Fan Falls and Dies After Trying to Catch Tossed Ball

baseball fan fallsA fan dies at Rangers Ballpark on Thursday after catching a ball tossed to him by Josh Hamilton, Texas outfielder.  The man was reaching for a ball thrown to him by Hamilton during the second inning of the competition against Oakland and tumbled over a railing after making the catch.  Television pictures showed him failing some 20 feet from the outfield seats to a surfaced location after a scoreboard.

It is roughly a year to the day since a similar accident at Rangers Ballpark when supporter Tyler Morris fell from the second level to the lower bowl while attempting to catch a foul ball on July 6, 2010.  He experienced a fractured skull and broken ankle.

Nolan Ryan, club President said, “We are deeply saddened that the man who fell has passed away as a result of this tragic accident.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”  George W. Bush, Former US president, was sitting in the front row with Ryan when the accident occurred.   Ryan left moments afterward while Bush stayed in the seats.

The Rangers clubhouse was shut down after the game as the players were told of the tragedy. “We spoke to the ballclub, so they understand what happened.  As any of us would be, Josh is very distraught over this.”

Ronnie Hargis was sitting in the stands following to the victim, who was at the game with his young son.  The men were talking to each other prior to the accident.  “He went straight down.  I tried to grab him but I couldn’t.  I tried to slow him down a little bit.”

The daughter of Hargis said the head of the victim was bleeding badly. Safawna Dunn, who was sitting behind the victim, said he seemed to have injuries to both arms and was conscious when taken on a stretcher.  Dunn said, “Josh Hamilton tried to throw [the ball] up to the guy because they were yelling for the ball.”

Ryan said it was too untimely to talk the two accidents and what assessments the team may create concerning railings at the stadium, Ryan said.  “Tonight, we’re not prepared to speak about anything further than the accident and the tragedy.  That’s where I’m going to leave it.”

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