Josh Hamilton spoke to the media today about the tragic death of the 39-year-old Rangers fan who lost his life while trying to catch a foul ball on Thursday. The death was witnessed by his 6-year-old son Cooper. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram put up the following transcript from his press conference on Friday:
On playing today? The obligation that I have to this organization is nothing that would benefit me from not playing and trying to help those guys. I'm going to play. I talked with Wash. I talked with Gary Pettis about if I feel like I need some time, can I take some time. There's nothing I can do by not playing.
Reaching out to family? Absolutely. I haven't yet. I'm going to give this situation time to, you hate to think sink in, but I can't imagine what they're going through right now. I can't imagine. All I can think about is praying for them and knowing that God has a plan. You don't always know what that plan is when those things happen, but you will.
What was your night like when you got home? She (Katie) stayed up with me and talked with with me and gave me some encouragement and support. She was there to talk to me if I needed to. The kids stayed up to talk to me for a while. It was just hard for me, hearing the little boy screaming for his daddy after he had fallen, and then being home with my kids, really hit home last night.
You could hear the boy? That's one of the main things I remember. It's definitely on my mind and in my heart. I can't stop praying today for them.
After Hamilton caught a foul ball and threw it into the stands, Stone caught the ball before falling to his death. The small boy watched as his father fell 20 feet into the concrete below.
The 39-year-old firefighter died later that day at a hospital.
That's what they were there for, was to catch a ball, said Shannon Stone's mother Suzann Stone. Cooper loves baseball and he's a big Josh Hamilton fan. Had his jersey.
The team's president, pitching great Nolan Ryan, said that the tragedy hits us at our roots of who we are.