdoor Toronto cafe; with Roger Angell of the New Yorker. Flanagan told Angell how his grandfather, Big Ed Flanagan, and my uncle, Everett, played on teams from New Hampshire and the South Shore of Massachusetts, respectively, that toured New England on the weekends and drew good crowds. My uncle would pitch one game, his catcher would pitch the nightcap, and Big Ed Flanagan pitched both games -- one right-handed, the other left-handed.

Flanagans: A Baseball Family

by James Naughton, NY Times News Service
(The Dispatch, 19 July 1980)

It was a member of the court that the baseball education of Mike Flanagam began. The team's chief adviser and most ardent fan was Edward Fanagan Sr., the family patriarch who was in his 70s at the time. He had signed a professional baseball contract in 1913 and toured the country as an ambidextrous pitcher. When his teams played doubleheaders, which was often, he pitched the first game left-handed and the second game right-handed. He also made his won baseball with the leather rejected from a nearby textile mill.

Ed Flanagan Sr. had come to baseball before it was big business and he never made much money from it.
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Ed Flanagan Jr., his son, signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1947 and pitched for five years in their minor-league system and one year with the Detroit system.

Mike Flanaganhis grandson, pitched in the MLB and won the 1979 Cy Young Award. Mike grew up playing catch with his father and grandfather.

Mike Flanagan was the ace of a Baltimore Orioles staff for over a decade. The 1979 Cy Young Award winner helped the Orioles to two World Series appearances and was part of a combined no-hitter in 1991. (source:

Mike Flanagan, whose grandfather Ed Sr. and father Ed Jr. both played in the Red Sox organization, was voted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1994. (source:


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