Entries in Texas Rangers (7)


Entire Town of West, Texas, Invited to Rangers Baseball Game

Zoonar/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- For a few hours, the beleaguered residents of West, Texas were able to put aside this spring's deadly fertilizer plant explosion thanks to baseball.

The Texas Rangers invited the entire north Texas community to their Saturday night ballgame against the Houston Astros. The Rangers wore special patches on their jerseys that read "Support West".

Before the first pitch, there was a 30-minute ceremony honoring first responders and the 15 people who were killed in the April 17 blast. During the pregame ceremony, the town was presented with $140,000 in donations from major league baseball, the players union and the Rangers' foundation for the town's recovery efforts.

The Rangers' Lance Berkman, a Houston native, donated a fire truck to West's volunteer fire department.

West mayor Tommy Muska said the whole experience was a gift to the community. “I think two and a half months into this tragedy, they need to sit back and breathe a little bit,” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Vanek said seeing the people of West enjoying themselves was heart-warming. “Lot of people have lost their homes and have had a hard time gathering places,” he said. “To see all those people from a great-grandfather to a great'll bring a tear to your eye.”

Copyright 2013 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


Texas Rangers to Raise Guard Rails in Wake of Fan's Death

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- The Texas Rangers say the ballclub will raise the level of all critical safety rails to “the highest standard in the United States at this time” after a fan fell 20 feet to his death earlier this month in an attempt to catch a baseball.

"The safety of our fans is our top priority," said Rangers president Nolan Ryan. "The initiatives we are announcing today for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will help to ensure that we meet that priority."

In addition to the guard rail alterations, the team says it will post new signs and issue safety reminders via the public address system.

Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter, was trying to catch a baseball tossed into the stands by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton when, in front of his 6-year-old son’s eyes, he tumbled over a railing and later died.

The incident, which was captured on video and quickly went viral, marked the second time this season that someone suffered a deadly fall at a major league baseball game.

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


Texas Rangers Fan Falls to Death Reaching for Ball

Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- A Texas baseball fan fell 20 feet to his death on Thursday after reaching over a barricade to catch a ball tossed to the crowd by Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

Arlington Fire Department officials said the man, who witnesses said was conscious after the fall, "went into full arrest" while being transported by ambulance.

The man has been identified as Shannon Stone, who worked with the Brownwood Fire Department. Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston confirmed that a Brownwood firefighter died at a Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington.

"We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball," team president Nolan Ryan said somberly after the Rangers' 6-0 victory over Oakland.  "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."

Ryan added that Hamilton is "very distraught over this, as the entire team is."

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


Mexican Drug Cartels Allegedly Plot to Shoot ICE Agents, Texas Rangers

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. counternarcotics officials recently discovered that Mexican drug cartels discussed plots to kill Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Texas Rangers who patrol the U.S.-Mexico border.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, disclosed the information during a hearing Thursday morning on how DHS is battling Mexican drug cartels.

A March 2011 law enforcement bulletin "warned that cartels were overheard plotting to kill ICE agents and Texas Rangers guarding the border using AK-47s by shooting at them from across the border," McCaul said.

U.S. officials could not ascertain how credible the threats were but were concerned enough that they alerted agents operating on the border.

The information is believed to have been derived from intercepted communications.

Asked about the bulletin, a DHS official said, "Out of an abundance of caution, we routinely share information that could impact our frontline personnel in order to ensure that they are aware of any and all threats."

Calls to the Texas Rangers were not returned on Thursday.

Last month two U.S. ICE agents were targeted by cartel members in a shooting that killed ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata and wounded his partner, Special Agent Victor Avila.

McCaul, who has spoken with Agent Avila about the incident, said Thursday, "Both agents pleaded for their lives in Spanish, identifying themselves as United States federal agents. Members of the Los Zetas cartel responded by firing more than 80 rounds from automatic weapons.

"The shooting of Special Agents Zapata and Avila is a game-changer which alters the landscape of the United States' involvement in Mexico's war against the drug cartels," McCaul added at the hearing. President Obama and other top U.S. law enforcement officials have vowed the full force of the federal government to support local Mexican authorities hunting down Zapata's killers and attempting to bring them to justice.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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