Rangers Unveil Statue Of Fan Who Died At Game

ARLINGTON (AP) – Nine months after a Texas Rangers fan died after falling over an outfield railing at a game, his 7-year-old son helped unveil a statue Thursday honoring his father and others who love America’s pastime.

The life-size bronze statue depicts Shannon Stone and his son, Cooper, wearing baseball caps. They are holding hands and looking at each other as if they’re talking. The inscription reads: In memory of Shannon Stone and dedicated to all fans who love the game.

“Today is a celebration of spirit, family and love of the game,” Rangers President Nolan Ryan said. “This bronze represents so many things that are good about baseball — competition, happiness, memories — and I think Shannon embodied what we as an organization hope for in our fans.”

IFWT Rangers Statue Rangers Unveil Statue Of Fan Who Died At Game

Photo posted by Twitter user @gametimegirl

On July 7, Stone was reaching for a ball tossed to him by Josh Hamilton, Cooper’s favorite player, when he fell headfirst about 20 feet and landed on concrete behind the outfield wall. Before the game, Stone had stopped to buy his then-6-year-old son a new glove in the hope of catching a ball.

Witnesses said Stone, a Brownwood Fire Department firefighter, was conscious after falling and sounded worried about Cooper being left alone. Stone, 39, was pronounced dead within an hour.

In September, Cooper and his mother returned to the Rangers Ballpark at Arlington for the first time since Stone’s death. Cooper stood on the pitcher’s mound and tossed the ceremonial first pitch of the playoffs to Hamilton. Some 50,000 fans were on their feet, many with tears in their eyes.

In creating the statue to honor Stone, sculptor Bruce Greene said it was important for him to depict the moment where fathers and sons are discussing the play-by-play after the game. He also said it was a priority to finish the statue before the start of the season. The Rangers’ season opener is scheduled for Friday against the Chicago White Sox.

Ryan said that when Shannon Stone was a boy, he caught a foul ball hit by one of his favorite players, Buddy Bell, who played for the Texas Rangers from 1979-85 and again in 1989. Before the statue was unveiled Thursday, Bell gave Cooper a baseball jersey, bat and ball — after high-fiving the boy.

Stone’s widow, Jenny, attended the unveiling with her son but did not speak to the crowd, which included the team, Brownwood firefighters and Arlington emergency personnel. In a statement read at the ceremony, Stone’s family said the statue represents what he believed in — his son, family, friends and having fun.

“Shannon lived life to the fullest, doing the things that brought him and others joy. We hope this statue reminds people of doing just that,” the family said in the statement.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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One Comment

  1. phil kammer says:

    I think the reason this happened was because Nolen has a big heart – The Rangers are a lucky group. I doubt any other owner would have even considered this.

    1. Jack NY Yanks says:

      Can’t you just enjoy this wonderful gesture without taking a dig at all of the other owners? Nolan is indeed a class act, but this is a heartbreaking story that touches all fans. Many – probably most – owners would have done the same thing.

  2. Neil says:

    The Texas Rangers should be applauded for doing this. Baseball Fans will never forget.

    1. Adam says:


      I take it all back. This statue actually WAS a good idea. This statute is actually a great metaphor for us as a nation and I am glad they built it. It’s perfect to show how we as a nation have taken a great fall and are mortally wounded, and not able to be there for our children, due to our own foolishness and worship of idols (sports figures, baseballs, etc,etc), while turning our back to The Lord Jesus Christ.

      Forget my last comment Neil.. I was wrong you were right. We will never forget.

  3. ifoundadollar says:

    I salute this great Dad. He passed doing what he loved most. His son will likely go through some tough thoughts over all this, and my prayers are with him. If you are that son and are reading this, know that there are people in the world that know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are way fortunate to have been there when it happened, and to know why it happened. He absolutely loved you.

    1. Adam says:

      Are you guys for real?? He died doing what he loved?!!! We have officially gone around the bend as a nation. We really have. This guy died lunging for a baseball people!!!

      Lord please help this nation fast. Some guy goes over the railing chasing a baseball and we give him a statute and tell each other how he died doing what he loved.

      Whoever wrote this, I don’t mean to mock you, I really don’t. You simply need a major change of perspective, and maybe to turn off your tv and spend some time with your bible.

  4. me says:

    Don’t feed the trolls.

    1. ifoundadollar says:

      Got it. And thanks for the reminder.. was just about to submit. High 5.

