Shannon Stone, the Rangers fan who passed away while attempting to catch a ball for his son, has been forever immortalized outside of the Ballpark at Arlington. The Rangers unveiled a statue of Stone yesterday, featuring the late firefighter holding hands with his son Cooper.
The statue is a fitting tribute to Stone, who passed away on July 8th of last year while reaching over the left field fence reaching for a ball that Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was tossing to him and his son. The incident caused a firestorm around players tossing balls into the crowd, and led to the Rangers putting up a net beyond the left field fence that would prevent another fan from having the same fate as Stone.
To their credit, the Rangers handled the Stone situation about as well as they could have. Fans dying at sporting events is extremely rare, yet it happens from time to time, and is an extremely traumatic event for everyone involved. Hamilton has stayed in contact with the Stone family after the elder Stone’s death, and posed for pictures with the family at the unveiling of the statue.
The Rangers’ choice to create a statue to honor Stone was a noble way to honor a man who was just trying to make his child happy, and will forever preserve his memory. Great job by the franchise to make the best out of an absolutely terrible situation, and not attempting to divert blame.