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Gardenhire out to attend funeral for Hirschbeck's son

Special to MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will not be in the dugout for the next two games as he attends the funeral of Michael Hirschbeck, the 27-year-old son of Major League umpire John Hirschbeck.

Michael Hirschbeck, who passed away this past week, suffered from a rare brain disease known as adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). It's the same disease that took the life of Hirschbeck's 8-year-old son John Drew in 1993.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will not be in the dugout for the next two games as he attends the funeral of Michael Hirschbeck, the 27-year-old son of Major League umpire John Hirschbeck.

Michael Hirschbeck, who passed away this past week, suffered from a rare brain disease known as adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). It's the same disease that took the life of Hirschbeck's 8-year-old son John Drew in 1993.

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Bench coach Terry Steinbach will serve as the skipper for the first two games of the Royals-Twins series.

Michael developed a relationship with Twins general manager Terry Ryan while receiving treatment when he was 13 at the University of Minnesota. He's served as a batboy during spring and regular-season games over the years.

"There's a place in Gardy's heart for [Michael]," Steinbach said. "We knew he would try to do everything he could to get there. He told us yesterday this was the way he was going to work out."

For Steinbach, it will be his first time managing at any level, other than taking over for Gardenhire because of ejections.

"First time at the helm," Steinbach said. "So, I'm kind of excited about it. But this isn't my gig. I just wear the hat. I'm going to be tapping into these [coaches]."

Kerry Walls is a contributor to MLB.com.

 

Minnesota Twins