Update, 8:42 a.m. Tuesday Funeral services for were held in private by the family, but memorials in benefit of Amrhein's children can still be made. According to an obituary through Knollcrest Funeral Home in Lombard, memorials to benefit Amrhein's two daughters—Alexis (Ally) and Michaela (Ella) Amrhein—can be made at any5/3rd Bank branch.
Original Story: Mike Amrhein, a former baseball star at , died on Thursday. He was 37.
The DuPage County Coroner's Office has not released a cause of death, saying the case is still under investigation. According to various media reports, Amrhein leaves behind a wife, Jill (Lahey) and two young children.
A standout All-State high school ball player until his 1993 graduation from OPRF, Amrhein earned accolades from coaches and teammates. Current Huskies coach Chris Ledbetter told Wednesday Journal Amrhein "is one of the all-time greatest baseball players to come out of OPRF."
After graduating Notre Dame in 1997, Amrhein was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the tenth round and played six years in their minor league organization, eventually working his way up to AAA, according to his profile on the Booster Club site.
In recent years, he served as an assistant coach for the baseball team at on Downers Grove North, where he also worked in the school's special services department.
Grief counselors were to help students and staff cope with the news.
"Mike was a dedicated employee, and always served as positive example to our students," District 99 Supt. Mark McDonald said in a statement. "He was a wonderful leader to other staff members as well, excelling in every position he held at District 99."
The Chicago Tribune profiled Amrhein in 1997, shortly after he made the roster of the Cubs Class A team in New York. In the story, coaches and family members recount the lifelong baseball fan's dedication to the game, from a childhood spent admiring — and pretending to be a part of – losing Cubs teams of yesteryear to the tireless work ethic he showed during his pro career.
"I know there are a lot of horror stories about minor-league baseball, but so far my experience--in terms of the hotels, food and travel--has been fine," he told the paper. "I intend to play as long as my game is improving or I'm contributing something to the team.
"If there comes a time where that isn't happening anymore, I'll have no problem leaving baseball and moving on to something else."