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Umpire Hirschbeck loses second son to disease

Former Indians and Red Sox bat boy Michael battled adrenoleukodystrophy
MLB.com

Umpire John Hirschbeck and his family have once again been touched by tragedy.

Michael Hirschbeck, 27, passed away Tuesday in Poland, Ohio, after a long battle against adrenoleukodystrophy, a disease that affects the nervous system. His brother, John, was only 8 when he died from ALD in 1993.

Umpire John Hirschbeck and his family have once again been touched by tragedy.

Michael Hirschbeck, 27, passed away Tuesday in Poland, Ohio, after a long battle against adrenoleukodystrophy, a disease that affects the nervous system. His brother, John, was only 8 when he died from ALD in 1993.

"Anytime you lose a child, it's devastating. But now John and [his wife] 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," family friend and United Way president Bob Hannon said to Youngstown, Ohio, television station WFMJ.

Hirschbeck had been scheduled to work an Interleague series between the Indians and Padres.

"My heart goes out to that family," Indians manager Terry Francona told The Associated Press. "I can't even imagine what they're going through. All our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Michael had frequently been a bat boy for the Indians, and he also previously was a bat boy in Boston when Francona managed the Red Sox. A moment of silence was observed before Tuesday night's game at Progressive Field.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com.