Last night after returning from DJ3K watch at Yankee Stadium with my son we returned home and I was checking on Twitter for updates about other games and news stuff that I have been following.
I stumbled upon a few posts from Mark Feinsand @BloggingBombers and @The_Stace about a fan that had died in Texas after falling over the railing in the outfield onto his head.
Josh Hamilton the 2010 American League MVP and All Star had tossed the ball up to the man.
After watching the video this morning I see the man in khaki shorts standing along the rail with his son as the ball is tossed up to him.
It reminded me of the countless number of games that I have attended with my kids and that my dad took me and my siblings to when we were younger. Like every kid they want their big strong daddy to catch a ball for them. Be their hero.
At game at Shea Stadium my wife got my son a ball that was hit into the bullpen in batting practice. Then I took my son to Florida for spring training the next year and he caught a call that ricocheted off of a man’s knee. Ouch!
Last year a man getting up from his seats at Yankee Stadium handed my son a foul ball that he had caught. On all occasions my son was very happy to have a piece of MLB equipment in his possession. He still wanted me to get him a ball because that’s what daddy’s do for their kids.
I did get him a tennis ball from a World Team Tennis match I attended at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York City. I coached tennis for many years so seeing a tennis ball at our house is apparently not such a big deal.
Last week before a game at Yankee Stadium at Yankee Universe day my boy was standing in the right field seats while I was on the right field line diagonal to where he was standing. I turned for a few seconds to look at him standing there with his catcher’s mitt along with the other fans and a ball came whizzing right by my face a mere foot or two away.
I looked over again at him and shrugged. I shouted out, “I guess I shoulda had that one”.
I wanted to get him a ball. Then a Yankee pitcher looked up at him and asked him if he wanted to have a catch. For the next couple minutes he threw the ball back and forth with Earle Lester “Buddy” Carlyle.
Then Buddy looked up and told him to keep the ball. After the catch my son was extremely excited to say the least. The Yanks won the game and when we got home he showed off his ball to his sister.
That night he went to sleep with the ball firmly in his grasp. I imagine that when Shannon Stone caught that ball if all had not gone bad that his son would have held that ball tightly all night. He would have looked proudly at his dad after thinking that it was thrown up to him by the great Josh Hamilton. One of his baseball heroes.
Unfortunately that will never happen.
I read more on the story this morning and understand that many of the player’s that witnessed the accident are distraught including Josh.
As a fan, a dad and as a fellow athlete I know that the game goes on.