It’s easy to think of Tim Flannery as a baseball man turned musician turned philanthropist. But in all honesty, all of these aspects of his life overlap, making it hard to discern where one ends and another begins. Regardless which role he’s in, Tim “Flan” Flannery is a storyteller and one of the last of the old dogs.
Flan retired from professional baseball after the 2014 season, having celebrated winning three World Series titles with the San Francisco Giants (2010, 2012, 2014). He took his 36 years in the game – 11 years as a player with the San Diego Padres and 18 years as coach for both the Padres and the San Francisco Giants, plus playing or managing in the minors mixed in there – and learned a new way to honor the game he loves. He took to being in front of the camera as a baseball analyst for both the MLB Network and NBC Bay Area Sports.
Through those 30 plus years, and even before his time on the field, his guitar was a constant companion so music was part of Flan before, during, and after baseball. He released his first studio album, “Looking Back,” in 1997 and has consistently released albums through today, the longest time between any two release being three years. He would record on off days during the season then play shows during the off-season, or “music season” as his fans and his all-star band, the Lunatic Fringe, came to call it.
Flan has released 11 studio albums, one live album, and is currently performing and booking dates to support his 13th album, “The Last of the Old Dogs,” which gives life to new stories about the characters he’s met over the years on the road, while also delivering important messages about love, work, being an outlaw, and knowing when to fight for what you believe in. With a voice as smooth as Kentucky bourbon and a heart worn on both sleeves, Flan’s performances ebb and flow with brilliant melodies and soaring harmonies. As a talented and prolific singer/songwriter, Flan’s music enjoys radio support across the planet, from the shores of Ireland to beach towns up and down the California coast. Flan has also been joined onstage by the likes of Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Garth Brooks, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Weir and many others.
In 2011, Giants fan Bryan Stow was savagely assaulted by two men on opening day as the Giants faced the Los Angeles Dodgers. Stow nearly lost his life. He faced long, arduous years of recovery. Flan, like many of his teammates, wanted to help. He was asked to play a benefit show with proceeds going to Stow that he agreed to without hesitation. Benefits became regular events in Flan’s music seasons with special performances during the regular season sometimes.
One weekend in January 2014, after a 4-show run and with help from his friends in baseball and in music, he handed a check for $96,000 to Stow’s family, with more money expected from silent auctions and CD sales. After he retired later that year, Flan founded the Love Harder Project (501(c)(3)) to raise money and awareness to assist victims of violence. Since then, The Love Harder Project, using every cent from CD sales, merchandise, and ticket sales, has raised more than $300,000 for Stow as well as other anti-bullying and anti-violence programs across the country. In 2017, Flan was nominated for Humanitarian of the Year by All Sports United, the community for sports philanthropy.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but they don’t say you can’t teach that dog a new way of life or a new passion. Tim Flannery has amazing life experiences, but this old dog has plenty of life left and no intention of backing down from the challenges, opportunities, and music (always music) that await him.