Dad, son went to Rangers game to catch a ball
The man who died after falling over an outfield railing at a
Texas Rangers game was a decorated firefighter and devoted father
who had taken his 6-year-old son to the ballpark in hopes of
catching a ball.
Suzann Stone told The Associated Press that her son, Shannon,
and young Cooper Stone had even stopped on the way to Arlington,
Texas, on Thursday to buy the boy a new glove. The two were
”almost attached at the hip” and went to Rangers games often,
including one of the team’s World Series games last season, she
”That’s what they were there for was to catch a ball,” the
63-year-old mother said Friday, choking back sobs. ”Cooper loves
baseball and he’s a big Josh Hamilton fan. Had his jersey.”
Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP, grabbed a foul ball in the second
inning that ricocheted into left field and then he tossed it into
the stands. Stone caught the ball but tumbled over the railing and
plunged 20 feet onto concrete. The 39-year-old firefighter from
Brownwood died at a hospital Thursday night.
Suzann Stone said she was watching the game.
”Cooper told me where they were sitting so I could look for him
on television,” she said, adding that she was not watching when
her son fell. ”I missed it. I didn’t see it.”
Her youngest son, Chad Stone, called her late Thursday and broke
the news to his parents. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s
Office ruled Friday that Stone died from blunt force trauma caused
by the fall.
He leaves Cooper and his 36-year-old wife, Jenny Stone.
”It’s a very, very sad day for the Texas Rangers
organization,” team President Nolan Ryan said. ”We’re about
making memories, family entertainment. Last night, we had a father
and son at the game and had a very tragic incident.”
Ryan said he spoke with Jenny Stone by phone Friday morning.
”She’s very concerned about her son and the impact this is
having on him – rightly so,” he said.
Shannon Stone was a firefighter with the Brownwood Fire
Department for 18 years. In 2007, he and another firefighter ran
into a smoke-filled home in nearby Bangs to rescue a woman in her
70s, according to story in the Brownwood Bulletin newspaper.
Stone and another firefighter received a distinguished service
award from the department for bravery and dedication. He told the
paper he was only doing what any other firefighter would have. He
just happened to be ”in the right place at the right time.”
Her son, said Suzann Stone, was fun-loving and enjoyed being a
father and a husband. For as long as she can remember he wanted to
be a firefighter.
She and her husband ”laughingly said Shannon said `fire truck’
before he said `mommy’ or `daddy,”’ Suzann Stone said from her
home in Cleburne, about 115 miles northeast of Brownwood.
Stone would do all he could to make as many of Cooper’s T-ball
games – even when he was on duty at the fire station, Suzann Stone
said. He was a ”wonderful son, father and person,” she said.
”I always told him if he wasn’t my son I would want him as my
best friend,” she said. ”He was so good, so caring of