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July 07, 2011

Fan dies after falling from left-field seats

ARLINGTON – A man fell approximately 20 feet from the left-field stands to the concrete level behind the leftfield fence during the Rangers-Athletics game on Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and was pronounced dead less than three hours later.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that the man who fell has passed away as a result of this tragic accident,” Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

The fan left the stadium in an ambulance, and was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

The fan tumbled over the railing at approximately 7:30 p.m. after asking Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton for a foul ball hit by Oakland outfielder Conor Jackson in the top of the second inning. Hamilton tossed the ball up to him, he leaned over and caught it and then went headfirst into the gap between the seats and out-of-town scoreboard.

“I tried to grab him, but I couldn’t,” said Ronnie Hargis, a 50-year-old from Hawley who was seated next to him. “I tried to slow him down a little bit. He went straight down.”

Hargis said the man was attending the game with his son, who he speculated was 6 to 8 years old. He added that the man told him he was a Brownwood firefighter. 

The fall comes just over a year after Tyler Morris tumbled 30 feet from the second deck into the field level seats on June 6, 2010. Morris, a Lake Cities firefighter, lost his balance reaching for a Nelson Cruz foul ball, went over the railing, hit a ribbon video board on the face of the lower level and somersaulted toward the lower level, landing on a couple from the Houston area. Morris survived the fall.

-- Drew Davison


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I watched him fall, but could not see that there was only a 6 foot gap. Imagine falling 20ft down a tube. Your body cannot spread the force of impact out much. So tragic.

my prayers are with him and his family

My prayers go out to his family especially his son who was with him; also with Josh Hamilton.

I was there, too. God rest his soul. God be with his family and grant them Your Peace and Comfort. And grant Josh Your forgiveness. And for those of us who were there, who saw it, God, grant us, please, a restful night with no nightmares.

I've seen the vid 10 times tonight... and I couldn't stop looking at the little boy. (I'm not watching it again - ever)
I pray for that family... and ESPECIALLY his son who watched the whole thing... and then kept calling out for his daddy before another fan picked the child up and moved him.

I'm so heartbroken over this. I hope Josh soon realizes this wasn't his fault.

Being at the game it was a terrible "freak" accident! Yet all of this is in GOD's plan and it's hard to understand why? And why them? We all need to pray for the family and for anyone who is in question of God's control!

Why all the God comments? IF God exists, he surely does not get involved with Earthly affairs. A just God would not allow this man to die in front of his kid like that. Imagine how scarred the kid will be for the rest of his life. I feel terrible for that little boy. To say "Yet all of this is in GOD's plan and it's hard to understand why? And why them? We all need to pray for the family and for anyone who is in question of God's control!" is pretty simplistic and dumb, frankly. If this is your God and what is in his plans, I want nothing to do with him.

Oh shut up TheDude

Good contribution to a debate Coyatomacca. Excellent critical thinking skills there. Typical American.


So sad. Ballparks should really consider putting in netting or higher barriers in areas that are straight down to concrete. This tragic death could have been avoided had a little thought gone into design based on fan behavior - we all have reached for balls.

TheDude please be very careful how you choose your words before understanding what was being said. "Be slow to speak."

Not sure what you're talking about FatMack. Made perfect sense to me. Someone made the comment that it was essentially God's plan for this man to die. That to me seems pretty cruel to the surviving family members and someone decided to call them out on it.

Why would someone pray to God for Hamilton's forgiveness. WTF that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life. Also just because someone does not believe in God does not mean they don't understand, it means they think.

If you read scripture then you would understand many of the "so called God" comments that were made. If you don't read then you won't know. Just saying.... It's a lifestyle, not a religion. Not my place to argue this point or judge. Just to witness and warn. Have a good day.

God didn't want this to happen; but He can use it for good for those who believe in Him. He certainly doesn't want us (believers and unbelievers) to fight with one another over it; rather to come together heartfully for the Stone family and all involved. To extend love as we would want it extended to us.


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