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A Texas Rangers fan died after falling about 20 feet from the stands, head first, while trying to catch a foul ball tossed to him by a player yesterday. The man’s 8-year-old son was left alone in the stands.
The Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin identified the man as Shannon Stone, a lieutenant in that town’s fire department and a fireman for 18 years.
The accident happened in the second inning after Oakland’s Conor Jackson hit a foul ball that bounced back onto the field, according to Yahoo Sports blog.
Stone lost his balance and tumbled over the outfield railing as he tried to catch the ball tossed to him by outfielder Josh Hamilton. Another fan tried to catch Stone but he was too late.
Athletics Reliever Brad Ziegler was in tears after the game when he found out the man died. “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 said.
“A man goes to a ballgame with his son — it’s the ultimate American experience — and he dies trying to catch a ball,” wrote sportswriter David Brown on Yahoo sports blog.