Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - In the past two to three years, awareness for CTE has risen dramatically after dozens of former NFL players were found to have suffered from the chronic neurodegenerative disease. Many of whom commited suicide as a result of the condition, Junior Seau and Dave Duerson are included on that list. The disease has never really been associated with pro baseball, until now.
Eight year MLB vet Ryan Freel, who had 9-10 documented concussions during his playing days died after a self inflicted gun shot almost a year ago, December 22nd. As we approach the tragic one year anniversary of his death, Boston Universities School of Medicine studied Freel's brain during the past year and have concluded Freel suffered from stage II CTE. This indicates Freel has become the first documented baseball player to have been diagnosed with the disease.
I have known Freel's father Patrick for some time and have followed the story for the past year. Included in the video segments above are his reaction and some of the data released in the study.