  5. L Collingwood says:

    Some people just cat not be happy,so they’ll be damned if any one else is.One day his son can take his boy or girl to a game and see grandpa.Be nice to see.

  6. texasdav says:

    So glad they commemorated that boy’s father. My the Lord bless that son, and his mother.

  7. Bruno says:

    What a shame to lose a father over a baseball.

    Call me cynical, but my hunch is the statue and ceremony was part of a settlement.

    Why not statues of the dozens who probably have died in traffic accidents over the years taking their kids to/from games? What’s the difference here, except in one case the Rangers may have had financial liability. They don’t in the car accidents.

    Nothing wrong with that, but it may not be the 100% warm fuzzy thing you want it to be.

    1. Homer says:

      Settlement? Are you crazy? Oh yeah, “here’s a big bag of money or you can have a big ugly statue instead”. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

      1. rangerrick says:

        You can bet that it is both, not one or the other.

    2. Douglas says:

      You would be wrong. There was never any suits filed. All suits filed of are public announcement… The fences are of standard set by the government… so there is no ability to sue. But this is what is great about this family. They realized it was an accident and never filed a law suit.

      Whats truely sad though is that there are people who cannot believe that people do good things out of the goodness of their heart.

    3. marshill88 says:

      that is what a democrat would do….sue everyone. but this is texas Bruno, not exactly where you will find corrupt sue-happy Obama voting democrats that see every business as a moneybags from a lawsuit.

  8. Lance Hemmert says:

    God bless the Rangers for doing this. Very cool. 🙂

    1. james pog says:

      You’d think god would have blessed the father, so he didn’t fall out of the bleachers and leave his son with out a father, and with the agony of watching his father die. God doesn’t do that, you say? Darn.

  9. rangerrick says:

    Obviously a gesture to avoid legal action. Why would somebody dive off an upperdeck just to get a baseball?

    1. Aaron says:

      Obviously a gesture of love and kindness.

      1. rangerrick says:

        Dad had a brain fart at the railing, and the Rangers put up a statue as part of the legal settlement. Don’t be so naive. Love and kindness? It’s about money and liability.

    2. Douglas says:

      The family has stated they never had a desire to press legal action because it was an accident and this was days after the accident.

  10. LDT says:

    Kind and heartfelt move by the Rangers. I’m 65 and the story brings a tear to my eyes and memories of ballgames with my Dad…

  11. John Wayne says:

    Watch the video of his fall. He reaches out in front of someone else to steal the ball from them. His last act was one of selfishness. Got what he sowed.

    1. Aaron says:

      Your SO right! People deserve to DIE for reaching out to grab a ball! G-D, you really are an insightful and thoughtful human being. You are obviously someone who believes in fairness and I couldn’t agree more. Grabbing a ball and dying in front of your little kid are DEF equal. So glad you stopped by to enlighten us with your intelligence.

      1. ObviousOne says:

        No Aaron, The Duke is right on this. Actions do have consequences, and this guy’s action resulted in death.

    2. Too Smart says:

      only a moron would make such a comment, here is hoping you step in front of a bus….

    3. Douglas says:

      The ball was infront of his child? Did you really watch it?

    4. Dinngg says:

      You idiot, you’ve clearly never played the game…the dad had his eye on the ball the whole time while the ball was in the air and he wanted to catch it, and simply slid to the side to catch the ball, and his shirt slipped on the railing. He did not deliberately “cut in front” of the other guy. Stupid azz.

  12. PC says:

    It was a sad event but I don’t think this kind of behavior should be memorialized.

  13. uisignorant says:

    We build statues now for people not knowing their limitations and going stupid stuff??? This man died because of hero worship, nothing more.

  14. Jen says:

    I don’t follow baseball in any real way, but the Rangers have proven before that they have a heart (so to speak). In the 2011 Draft they signed former UGA player Johnathan Taylor who is paralyzed & may never walk again. He broke his neck colliding with a teammate in a March game & the Rangers were already looking at him before this & decided to move forward with him in one of their late round draft picks.

  15. LTodd says:

    A simple and lovely tribute. Very well done.

  16. DS says:

    Settlement? Please. This is Nolan Ryan and his heart going out to a family that had a tragedy of losing a father, husband, son, friend. I’m also sure that he made sure that Shannon’s family will be cared for. (just ignore the idiots)

  17. TiminPhx says:

    If it helped that boy’s pain be lessened by just 1% it was worth it. This is a fine and decent thing, the Rangers did.

