By now, most people are familiar with the tragic story of Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old Texas Rangers fan who tragically fell to his death at a Rangers-A's game.
Stone was trying to catch a foul ball at the game tossed to him by Rangers all-star Josh Hamilton when he fell over the railing in left field. Stone, who was at the game with his 6-year-old son, fell 20 feet and landed on his head. He was taken to Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office where he later died.
The game went on as scheduled with players, coaches and most fans unaware that Stone, a firefighter from a nearby Dallas suburb, had died. This ignorance was shared by the A's announce team which began to laugh when they were shown instant replays of the incident.
Obviously, the announcers were completely unaware of the seriousness of the situation. Still, their attempt to make humor of the situation doesn't look good in retrospect.
Reports indicated players like Hamilton were devastated when they heard about the death. According to the Associated Press, Oakland A's reliever Brad Ziegler was crying when he learned the fan died. Ziegler was nearby and said Stone was actually conscious after he fell. He reportedly told people to look after his son, who was up in the upper deck by himself.
We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball, said team president Nolan Ryan. 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.
This isn't the first time there has been an accident of this nature at the Rangers Ballpark. Ironically, nearly a year ago, Tyler Morris, another firefighter, also fell from the upper deck while attending a Rangers-Indians game. Morris called his incident a total accident. Earlier this season, a 27-year-old fan died after falling 20 feet from the upper deck at a Colorado Rockies game.
Here's a video of the accident.