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Josh Hamilton will continue tossing balls to fans

Dec 30, 2011, 9:22 PM EDT

Cooper Stone, Josh Hamilton AP

Shannon Stone tragically fell to his death on July 7 at Rangers Ballpark while trying to catch a baseball for his 6-year-old son Cooper. The ball was thrown into the stands by Josh Hamilton, who later told reporters that he remembers the incident as though it was in slow-motion and could hear Cooper screaming for his father.

Hamilton wouldn’t be human if he wasn’t deeply affected by such a horrible accident and nobody would blame him if he never threw another baseball into the stands. However, Shannon’s mother, SuZann Stone, told the New York Times Magazine earlier this week that she wrote a letter to the 2010 AL MVP asking him to continue tossing balls to fans.

“I just didn’t want him to stop,” Stone later told the Associated Press. “How sad that would be because that’s what little boys and their daddies go for. This was just an accident.”

Via Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Hamilton released a statement earlier today saying that he intends to honor SuZann’s wishes.

“My intent will continue to be to toss baseballs to fans in the stands. However, I am also very mindful that this needs to be done in the right circumstances. Giving away baseballs during a game is an important part of how we interact with our fans. I assess each situation to make certain it is done safely. I appreciate the comments by Mrs. Stone and my prayers are with the Stone family.”

Cooper Stone threw out the first pitch of Game 1 of the ALDS against the Rays and the team plans to unveil a statue in honor of Shannon next year.

  1. butchhuskey - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Seeing Cooper throw out that first pitch really moved me. I thought it was an absolutely beautiful moment

  2. chuckj1234 - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    Hamilton is a classy man.

  3. 27xwschamps - Dec 31, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    As a NYY fan i have got to give up the respect to mr hamilton and the stone family…

  4. teaspoon1731 - Dec 31, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Hamilton. That being said, I think the way the organization and Hamilton dealt with the tragedy has been respectful. I also fully appreciate that Hamilton acknowledges the importance of his actions, and the fans, and I almost want to like him for all of this.

  5. kp33 - Dec 31, 2011 at 4:13 AM

    Hamilton and the rangers could not have possibly handled this situation better and with more class. Bravo.

  6. ufgator8 - Dec 31, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Who are the heartless tapping the thumbs-down in any of this? Get some humanity.

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