Baseball Opening Day Sees Littered Memorial and Broken Leg
It was one of the most tragic moments in recent baseball history when one fan reached out to catch a ball for his son and plunged 20 feet to his death.
It happened at the Texas Rangers ballpark three years ago. Thirty-nine-year-old Shannon Stone, a firefighter, took his fatal fall in front of his six-year-old son, Cooper.
His dying words were absolutely heartbreaking, "Please check on my son. My son is up there alone."
The next day, flags were flown at half-mast and players wore ribbons in honor of the fallen dad. The following year, a memorial statue was erected in front of the ballpark in Shannon Stone's honor.
Flash-forward to Monday’s Opening Day. In a disgraceful turn of events, that statue of a father and son was littered with beer cans.
Jordan Schultz, a Huffington Post sports columnist told INSIDE EDITION, "I was just absolutely disgusted when I saw the Shannon Stone statue was trashed in Arlington by fans with beer cans and all kinds of garbage."
The team tweeted: "The Rangers certainly regret & apologize for the trash that accumulated on the Rangers fans statue at the home plate gate.”
It called the statue a "cherished component of the ballpark" and vowed that “this situation (will) not occur in the future."
Meanwhile, there was another opening day shocker at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, when retired baseball great Vladimir Guerrero threw the ceremonial first pitch to the batting coach Don Baylor.
The 64-year-old Baylor stretched to reach the throw and suddenly the femur bone in his right leg snapped. Guerrero ran over to help Baylor to his feet and when Baylor tried to put weight on his leg, it buckled again.
How could such a thing happen? Eleven years ago, Baylor, a former major league ballplayer renowned for his toughness, was diagnosed with "multiple myeloma.” It is a bone marrow cancer that can create soft spots in the limbs.
INSIDE EDITION spoke with Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News. He said, "This is a gruesome injury. This is not something that happens to someone who has healthy bones. The bone that broke, the thigh bone, the femur, is one of the strongest bones in the body. Normally, it takes massive force to break that bone. Here, a simple turning to catch a ball and his leg snapped."