Thursday Night, during the Texas Rangers/Oakland A’s game, the unthinkable happened: a man tumbled out of the stands trying to catch a ball and died after a 20-foot fall.
The man, Shannon Stone, was a lieutenant in the fire department for 18 years. He was at the game with his 6 year old son, Cooper (highlighted in the header image). In the second inning, an Oakland A’s player hit a foul ball, and Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton threw the ball up to the stands for a lucky fan to take home. Stone reached for the ball, lost his balance and fell between the stands and outfield. Other fans around him tried to grab him as he went over, but it was too late. All of this unfolded, unfortunately, on live television.
Josh Hamilton is taking the tragedy hard, feeling like it was his fault. He said he could hear Stone’s son screaming for his father after the fall.
David Brown of Yahoo Sports put the tragedy in the most appropriate perspective saying that “this has to be the saddest possible event at a baseball game. A man goes to a ballgame with his son — it’s the ultimate American experience — and he dies trying to catch a ball. It’s hard to comprehend.”
The part that really gets you as a dad – some of his last words, as he was carried out on the stretcher, were “Please check on my son. My son was up there by himself.” And if you’re not already heart-broken, Stone and his son had stopped at a sporting goods store on the way to the game to get Cooper a glove, hoping he’d have the chance to catch a fly-ball.