Fan dies after fall at Rangers game'Please check on my son'
By Sports Network
|A fan falls over the railing while trying to catch a baseball at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Tex., July 7, 2011. (YouTube)
ARLINGTON - A man attending a game with his son between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics died from injuries suffered in a fall from the stands Thursday.
The Rangers said the man fell approximately 20 feet from the left field lower reserved seats to the area behind the left field wall.
"We are deeply saddened to learn that the man who fell has passed away as a result of this tragic accident," said Rangers president Nolan Ryan. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
A video replay showed the man tumbling over the railing while reaching for a foul ball thrown his way by Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton in the second inning.
The Rangers didn't identify the victim by name, but the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin reported late Thursday night that he was firefighter Shannon Stone.
"We don't know a whole lot of details right now," Brownwood city manager Bobby Rountree told the Bulletin by phone from the Central Fire Station. "It's a tragedy for the family, of course. We're just all saddened."
The victim was wearing a blue Rangers hat, a white T-shirt, khaki shorts and flip flops. His arms were outstretched and he disappeared behind the wall, which sits lower than the stands, as another fan sitting next to him tried and failed to grab him.
The Dallas Morning News spoke with Ronnie Hargis, who was sitting next to the victim, who was said to be at the game with his young son. The replay shows a young boy, standing to the victim's right and wearing a baseball glove.
"He went straight down," Hargis told the paper. "I tried to grab him, but I couldn't. I tried to slow him down a little bit."
The team said the man received immediate medical attention from staff at Rangers Ballpark and was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital. Ryan said after the Rangers' 6-0 win that the man's family had been notified.
Ryan said Hamilton was upset over the incident.
"I think as any of us would be, Josh is very distraught over this, as is the entire team," Ryan said.
A's relief pitcher Brad Ziegler was in the bullpen closest to the accident and said he believed the man would survive.
"They had him on a 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,' " Ziegler told reporters. "He had his arms swinging. He talked and was conscious. We assumed he was OK. But when you find out he's not, it's just tough."
The incident came almost one year to the day that another fan fell while reaching for a foul ball at the same stadium. Tyler Morris fell from the upper deck trying to catch a ball and suffered a fractured skull and ankle injury.