Rangers Fan: "I Thought I Would Die"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Texas Rangers fan who fell from the second deck talks about his fall, his injuries and what he's thankful for. (Published Thursday, Jul 8, 2010)

    The man who tumbled off the second-deck stands while trying to catch a foul ball says he's still a Rangers fan -- and ready to attend another game.

    Tyler Morris, a 25-year-old firefighter, was released from a Fort Worth hospital Thursday. Morris, clad in a Josh Hamilton jersey, said his head was still swollen and had "bumps and bruises all over."

    Fan: "I'll Stick to Fighting Fires"

    [DFW] Fan: "I'll Stick to Fighting Fires"
    The Texas Rangers fan who fell from the second deck talks about his fall, his injuries and what he's thankful for. (Published Thursday, Jul 8, 2010)

    He sustained a skull fracture and sprained ankle in the fall at Tuesday night's game against the Cleveland Indians.

    Morris said he fell after reaching for a foul ball that sailed a few rows behind him, but then bounced back toward him.

    "Whenever I reached up, I actually fell backwards," he said. "I had no idea what my location was in regards to the rail, and I fell over the rail backwards. It was totally a misjudgment of where I was at."

    Morris landed on four people in the ground-level seats. They had minor injuries and were treated at the ballpark.

    "I'm sorry that I had to make that accident and fall, but I'm very thankful that they were there, because I've heard that any way other than the way I did fall, I probably wouldn't be here right night," he said. "And I'm very thankful and fortunate that they're OK."

    Morris said he remembers thinking as he fell that he wouldn't survive.

    "I knew it was a long ways up, and I thought it was over," he said. "I thought I would die, honestly, knowing how far I was up there."

    Morris told The Associated Press he was scared when he regained consciousness in the ambulance, because as a firefighter with the Lake Cities Fire Department, he has responded to emergencies where people had fallen such distances and suffered severe injuries or not survived.

    "It's terrifying for someone who treats these injuries and knows the usual outcome," Morris said. "My head was hurting so bad, and I knew I had been unconscious for a long time."

    Morris said he may be off work for up to six weeks, depending on how quickly his injuries heal.

    He told the AP he does not blame the Rangers or the ballpark. As he was leaving the hospital, he told reporters it was "totally an accident."

    "I think that could have happened to anybody, honestly," Morris said.

    He said he was thrilled to meet team president Nolan Ryan, who visited him at the hospital Wednesday, although Morris said he wished he could have met the Hall of Fame pitcher in different circumstances.

    Morris said Nolan gave him the foul ball that had caused so much trouble, as well as several other baseballs autographed by several Rangers, a batting helmet and bat signed by Josh Hamilton.

    Hamilton called him right before he went on the field Wednesday, but Morris missed the call, he said.

    Morris said Ryan has invited him to more games.

    "I'm ready to go back," Morris said.

    And he's also ready to get out of the spotlight.

    "I'll stick to fighting fires," he said.

    The Associated Press' Angela K. Brown contributed to this report.