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Rangers lower flags at Ballpark in Shannon Stone’s memory

Jul 8, 2011, 2:25 PM EDT

Rangers Ballpark during World Series Getty Images

The Rangers will play their scheduled game Friday against the Athletics, but only after lowering the flags at Rangers Ballpark and observing a moment of silence in memory of Shannon Stone, the firefighter who died after falling over a railing during Thursday night’s game.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan is expected to discuss the matter at a news conference this afternoon.

Some have suggested the Rangers postpone tonight’s game, but it’s hard to see how that would do Stone’s family any good.  It would just inconvenience and disappoint the 35,000-40,000 fans set to attend the contest.

There hasn’t been any word yet on whether Josh Hamilton will play tonight.

  1. jsally430 - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    I know this a trying time for hamilton. And he is his own man. But if I were him id want to play have the best game of my career tonight and dedicate the night and every hit to shannon and his family. im not saying it wouldnt be hard on him but I just think that would be the best way to go.

  2. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    This gives me the chills , especially watching the video , the guy was trying to be a great dad and get his kid a ball and something freakish like that happened . R.I.P. Feel bad for that young boy that had to watch his father pass in that way.

  3. bjavie - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    I am headed out to the Ballpark tonight and I was also wondering baout Hamilton’s status for tonight. I haven’t read anywhere where there has been talk of postponing the game, but I doubt they would either way, as it may be sell-out since they have fireworks scheduled.

    I am not in favor of passing blame on stadiums or anyone else when something like this obvious accident happens, but someone please tell me why that is an open drop behind the scoreboard??? There should be some sort of covering, even if just a mesh screen. Man, I feel for this guys family and friends.

  4. trevorb06 - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    They should start putting nets on the other sides of the rails for IF people fall. Sure it would cost a good deal of money but you can’t put a price on your loyal and beloved fans. Their safety should be number 1.

    • icanspeel - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      Yeah exactly.. It’s impossible to prevent all accidents from happening in a ballpark, but each ballpark may want to re-evaluate some areas and at least take into consideration areas like that where it would be easier for someone to fall and have a net or something protective. If anything it will increase the safety for when something as unfortunate as this happens.

  5. FC - Jul 8, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I agree that while we shouldn’t make a mountain out of a mole-hill (like canceling the game or start declaring ballparks unsafe), it behooves all MLB teams to try and spot potential problems in their stadiums and study how to prevent major injuries or tragic deaths. There are spaces in some ballparks between railings and the outfield walls because they are movable. We also have the upper-deck in other cases. Maybe there should be nets, or and additional railing, or something else entirely. Basically I want see some positive prevention to come out of this sad event.

  6. Richard In Big D - Jul 8, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    I used to work at the Ballpark as an usher in this area, and am intimately familiar with this space. There is a walkway between the left field wall and the seating area that was originally there to allow access to the manually operated out of town scoreboard. This was changed to an electronic video board a couple of years ago. I understand from local talk that the video board needed the free flow of air behind it to prevent overheating. I guess a trapeze net across the top would solve both problems, but the danger of falling into this space seems no more of an issue than any other front row seat that’s 20 feet up. If you’ve ever walked on a warning track, it isn’t appreciably softer than concrete…

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