ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: Cooper Stone, son of Shannon Stone, the Brownwood, Texas firefighter who passed away from injuries suffered on July 7, 2011 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, hugs Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers after Stone throws out the ceremonial first pitch during Game One of the American League Division Series on September 30, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
As part of a season-ending series, we'll take a look at the 13 most memorable moments from the 2011 Texas Rangers season.
When: July 9
What: Two days prior, tragedy hit Rangers Ballpark when Brownwood firefighter Shannon Stone fell from the left field stands to the ground, later dying. Stone was trying to catch a foul ball that left fielder Josh Hamilton had tossed up to Stone for his little boy that was sitting next to him. It was a terrible tragedy on so many fronts, including that of Hamilton, who people grew concerned about given his shaky past with substance abuse and how he might deal with the tragedy. Ron Washington had even given Hamilton the option to sit because he was in such grief. On this night though, Hamilton was set for a much-needed positivity boost. Hamilton had an RBI single in the midst of a four-run fifth to tie the game with the Oakland A's, then the A's took the 6-5 lead in the seventh. The Rangers were trying to stretch a win streak to six games, and Hamilton saw to it that it happened. With Elvis Andrus on base after running out an infield hit, Hamilton sent a rocket off an Andrew Bailey pitch to the upper deck of the home run porch in right field. The emotional release at that point could be felt throughout the Metroplex.
Up next: Divisional play in August
Previous moments: No. 13