The tragedy of Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old man, falling to his death while trying to catch a baseball at Rangers Field in Arlington, Texas is a stark reminder of life’s uncertainties.

Most of us probably would have gone for the ball. Had we been successful, we would have experienced the thrill of the chase and cheers that followed, taken the ball home, stuck it in a drawer, never giving it a second thought.

A young private in the U. S. Army snared a baseball that cleared the right field wall in Seattle many years ago. Today he couldn’t tell you who hit the ball or where it is now.

He does recall, however, the exhilaration of the moment. No thought of the dangers of running up stadium steps, scrambling over seats, edging out other excited fans. Had to get that ball.

Could have been a T-shirt or a sponge ball.

We feel bad about the fan and anguish for the family. A life lesson for all because it could have been any of us.

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

5 thoughts on “Games of life

  • July 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm
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    I broke a finger chasing a ball in Cincinnati. Adrenaline takes over. Sorry this happened to the man and his family.

  • July 11, 2011 at 8:19 am
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    I caught a foul ball years ago off the bat off a Cincinnati Red named Gerry Arrigo. Some guy twice my size took it from me when I juggled it briefly. The fans around us booed him so hard that he gave it back to me a few minutes later. After the game, someone told us where the players exited old Crosley Field and my dad and I waited for Arrigo to leave and he signed the ball. Still got it.

    • July 11, 2011 at 9:01 am
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      That guy must have been huge because Paul’s not a small fry.

  • July 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm
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    LOL. Charlie. Gerry Arrigo played for the Reds from 1964-69, so I wasn’t quite the mammoth I am today…

  • July 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm
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    That was a long, long time ago, predating many of the folks who visit this site.

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