Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter in Texas, took his young son (8 or 9 years old) to the Athletics-Rangers game last night at the Ballpark in Arlington. In the second inning, Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton collected a foul ball and performed the seemingly innocuous task that almost all outfielders do – toss the ball into the stands so a lucky fan gets a souvenir. Stone, seated in the front row in left field, leaned forward and made the catch with both hands – but then he fell over the railing and plummeted 20 feet, landing on his head.
Fans who witnessed the fall said Stone was bleeding badly.
Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler was in the bullpen nearby and told the media after the game thought Stone was going to be OK because Stone was coherent after the fall, telling the medical personnel tending to him “please check on my son up there.”
On the way to the hospital, Stone went into cardiac arrest and died.
The incident comes a little less than one year after another Texas fan, Tyler Morris, was seriously injured at the Ballpark following a 30-foot fall.