Umpire John Hirschbeck loses another son

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POLAND, OH--November 22, 1996--Leaning down over his 10-year-old son Michael, John Hirschbeck and his wife,  Denise, review schoolwork.  Michael proudly announces to visitors that he "got straight O's" on his report card.  "O" is outstanding and is the highest mark his  school awards.  Staff  photo/Doug Kapustin

Michael Hirschbeck, the 27-year-old son of major league baseball umpire John Hirschbeck, died Tuesday, WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio, reported.

Michael Hirschbeck had adrenoleukodystrophy, an inherited condition that affects the nervous system. John Hirschbeck's oldest son, John, was 8 years old when he died in 1993 of the rare degenerative disease.


The Poland, Ohio, family's struggle with ALD was told in a series of 1996 articles in The Sun that won a Pulitzer Prize. Lisa Pollak's story, "The Umpire's Sons," recounted a family tragedy that had become a footnote in the feverish media coverage after Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar spat on Hirschbeck after a controversial call in 1996.

"Anytime you lose a child it's devastating," family friend and United Way president Bob Hannon told WFMJ, "but now John and Denise have lost two children. I think there's no question there will be a lot of people that will be there for the family and help them get through this."