It was going to be a classic outing. The father and son go to the ball-park together. He is a firefighter, well respected in his community and advancing in his profession. The son is eight-years old and looking forward to that dream of every youngster, being in the stands and catching a souvenir baseball. Dad stops on the way to the ballpark and buys a new glove so that he is prepared.
It is just the first inning and a foul-ball comes arcing toward them. Dad rises to make the catch but misses and the ball drops to the field. Then the dream begins to come true. The son's hero, left-fielder Josh Hamilton last year's American League MVP, scoops up the ball and in a well-meaning gesture tosses it up into the stands.
That's when the dream becomes a nightmare. Dad reaches out to grab the ball but it is just out of reach and in the process he loses his balance and tumbles more than twenty feet head-first to the concrete below. A fan tries to grab him but can't hold on. Other fans shield the son. Medical response is rapid but the father dies enroute to the hospital.
Nothing can replace the father or erase that horrible memory from the son. Nothing can measure the feelings that Josh Hamilton must be experiencing. Nothing can wind back the time to those blissful moments before the fall. But, in a class gesture, the Rangers are trying to do something good. It will never be enough, but it is well meant.
Rangers Establish Fund, Express Grief, Respond to Tragedy
It is a very sad story.