Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We need more people like the Stones

I HOPE YOU ALL WEIGH IN ON MY POINTS BELOW...there's more to this story than you've heard:

Shannon Stone's Mother Makes a Request of Josh Hamilton 

With 2011 drawing to a close, the Shannon Stone tragedy at Rangers Ballpark is appearing on most, if not all, of the year-end retrospectives.
And while many of those lists will simply note the accident that led to the 39-year-old father falling to his death after trying to catch a ball thrown by Josh Hamilton, the New York Times Magazine scored an interesting interview with Stone's parents. Though neither Al or SuZann Stone get into the details of the fall or its effects on young Cooper Stone — a public stance that has been m.o. since the tragedy — they relate a story about how Al once caught a foul ball from Buddy Bell when Shannon was young.
Shannon Stone liked Bell as much as Cooper likes Josh Hamilton now and the foul ball quickly became a family treasure. Because of that, Al and SuZann knew exactly why Shannon made the effort he did — and why Hamilton shouldn't think twice about continuing the practice of throwing baseballs into the stands as souvenirs.
From the NYT Magazine:

SuZann: Shortly after the accident, there was some discussion about whether foul balls should be thrown into the stands to the fans. I wrote to Josh Hamilton, and I said: "Please, don't stop throwing those balls. Because that's so important. That's why daddies bring their little boys to the ballgame is for memories like that. Please don't stop."
As someone who immediately identified with this sentiment, I like that SuZann Stone wrote that letter to Josh Hamilton. If someone that close to Shannon Stone can identify that it was a freak occurrence, the cynics that predictably surfaced after the accident should be able to, as well.  *(end of story)

Z:   I post this for two reasons:  One is the beautiful 'absolution' of Josh Hamilton, who just might still be feeling pretty awful about what happened, and two, and almost most importantly, the ATTITUDE:   I'm very often writing about how we can't make things better all the time or protect everyone all the time, that human nature is what it is and accidents will happen no matter what.  This seems to be something the Left can't or won't grasp in their supposed hopes that everybody's always healthy and happy.  For example, it's not much of a stretch to believe that some would forever prohibit the lifelong tradition of ball players throwing balls into the stands because of this tragic story.   The Right grieves every bit as much as anyone else for Shannon Stone and his family, but wouldn't dream of prohibiting all the fun future children will have for having had a daddy catch a ball from their favorite player.   Yes, I hate to make something political out of a story like this, but Mrs. Stone's words resonated with me and I thought they might with you, too.  It shows a LOT about her and it should make us cautious about what we ban in the future for the sake of one tragic accident.


beamish said...

Kinda makes you wonder why they haven't banned basketballs in the White House yet.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Its nice to see a person like that state the obvious and not take the Victims' Low Road.


Z said...

beamish; hilarious.

BZ, you got it! WHat a woman, huh?

Silverfiddle said...

I is heartening to see a family not try to make millions off of a freak accident.

Classy move by Stone's mother.

cube said...

I agree with B.V. and S.... Thank goodness someone isn't trying to get rich off of an accident.

When Mr. Cube took me to Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox, he told me to be aware of where the balls went and I did. I was ready to catch one, but none came my way. It's a wonderful tradition and one that shouldn't be stopped because of one tragedy.

Pris said...

Z, I agree with you, and SuZann Stone. Life itself has it's risks. One can simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are no guarantees.

Accidents happen, or someone takes too big a chance, as happened in this case. It's sad, but it happens.

For anyone to suggest that a player should no longer throw a ball to the fans, is ridiculous, and short sighted.

Occasionally, if seldom, a batter will lose his bat during his swing, and it will fly into the stands, and hit a fan. What does a critic expect? That he can no longer swing his bat? Of course not.

There are those control freaks who have no compunction in demanding risk aversion, no matter the result or consequence of the demand.

If we support those demands we will have such a risk averse society, nothing will get done, there will be no fun in life, and bravery will be a curse rather than an important human quality.

As I speak, there are schools who now disallow dodge ball to be played, or tag, and teeter totters have been removed from some playgrounds.

Children are padded from head to toe when they ride bikes, or scooters, etc and they can in some states, be cited by the police if they aren't wearing that padding.

Where does this all end? I think with less freedom, loss of just plain fun, and a bland, joyless place where the motto would be, "if you don't need it, you can't have it".

SuZann is right, and it's the small things that bring us a daily sense of happiness, or pleasure.

Rita said...

Pris: Last year I hitting wiffle balls at my 9 year old grandson while he rode his bike past me in the driveway. We were having a blast. I called it dodge bike.

When I asked him if they ever played dodge ball he said (in the most sarcastic tone ever), "Nooooo, SOMEBODY MIGHT GET HURT." It's a shame when little boys can't even be rugged little boys. I cringe when I watch him play a friendly game of football with his neighbor friends, but I keep my mouth shut because boys are by nature much more aggressive in their play.

I was a wimpy kid, so I was always getting hurt. My parents never sued nor did they baby me when I would want to cry about it.

Today everyone has to be so overly protected that when they get out in the real world they can't figure out why life isn't fair.

Pamela D. Hart said...

there's more to this story than you've heard:

Of course there's more, always is, but what passes as media these days has no problem omitting, covering up or out and out lying about it.

Mrs. Stone is the perfect example of what is lacking in society today --fortitude and common sense.

Z said...

Pris and Rita, it's bad enough when it's every possible type of physical injury they're trying to's worse when it's emotional injury they're trying to stop by not allowing score keeping in schools, or not allowing the lowers to go to awards ceremonies...

We're raising physical wimps and emotional wimps who can't take loss of any kind.

This SuZann Stone story, like SF and Cube suggest, is heartwarming in her understanding that 'bad things happen' in spite of the fact that SUCH a VERY bad thing happened to her dear son.

Yes, kids, bad things happen, so be careful, watch out for your friends, and try to do your best in keeping safe and in winning that game!

And, yes, some liberal should be by any minute now and suggest "Z just doesn't care about people".

I'll look forward to that exchange (heh heh!)

Z said...

Hi, Pamela, Happy New Year and thanks for coming by.

As you can see, you're in total agreement with's a good story, isn't it. "fortitude and common sense"..excellent.

Kid said...

Nothing that is legal should be banned.

Our lives are already affected and restricted much too much by the idiotic actions of a single or a few individuals. There are too many of these to list.

In this case, an accident. Accidents will never go extinct.