ARLINGTON – A man fell approximately 20 feet from the left-field stands to the concrete level behind the left-field 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