I had the opportunity over the weekend to be in Texas and to see two MLB baseball games between the Texas Rangers and the Colorado Rockies. I had never seen the Rockies play in person, so it was a neat experience from that perspective. Also, it gave me the chance to see Michael Cuddyer play, who is in his first year with Colorado.
Michael came up through the Minnesota Twins organization, and started his professional career playing for the Ft. Wayne Wizards in the late nineties. We got to know him at that time, and we will be doing a story on his career in an upcoming posting.
I have truly gained a loving affinity for the Rangers ballpark. It is a great place to watch baseball. My son Joey, who works for the Rangers, will always take me on a special tour, and it is fun to see different parts of the stadium from an employee’s perspective.
If you get the chance to go there and watch a game, there is a new Monument to see that is right outside of the West entrance. A statue has been erected that commemorates Fathers and their children going to the ballpark. The statue is also a memorial to Shannon Stone.
About a year ago, Stone and his son were attending a game there. Early in the game, as Josh Hamilton was running off the field at the end of an inning after making a play, he harmlessly tossed the ball towards Stone and his son, as he has done countless times with fans throughout his career. Tragically, as Stone went to catch the ball, he lost his balance and fell over the railing in front of him, and he fell about 20 feet to the concrete below. As he was quickly attended to by emergency personnel, his last words were that he was asking about his son (who was 6 yrs. old), and if his son was alright. He passed away a short time later at a local hospital.
The statue is a touching reminder as to how fragile that life is. Things can change in the blink of an eye. Live life to the fullest with the ones that you love, and do it each and every day.