Shannon Stone, Firefighter and Father and Rangers Fan: An American Life Recalled

Categories: Sports
shannonandcooperstone.jpg
Cooper and Shannon Stone
Yesterday, over breakfast, I lingered over the brief piece that appears on Page 44 of The New York Times Magazine: "A Day at the Ballpark." My 8-year-old son, a baseball fan and aspiring catcher, saw the headline and the illustration -- a photo of a well-worn baseball -- and asked what the piece was about. "Shannon Stone," I told him. He knew the name but didn't know why.

"He's the man who died at Rangers game, trying to catch that ball Josh Hamilton threw to him so he could give it to his 6-year-old son." My son, who I've taken to the Ballpark countless times and whose prized possession is a foul ball someone gave him at a Rangers game last season, grew quiet. "Oh, yeah," he said. "That was a sad story." We talked about it when it happened, in early July, but not much since. There will be plenty of opportunities next season: Come Opening Day 2012, sculptor Bruce Greene's statute of Shannon and son Cooper will greet visitors to the Ballpark in Arlington, at the Home Plate Gate.

My son asked what the story in The Times was about. I told him: The producer of a radio show interviewed Shannon Stone's parents, Al and SuZann, about taking their own son to see Rangers games when he was a boy. I asked my son if he wanted to read it. He begged off. I read him just the last part:
SuZann: Shortly after the accident, there was some discussion about whether foul balls should be thrown into the stands to the fans. I wrote to Josh Hamilton, and I said: "Please, don't stop throwing those balls. Because that's so important. That's why daddies bring their little boys to the ballgame is for memories like that. Please don't stop."

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Ranee Dees
Ranee Dees

I  was in  Texas when  this accident happened, yeah, I said accident.  This was a good hard working man that had an honorable occupation,a wife that loved him, a child that still adored his daddy and generally had a great life. His wife was a girl who had a foul baseball that had been caught  This dad wanted  to give his son not only a baseball but a story to tell when he was a man  The wife is not bitter about how tragically her husband died and this is a blessing  because children really do  learn by what is done ; not just what is said to the children. Josh Hamilton has survived his own demons and has chosen brighter path. Josh has decided he is part of the whole game not  just the baseball diamond.  Josh Hamilton is now a man of baseball not just a boy chasing the money playing a game.  I am proud to  be a Rangers fan even since I have moved from Texas I will continue to follow Josh Hamilton's career

Direwolf
Direwolf

My hat is off to SuZann Stone on this.  In the midst of a terrible time, she chose to stay focused on the positive of moment.  No harm was meant.  A freak accident took her husband from her.  Like many people today, she chose not to reap financial reward.  What she did do was remind the person who threw the baseball the importance of what he did and had done for many others.  The statue hurts no one.  It does remind people why fathers and sons go to baseball games and at the same time reminds them the dangers of chasing foul and thrown balls.

William
William

I believeit was her son not her husband

Jessica
Jessica

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Overstock Coupons
Overstock Coupons

I live in Northern Ireland but travel down to the Republic of Ireland quite regularly. My favorite out of the two would have to be Dublin. They have lots of things to do and also lots of things to see.

 

Liberame ya
Liberame ya

guy died diving to catch a ball as if he was following some pavlovian impulse... sorry, he died by his own hand and greed. unfortunately, it is easier to blame it on everybody but the one truly at fault.... he should be nominated for thew darwin awards... the plaque on the statue should read... it is just a game, stupid.

Baldwin1702
Baldwin1702

Hey that guy was part of my family. It was just something that happened. If you died in your car trying to change your cd how would it feel for you family if people,was saying what you are. You nothing about that man so keep it to yoursrlf stupid

Titobananas
Titobananas

I would hope that if I did die trying to change my CD, no one would erect a statue of me to honor my love of music. Sorry, I am sure he was a great guy and should be mourned and honored by his family and friends. But a statue? ... Not appropriate, considering he was engaged in behavior that should be discouraged at ballparks. If he was not a father and firefighter, do you think he would have gotten one. I am not even going to bring up the race issue.

Deyez
Deyez

obviously you dont have a child...!

Liberame ya
Liberame ya

Because I am against doing stupid stuff in Dallas like:- Ride my bike during rush hour down mayor thoroughfares- Text while driving- Bungie-jump- Overextend myself over a railings to get a ball?!?!?

There is a reason minorities seem to multiply faster than whites... They don't do any of the above or participate in anything x-games related. 

Bbelarry
Bbelarry

You are such a loser, you probobly don't have kids , never played sports and don't have a grip on family , love or morals.  I would have to think you have a shallow life with no selve esteem and the only way you can feel good is to find fault with the mainstream world.

Get some help

Liberame ya
Liberame ya

Never higher than corn or lower than potatoes and you will be safe!!! SPECIALLY if you have kids... Hey, we lie to them every year with the whole Saint Nick deal. Why can't you buy a used baseball and give it to them? I am not out to make this a racial issue, but you never see brown, yellow or black people getting killed like this...do you?!?!?!

I am a looser because I  don't risk my life in front of my kid? Ok, I am a looser that will like a heck of a lot longer that this guy. Get some help?!?! Guess what, I did, and that is why I don't do stupid stuff anymore. Get off your askew morals high horse and  realize that PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is paramount.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Generally firefighters not only fight fires but do lots of building inspections and are very aware of public safety as a whole. They are trained to spot potential hazards and to be in top physical condition as to be able to drag fat people out of burning buildings. All that being said I agree with liberame even more so!

   

SteveSandwich
SteveSandwich

Man, I really want to leave this alone, but a statue?   Yes, it's one of the saddest things we've ever seen or heard this side of a war zone, but a bigass reminder?   

I gently, apologetically disagree with the installation of a statue.

Lockhart Smokehouse
Lockhart Smokehouse

About a month after we did the fundraiser with our friends at Pecan Lodge, we lucked into some Ranger tickets and took our boys to their first baseball game. Right when we walked in the first base coach for the opposing team, Tampa Bay Rays, tossed each of our boys a ball.  Later, a fellow fan gave them his extra program, out of the blue. We really believe it was the spirit of Mr. Stone sharing the joy of the game.  

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