Ryan Freel had CTE, parents say

He was in center field when he collided with right fielder Norris Hopper's elbow on May 28, 2007, an injury that caused Freel to be taken off the field in an ambulance. Freel sustained a concussion that caused headaches and an impaired memory, and he didn't return until early July. He then suffered a season-ending knee surgery in August.

"I think what happened last year has taken a toll on this year," he said at spring training the following year. "Obviously there's question marks. Obviously there's people questioning or doubting or whatever it may be."

He sustained another head injury that put him back on the disabled list when he was hit by a pickoff throw to second base from then-Boston pitcher Justin Masterson during the Patriots Day game at Fenway Park on April 20, 2009. Freel appeared dazed as he walked off, both arms extended over the shoulders of Baltimore's trainers.

Disappointed about conditions surrounding a stress test he was forced to take before beginning a minor league rehabilitation assignment -- he insisted he felt fine -- Freel was traded to the Cubs on May 8 only to be dealt to Kansas City on July 6. The Royals cut him a month later, and he signed a minor league deal with Texas. The following year, he played in nine games for the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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