Entries in Shannon Stone (4)


Son of Texas Baseball Fan Who Fell to His Death Throws Out First Pitch

Wendy Hope/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- It was a very emotional opening to baseball’s playoffs in Texas Friday night.

Cooper Stone threw out the first pitch.  He’s the 6-year-old son of Shannon Stone – the man who fell to his death at a July baseball game while trying to catch a ball tossed to him by Texas Rangers’ superstar Josh Hamilton.

It was Cooper’s first trip back to the ballpark since he witnessed his firefighter father’s death.

Hamilton caught the pitch from Cooper (a strike) and then embraced Cooper and his mom, Jenny.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Rangers to Honor Dead Baseball Fan with Statue

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- One of saddest sports stories of the summer occurred at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas last month when a 39-year-old man fell over the railing to his death while trying to catch a baseball tossed by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

What made the accident even more tragic was that Shannon Stone was attending the game with his six-year-old son, Cooper, who watched his father fall 20 feet onto a cement embankment.

This week, the Rangers organization announced it has commissioned the building of a statue to honor Shannon Stone that will be placed outside the stadium.

Entitled "Rangers Fans," the statue will feature the Brownwood, Texas firefighter and his son.

CEO and club president Nolan Ryan -- a Hall of Fame pitcher who played for Texas -- said, "I want for people to remember Shannon and Cooper.  And I want our fans to know that they represent what we are all about, about family entertainment and making memories."

In addition, there have been charities set up to take care of the financial needs of Stone's widow and her son.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Funeral for Texas Rangers Fan Who Died Trying to Catch a Foul Ball

A flag of Texas flies at half-mast for Shannon Stone, who died after suffering a fall out of the stands at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(BROWNWOOD, Texas) -- More than a thousand people in Brownwood, Texas, flocked to the funeral Monday of firefighter Shannon Stone, who tragically fell to his death attempting to catch a foul ball at a Texas Rangers baseball game.

Stone had taken his six-year-old son, Cooper, to watch the game at the Rangers' ballpark in Arlington on Thursday when the accident occurred. Stone's wife Jenny said that prior to the game, Stone had stopped to buy new a glove so that he could try to catch a ball to give to Cooper. When Cooper's favorite player, Josh Hamilton, threw a foul ball toward the stands, Stone reached too far over the balcony to catch it, and fell head first about 20 feet onto concrete. He died en route to John Peter Smith Hospital. With his last words, he expressed concern about his little boy.

Stone, 39, was laid to rest following a funeral ceremony at the First United Church in Brownwood, Texas -- a church Stone's wife attended and where Cooper went to vacation Bible camp.

Jim Douglas from local ABC affiliate WFAA, who was outside the funeral, said at least a thousand people attended, filling the church's sanctuary and an overflow auditorium -- some even standing, squeezed into corners and aisles. Attendees ranged from the mayor of Brownwood to friends and family of the Stones and even Cooper Stone's soccer and baseball teams. Also in attendance were Rangers president Nolan Ryan and several other Rangers executives. More than three dozen Patriot Guards, whose professed mission is to attend funerals of fallen American heroes, stood guard outside the church, holding American flags.

A lone bagpipe played as Stone's 10 pallbearers, fellow firefighters from his shift at Brownwood, loaded a plain wooden casket containing their fallen colleague onto a ladder truck, stopping to place Stone's helmet and bunker coat on top. Stone's wife and son followed the ladder truck hand in hand, as it led a procession that included 60 emergency vehicles toward the cemetery. Lining the streets around them, hundreds of people who'd come out of offices and apartments to show support -- some holding flags, some holding homemade signs, all waiting patiently in nearly 100-degree temperatures to pay their respects.

Stone's death has hit his fire station particularly hard. Each staff member from the Brownwood fire department, where Stone had worked since 1993, attended the funeral, while neighboring Abilene fire station covered their area.

The accident has also hit the Rangers team at its heart. President Nolan Ryan described it in a press conference Friday as "one of the saddest things I've ever seen at a ballpark" and said player Josh Hamilton in particular was "very distraught." Rangers press director John Blake said the situation had been "devastating" to the entire team, who wore black ribbons on their uniforms at a game over the weekend against the Oakland A's. The team also observed a minute of silence and flew all flags at half-staff in honor of Stone.

A funeral program described Stone's many accomplishments. In addition to an exemplary firefighting record, Stone worked as a peace officer, an EMT and as a rescue technician at the Texas Motor Speedway. He also took part in disaster relief after Hurricanes Ike and Katrina.

Rountree said Stone even helped in the 9/11 cleanup effort in New York City. But his biggest source of pride was his son, who went with him everywhere. He described Stone as an "excellent person but probably a better dad."

Perhaps one of Stone's biggest accomplishments was one he achieved posthumously. Written on the funeral program, under a photo of Stone grinning in front of a fire truck, was the following: "Shannon was an organ donor, who benefitted over 40 lives, and gave the gift of sight."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Rangers Lower Flags, Create Fund for Fan Who Fell to Death

Wendy Hope/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- The Texas Rangers will be flying flags at half mast at tonight's game and have begun a memorial fund for the family of the fan who fell to his death from the stands while trying to catch a ball for his young son, team president Nolan Ryan said Friday.

A somber Ryan said at a press conference that the tragedy "was one of the saddest things I've ever seen in a ballpark. It goes down to the basic roots of who we are and what we stand for."

Shannon Stone, 39, a firefighter in Brownwood, Texas, fell 20 feet head first over a short railing at Arlington Stadium Thursday night after star outfielder Josh Hamilton tossed him the ball. Stone's young son Cooper was with him and witnessed the incident.

Former President George W. Bush was at the game when the incident occurred.

Athletics relief pitcher Brad Ziegler told ESPN that Stone was still conscious and able to talk as he was taken from the stadium.

"They had him on a stretcher. He said, 'Please check on my son. My son was up there by himself.' The people who carried him out reassured him, 'Sir, we'll get your son, we'll make sure he's OK,'" Ziegler told ESPN.

Thursday's tragedy marks the second deadly fall at a Major League baseball game this season. A 27-year-old man died in May when he fell 20 feet at a Colorado Rockies game and struck his head on concrete.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio