July 8, 2011

Fan Falls From Stands, Later Dies

By - Kris Fletcher

Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter, was attending the Texas Rangers-Oakland A's baseball game in Arlington late yesterday afternoon with his young son Cooper.

In the second inning, reigning A.L. MVP Josh Hamilton grabbed a foul ball that had ricocheted into left field and tossed it into the stands. Stone leaned over and caught the ball, but then fell over a railing and plunged twenty feet to the concrete below.

He died at a hospital a short time later.

Photo by: MLB Images
Ronnie Hargis, who was sitting next to Stone in the first row of seats in left field, tried to grab him as he fell head first through a gap of several feet that is between the seats and the fourteen-foot-high outfield wall.

"He went straight down. I tried to grab him, but I couldn't," Hargis said. "I tried to slow him down a little bit."

Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler was in the visitor's bullpen in left-center field, not far from where Stone fell. According to Ziegler, when Stone was put on a stretcher, the firefighter told paramedics 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," Ziegler said. "We assumed he was okay. But when you find out he's not, it's just tough."

Photo by: Sharon Ellman
Arlington Fire Department officials said Stone, "went into full arrest" while being transported by ambulance. He was pronounced dead at a Fort Worth hospital less than an hour after he fell.

Stone was a lieutenant with the Brownwood Fire Department, and had been with them nearly eighteen years, said City Manager Bobby Rountree. Brownwood is about one hundred fifty miles southwest of Arlington.

"We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball," team president Nolan Ryan said after the game. "As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we're very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

It was the second fatal fall at a major league stadium this season. In May, a 27-year-old man died after he fell about twenty feet and struck his head on the concrete during a Colorado Rockies-Arizona Diamondbacks game. Witnesses to that accident told police the man had been trying to slide down a staircase railing at Coors Field and lost his balance.


  1. This was horrible. Awful his son was there to see it happened. Just a very sad situation.

  2. This is so sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  3. Seems something like this happens every year. Awful how a day of fun at the ballpark can turn so horribly wrong.

  4. Well did he atleast hold on to the ball? If he did he should have made web gems.

  5. Both of yall can kiss my ass. I was kidding.

  6. I like good humor as much as the next guy, but this is still way too recent of an event to be pokin' fun at it already.

    So, I stand by my seconding of you being a prick, and will take it a step further. You're an asinine prick.

    Good day sir.

  7. This is whats wrong with the internet. Gives all the fools out there like yall means in which to share your stupid opinions.

  8. Ok, for starters, since you took the courageous route and posted anonymously, I can only assume that you did so with the intention of being able to say outlandish and antagonizing drivel without anyone knowing who you are. Classy move.

    Secondly, don't have the audacity to come on to a site wherein you share YOUR opinion and then blast us for sharing our opinions. It makes you seem redundant and callow. Don't be that guy, nobody likes that guy.

    And thirdly, if you need any help reading this, might I suggest a dictionary or thesaurus for reference.

  9. Couldn't have said it better myself. Lol