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April 23, 1997
Pub Date: 4/23/97
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From Sun staff reports | April 9, 2014
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.
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SPORTS
By Ken Rosenthal | February 19, 1997
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Why can't Orioles owner Peter Angelos let go?Why can't the media stop reporting about an incident that took place last September?Why can't it be over?It all comes back to the same answer.Because the Roberto Alomar-John Hirschbeck dispute was never adequately resolved.Not to the umpires' satisfaction -- their threat to walk out on the postseason resulted in a meaningless study group that will examine baseball's disciplinary system.And not to the Orioles' satisfaction -- they're still angry that Alomar was portrayed as the sole villain, saying that Hirschbeck escalated the argument by swearing at the second baseman.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck | January 6, 2010
Former Oriole Roberto Alomar will find out today whether his stellar career as one of the best second basemen in the history of baseball will outweigh one ugly moment in 1996 that has scarred his reputation ever since. Alomar's name appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this past November, and he is considered the strongest candidate to gain induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame when the results of the balloting are announced by the Hall and the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
SPORTS
By Buster Olney and Buster Olney,SUN STAFF | January 5, 1997
Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar maintains that umpire John Hirschbeck swore at him, escalating a confrontation that ended with Alomar spitting in Hirschbeck's face. Hirschbeck says he never cussed at Alomar.The last time Hirschbeck umpired a series involving the Orioles, he charged into the clubhouse in a rage, screaming that he would kill Alomar. The night before, when the spitting incident took place, Alomar said he had lost respect for the umpire.What we have is a situation ripe for further disaster, a notorious history between player and umpire.
SPORTS
By Buster Olney and Buster Olney,SUN STAFF | December 8, 1996
Umpire John Hirschbeck charged Roberto Alomar in the SkyDome's visitors clubhouse the morning of Sept. 28, raging at the Oriole, and some standing nearby say he came within 10 to 20 feet of the second baseman.Hirschbeck said recently, in one of his first published interviews since he invaded the Orioles' clubhouse, that his anger was so acute that he doesn't even remember seeing Alomar."It was kind of like a fit of rage," Hirschbeck is quoted as saying in the December issue of Referee magazine.
SPORTS
By Tom Keegan and Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer | July 22, 1994
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Fans have been hollering at umpires all summer to expand the strike zone.Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck was getting hollered at all day yesterday, but nobody was telling him to make his strike zone larger in the Athletics' 4-3 victory over the Orioles at Oakland Coliseum.Just the opposite.Heads were shaking, tongues lashing and glares fixing, all in Hirschbeck's direction.Oakland's Scott Brosius struck out to end the seventh inning on a pitch that infuriated him. He let Hirschbeck have it verbally, but didn't draw an ejection.
SPORTS
By Joe Strauss and Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF | April 20, 1997
BOSTON -- When John Hirschbeck steps onto the same field as Roberto Alomar on Tuesday night, the veteran American League umpire insists there will be no leftover resentment toward the Orioles' second baseman.Insisting "it's over," Hirschbeck says he feels no need to participate in an arranged meeting with the player who spat on him during an on-field argument last Sept. 27 in Toronto.The incident, which all parties now seek to downplay, caused an uproar that led to Alomar's five-game suspension and a near-boycott of the postseason by umpires from both leagues.
SPORTS
By Buster Olney and Buster Olney,SUN STAFF | October 10, 1996
NEW YORK -- Orioles officials and acting commissioner Bud Selig flatly denied a published report that umpire John Hirschbeck, using slang, referred to Roberto Alomar as a homosexual before Alomar spat in the umpire's face Sept. 27.The New York Post, attributing its information to seven unidentified sources in the Major League Baseball Players Association and in the Orioles' organization, reported yesterday that Hirschbeck called Alomar a "fag" as part of an obscenity-laden tirade before Alomar spat in his face.
SPORTS
By Joe Roderick and Joe Roderick,CONTRA COSTA TIMES | October 12, 1999
Umpire John Hirschbeck attended Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox at Jacobs Field. Believe it or not, he was there to watch one of his friends, Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar."
SPORTS
By JEFF BARKER and JEFF BARKER,SUN REPORTER | October 10, 2005
John Hirschbeck needed advice, and fast. A night earlier, the umpire had been spit on by then-Oriole Roberto Alomar during a game. Now, television trucks were parked in front of his home. The media demanded to know how Hirschbeck would respond. In those turbulent moments of 1996, Hirschbeck did what other umpires along with dozens of athletes and sports executives have done since: He turned to Baltimore sports agent and attorney Ronald M. Shapiro for guidance. Shapiro, 62, may be best known for representing Cal Ripken, but he founded a Baltimore-based negotiations training institute 10 years ago and has quietly become a guru for the corporate and sports sets.
