More than 800 pieces of baseball memorabilia are on the auction block, with proceeds going to a good cause.
Former MLB umpire John Hirschbeck, who lost two of his children to a rare neurological disease, is hoping to raise money for the Magic of Michael Foundation, with the auction including items personally obtained and collected during his years in the game.
The Hirschbeck family created the foundation in honor of Michael, their second son, who died of adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) at age 27 in April 2014. Twenty-two years earlier, their first son John died of the same disease when he was 8. Many of the items were given to Michael Hirschbeck as he traveled with his father to spring training games in Florida and regular season games near the family’s Ohio home.
John Hirschbeck is now 66. He retired after serving as crew chief in the 2016 World Series, when the Cubs ended their century-long drought by beating Cleveland. He umpired in five World Series and was behind the plate for Barry Bonds’ 756th home run in 2007, Mariano Rivera’s all-time saves record game in 2011 and Roy Halladay’s 2010 postseason no-hitter.
He made the difficult decision to part with many of the items he and Michael had acquired in hopes of raising money to assist the foundation with its goals of supporting children and families who have medical needs.
The auction includes 342 autographed baseballs, including World Series team-signed baseballs from the 1995 Atlanta Braves, 2004 Red Sox and 2006/2013 Cardinals and the 2010 San Francisco Giants.
Also up for grabs is a ball signed by Ronald Reagan when the former president was in attendance at the 1989 MLB All-Star Game, balls signed by former President George H.W. Bush, dozens of players autographed jerseys, game-used memorabilia including numerous lineup cards from various seasons and some of Hirschbeck’s own game-used equipment.
The auction continues through November 14.