A man attending a Texas Rangers game at Rangers Ballpark with his young son died tragically Thursday night, after tumbling 20 feet, head-first, trying to catch a foul ball tossed to him by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. The man, identified as Shannon Stone — an 18-year veteran of a local fire department — was still conscious as he was carried away by stretcher.
He said, 'Please check on my son. My son was up there by himself.' The people who carried him out reassured him. 'Sir, we'll get your son, we'll make sure he's OK,'" [Oakland A's relief pitcher Brad] Ziegler said. "He had his arms swinging. He talked and was conscious. We assumed he was okay.
Rangers team president Nolan Ryan later delivered a somber statement, saying, "We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball." Former president George W. Bush was sitting in the front row with Ryan when the accident happened.
The accident is similar to one that occurred last July at the same ballpark, when another fan fell 30 feet trying to catch a foul ball. He survived, but suffered a fractured skull and sprained ankle. In May, a 27-year-old fan wasn't so lucky: He died after falling 20 feet into a stairwell at a Colorado Rockies game, apparently trying to slide down a handrail at Coors Field.
Maybe it's time to put some safety barriers up? Nets? Something? This can't keep happening. [AP, photo via AP]