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Man Dies in Accident at Texas Rangers Baseball Game

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On Thursday night, at the game’s second inning in Arlington, a fan fell 20 feet from the outfield railing to catch a ball for his six-year-old son.

The father, Shannon Stone, had taken his son for his son’s first major league game at the ballpark. The boy was covered with the required fan gear, a Ranger’s ball cap and t-shirt, glove, everything. The 39-year-old Brownwood firefighter father had high hopes of catching a ball for his son’s first game. They even bought a new glove on the way to the game to make the day even more special.

Unfortunately, what should have been a special monumental day for a father and son instead turned into tragedy. According to the Baseball Time In Arlington, after All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton caught a fast foul ball that was hit hard by batter Conor Jackson, Hamilton had “lobbed the ball skyward towards one of the first rows out in left field for the benefit of some lucky fan.” That fan though proved to be not so lucky as the father fell head first, right in front of his on, from the stands trying to catch the ball thrown by his son’s favorite player.

Paramedics rushed over behind the scoreboard as the game continued. As Shannon was placed upon the stretcher, his only thought was his worry for his son. According to the Sports Net, Brad Ziegler, Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler was not far from where Stone fell and told said that the father told the paramedics and his tenders that “his son was ‘up there by himself’ and asked them to check on the boy.” The reliever had assumed the firefighter was going to be fine because he was talking and seemed conscious.

Sadly though, Stone less than an hour after his fall at the hospital from cardiac arrest. As to the question of how the father fell there is an answer. One of the fans who was sitting next to Stone, Ronnie Harris, said that Stone fell through a gap of several feet that lies between the seats and the outfield wall. Harris had tried to catch him by reaching out but was too late.

What should have been a lucky catch for his son, like many dad before, instead led to a terrible tragedy. Stone paid the ultimate sacrifice for that catch. Let us hope that the family will cope and survive their horrible loss and hopes go out towards his son in losing a father to game that should of bonded them.

Photos courtesy of Sean Winters, Keith Allison and ensign _bedrill via Flickr.com

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