SPORTS
May 14, 2000
Quote: "It reminded me of Candlestick Park out there." - Yankees manager Joe Torre after watching his team and the Tigers struggle with swirling winds at Comerica Park It's a fact: Michael Hirschbeck, the 13-year-old son of plate umpire John Hirschbeck, was the Indians' bat boy yesterday. Who's hot: The Devil Rays' Fred McGriff's 14-game hitting streak matches the longest of his career, set in 1991 with the Braves. Who's not: Mariners pinch hitters are 3-for-19 (.158) with no RBIs. On deck: The Blue Jays' David Wells goes for his league-leading seventh win today.
NEWS
By C. Fraser Smith | April 16, 2000
PULITZER time always quickens the blood in American newsrooms. Any reporter who says he doesn't want to win one is on a different moral plane than most. And, with some important exceptions, the fever to win what is sometimes called the PP or the Big P -- meaning Pulitzer Prize -- is a healthy thing. If a paper has contenders in the annual contest, it probably has a healthy quotient of teamwork, a clear mission, talented people at every level of the operation and some good opportunities to serve its community.
NEWS
By Ken Rosenthal and Ken Rosenthal,SUN STAFF COLUMNIST | October 27, 1999
The start of the Sept. 5 game between the Orioles and Cleveland Indians was delayed 89 minutes by rain. Denise Hirschbeck and her three children rode down an elevator to the sub-concourse level at Camden Yards, in search of her husband, John, and a new family friend, Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar.John Hirschbeck was in the umpires' room, waiting out the delay. His wife and children were visiting from Poland, Ohio. He led them to a hallway outside the visitors' clubhouse, and asked an Indians player to summon Alomar.
SPORTS
By Joe Roderick and Joe Roderick,CONTRA COSTA TIMES | October 12, 1999
Umpire John Hirschbeck attended Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox at Jacobs Field. Believe it or not, he was there to watch one of his friends, Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar."
SPORTS
By Joe Strauss and Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF | September 22, 1998
TORONTO -- Ray Miller had a trigger finger and wasn't afraid to use it. Moments after Roger Clemens strong-armed the Toronto Blue Jays to a 3-1 win over his struggling Orioles atSkyDome, Miller conducted a private screening of plate umpire John Hirschbeck's strike zone."
SPORTS
By KEN ROSENTHAL | April 22, 1997
BOSTON -- It doesn't have to be staged. It doesn't have to be showy. It doesn't have to be much of anything, really.A handshake. A pat on the back. Maybe even a brief word or two.Roberto Alomar already has apologized to umpire John Hirschbeck.Tonight at Camden Yards, he can bring closure to one of the ugliest chapters in baseball history.It will be the first time that Alomar and Hirschbeck have appeared on the same field since the Orioles' second baseman spit on the umpire last Sept. 27.The first time they've been in the same ballpark since Hirschbeck stormed into the Orioles' clubhouse and threatened to kill the seven-time All-Star.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | April 23, 1997
Roberto Alomar took a slight detour on the way to second base last night. He veered into right field and stopped for a very public -- and very private -- meeting with umpire John Hirschbeck just moments before the start of the game between the Orioles and Chicago White Sox.They shook hands. The Camden Yards crowd cheered its approval. And, perhaps with that brief moment of personal contact, brought to a close one of the most unpleasant episodes in recent baseball history.It has been 6 1/2 months since Alomar spit on Hirschbeck during a heated argument at SkyDome in Toronto.
SPORTS
By Joe Strauss and Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF | August 5, 1998
Mike Mussina never has been kind to the Detroit Tigers. Indeed, for Christmas, Mussina always asks for another turn at Tiger Stadium. But last night the Tigers found the combination of Mussina and plate umpire John Hirschbeck absolutely intolerable.With Mussina tempting perfection before a sellout crowd atCamden Yards, Hirschbeck's "liberal" strike zone pushed the Tigers into a frenzy.The Tigers ended up with a 4-0 loss and more ejections (three) than hits (two) against Mussina. They were only four outs away from being on the wrong end of a perfect game when designated hitter Frank Catalanotto drove a double into right field.
SPORTS
By Joe Strauss and Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF | June 17, 1998
Justice was delayed yesterday in the eyes of Orioles manager Ray Miller. Today he should learn whether it also will be denied.With Miller lobbying for an eight-game suspension, American League president Gene Budig is expected to rule today whether New York Yankees reliever Mike Stanton will be further disciplined following Monday's ejection for hitting Orioles right fielder Eric Davis one pitch after surrendering a seventh-inning home run.Orioles assistant general...
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