This is so tragic!!!
A 39-year-old fireman died at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX Thursday night (Jul 7) … after falling 20 feet in an attempt to catch a baseball for his 7-year-old son.
A baseball fan trying to catch a ball at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington died from his injuries Thursday night after falling from his seat to the ground roughly 20 feet below.
The fan, identified early Friday morning as 39-year-old Shannon Stone of Brownwood, was with his son, Cooper.
During the second inning of Thursday night’s game against the Oakland A’s, Stone apparently reached out for a ball tossed into the left field lower reserved seats by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. Stone lost his balance and fell over the railing, out of sight from the field. He landed on concrete behind the out of town video board that makes up the left field wall.
There is about a 6-foot space between the stands and the wall. The area used to house the manual scoreboard. The wall is 15-feet high. According to members of the Arlington Fire Department, another fan tried to grab Stone by his shirt, but was unable to hold on. Stone’s son was held back by other fans and did not fall.
Stone was quickly attended to by paramedics at the Ballpark.
Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler was in the visitor’s bullpen in left-center field, near where Stone fell.
Ziegler was in tears after the game when he found out about the death. The pitcher said when Stone was being put on a stretcher, he told people helping him that his son was “up there by himself” and asked them to check on the boy.
“He had his arms swinging. He talked and was conscious. We assumed he was okay,” Ziegler said. “But when you find out he’s not, it’s just tough.”
Despite being conscious after the fall, officials with the Arlington Fire Department say Stone “went into full arrest” while being transported by ambulance to JPS Hospital in Fort Worth.
Stone was pronounced dead less than an hour after he fell. He was a lieutenant with the Brownwood Fire Department and had been a firefighter for 17 years.
Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan told reporters after the game the team was “Deeply saddened to learn that the man who fell has passed away as a result of this tragic accident.” He went on to say “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Ryan spoke with the team after the game, passing along the news of the death. The Rangers’ clubhouse was closed to the media after the game. Outfielder Josh Hamilton was distraught by the news.
The family is in the process of making funeral arrangements for Lieutenant Shannon Stone. The City of Brownwood is flying flags at half-mast and will do so through the day of the funeral.
This is the third case of a fan falling at Rangers Ballpark since it opened. In 1994 a woman fell from the railing of the upper home run porch on opening day while posing for a picture. Last year another firefighter fell about 30 feet, from the second-deck of seats down the right-field line, while trying to catch a foul ball.
This is the first death to occur from a fall at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
We always hate to hear stuff like this that’s uncalled for and could have been easily avoidable. Ballparks need to make their stadiums more safe and baseball catching friendly….they know people get overexcited!