The Rangers Ballpark has now claimed the lives of two men, each coincidentally a firefighter, when each man leaned over the first row of seats and fell 20 feet in a small space between the railing and the 14-ft high outfield wall.
After MVP Josh Hamilton caught a foul and threw it into the stands, 39 year old Shannon Stone leaned over the rail in an effort to catch it and fell. At the bottom was solid concrete. Though conscious at first, Stone went into cardiac arrest at the hospital and died.
According to Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler, who was in the visitor’s bullpen in left-center field, the firefighter was saying as he was carried away on a stretcher that his son was “up there by himself” and asked those escorting him to check on the boy.
Sadly, this accident was not the first, nor the first to happen in this fashion. Almost exactly a year ago, on July 6, 2010, another firefighter fell to his death from the second deck and onto the fans below. Though the game continued on, it was a somber evening.