  18. Enough already says:

    There’s one person missing from the statue – CHARLES DARWIN.

    1. Derrick M. says:

      You’re an idiot, and an example of someone who is a coward IRL, but quite courageous on the Internet.

  19. marshill88 says:

    To all of you who think this is part of a legal settlement: no, that is what a democrat would do….sue everyone. but this is texas Bruno, not exactly where you will find corrupt sue-happy Obama voting democrats that see every business as a moneybags from a lawsuit.

  20. Douglas says:

    DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS PEOPLE! Those of us in DFW know that the family announced there would be no legal action because it was an accident just a day after the incident. Those of us in DFW know the goodness of NOLAN RYAN, his work with kids, and his unselfish behavior. Let those who want to get a rise out of people have their say and do not feed them. They are desperate for attention. Let them think they had their say so they will go back to their misserable life without being more entertained.

  21. tigerD says:

    A class move by the Rangers. Some of the comments could use some of that class.

  22. Amish Miner's Coalition says:


  23. TJP says:

    Why would you waste money on a statue for a guy who basically won a Darwin Award for most pointless way to die? I feel for his family, but my sympathy level for hm is riding close to zero. Should have just given his family some money and not bothered with a statue.

    People who deserve statues do things like pulling children from burning buildings.

    1. Tripp Knightly says:

      Like… a firefighter which, ironically, he was. Who are you to lay claim to who gets statues and why? People who deserve statues are those that get them.

  24. Les says:

    So everyone who exhibits poor judgment resulting in death should be memorialized with a larger than life statue? Baaad idea Nolan…

  25. Father & Son says:

    A great statue regardless of the cause behind it. Father & Son …Perfect.

  26. RT says:

    Unless I am mistaken, I believe this is the first time a potential Darwin awardee got a statue erected in his honor. Are humans not a truly laughable species?

  27. Hate Watching Sports says:

    This Statue Encourages Copy Cats. In perspective: Poor man died after paying his hard earned slave wage money to watch mega-millionaires in tights

  28. Duke says:

    If they can give Obama the Nobel prize than they can give this guy a statue. At least he did something to earn it.

  29. Bicycle Kick to the Face! says:

    I’m glad the Rangers did the right thing and sculpted the father upside down…

  30. RF Burns says:

    Just imagine how this situation would have been handled if Marge Schott were alive and head of the Rangers. Another example of what a class act Nolan Ryan and the whole Rangers organization really are. Other clubs should take notice.

  31. AHD says:

    Everything happens for a reason. God let this man die so all you F—-ing Idiots could have something else to argue about. If it’s not politics or religion then it’s sports. I think it’s awesome the Rangers took the heart, time and money to have this statue put up so everyone can see that Texas is truly the Lone Star State. Chicago would have had to ask the WH Idiot for a loan if it happened in that state.

  32. E. Eric Martin says:

    Not that it should matter but the Rangers and the Shannon estate have already reached a seven figure settlement, paid by the Ranger’s insurance company. Everyone wanted to avoid a civil action.

  33. Lugnuts says:

    What about the jaywalker who got run over going to the game? Or the guy that chocked on his popcorn. Surely they did something remarkable to advance the game.

  34. Jophn says:

    Reminds me of when Kramer settled for a Marlboro man billboard. Oh well, the guy was a ball thief anyway.

  35. Dallasite says:

    I recently moved to Dallas and did not know the story. When I saw the headline I thought the firefighter had done something heroic at the ballpark. After reading the article I was appalled to learn that he died while foolishly overreaching for a baseball. Why would any organization erect a statue commemorating such folly? I understand why the widow was speechless.

  36. warped humor 2 says:

    man i thought i had too much time on my hands most of you are using your hands for something else

  37. warped humor 3 says:

    Hey this site site is great all you have to do is change the name and email and you can say anything you want. Considering the moronic things here about love and feelings vs the picture of a moron killing himself over a 2.50 ball, very entertaining

  38. Pat says:

    Give me a break-this man is an idiot for leaning over the rail so far & should have known better. How long will the Rangers keep this PR stunt going? Everytime you turn around there is something else is being done. Yes it was sad & I feel sorry for the family but in no way would I consider him a hero & definitely not a good role model

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