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July 11, 2011

Josh Hamilton deals with national media on fan death

The first 10 minutes of media availability for Josh Hamilton during All-Star Monday were dedicated to his feelings after the death of Shannon  Stone, the Rangers' fan who fell from the stands Thursday and died less than an hour later from injuries suffered after trying to catch a ball thrown to him by Hamilton.

Not much has changed since Hamilton met with the media Friday. He continues to pray for the Stone family, continues to think about the accident and continues to pledge that he will meet with the family when the time is right. That's not right now, he said.

Team president Nolan Ryan and executive Jim Sundberg attended the funeral in Brownwood. Hamilton said he hopes to meet with the family face-to-face.

"I know the funeral was today," Hamilton said. "The organization has some representatives there. Someone asked me last night if I was going to the funeral today. I don't know Mr. Stone, I don't know his family, so I don't feel it's my place to be in an intimate setting such as that.

"I was also asked if I was going to reach out to the wife and son and family. I am, at the right time. As far as the grieving process as a family, I can't imagine what's going on with that. When I feel like the time is right and enough time has passed, I definitely will reach out and talk with his wife and family.

"My family is still praying for the Stone family. It was an accident. It was tragic. It's going to impact and make a difference as far as throwing balls into the standings and reassessing the situation before you toss a ball up. Where it you're tossing it to, how high is it up, all those things come into play. It's just unfortunate. You take it for granted. It's an everyday occurrence. We do it a few times a day every day. You start taking things like that for granted.

"I don't know the all of the answers to everything, but I have a relationship with God. It's changed my life. In some ways, I feel like I was picked. In a lot of ways I feel like I was picked, because in my situation I just happen to have faith. My family's handled it well also. It's been tought, but we've talked through some things and we've prayed a lot.

"I'd be lying to you if I said I haven't thought about what happened. But I realize I can't do anything about it. It's could to be around these guys. I'm here with my wife. I get to spend some time with them.

"It's been an absolute rollercoaster -- from the accident to the team winning games, having a winning streak, to having the walk-off the other night to being here at this moment. Your life has to go on. I still have some feelings about everything that happened. But I've enjoyed being here."

-- Jeff Wilson




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Hey, commenters, can we keep this positive, non-critical and sensitive???? What a critical spirit!

IMO: Lovely article - I was hoping someone would chronicle the media transcripts of the afternoon.

I agree with BL. Thanks for sharing this.

I am simply a guy...and a Dad of young kids....who has been affected by this story. I pray for the Stone Family and for Josh Hamilton. I am a rabid SF Giants fan who has the utmost respect for the Rangers Team and am so impressed by what Josh has overcome to rebuild his life as a player. It is unimaginable to me what the Stone family is going through and the second guessing that Josh must be doing. God Bless all those involved. I hope everyone who follows this team can appreciate the grace and sincerity with which your star has handled this tragedy.

Great thoughts, Jim W - that's one of the reasons we love Josh. Thanks. (glad someone removed the first critical comment in this thread!)

It's an enigma how some stories can be absolutely tragic but we just absorb them and continue on and then something happens that is also tragic but no more or less than other tragic stories yet for some unknown reason it grabs hold of our collective psyche and truly shakes us to the core. I believe as Josh Hamilton stated, maybe he was chosen and maybe Mr. Stone was too. I don't know and I certainly mean no disrespect to any who do not have the same faith as I do but sometimes I think God truly speaks to the collective human heart. I'm not saying God creates tragedies I'm just saying that somethings that happen that defy making sense of or that push us to the boundaries of what we can psychologically or emotionally endure, in those things we find a greater purpose...a deeper meaning to our lives. God bless that family and I feel compelled to say that for me, at least, this tragedy will influence the way I think about life and what is important...I hugged my kids a little tighter the night I heard about this. I hope the family understands that their loss leaves us all with a very important reminder. Respectfully.

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