Rangers Dedicate Statue of Shannon Stone

Statue unveiled by Stone's son, Cooper

The Texas Rangers unveiled a statue of the firefighter who died last year when he fell over an outfield railing at a game.

Shannon Stone, 39, was trying to catch a baseball thrown by outfielder Josh Hamilton for his 6-year-old son, Cooper, during a game in July at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Rangers President Nolan Ryan helped dedicate the statue of Stone at the home-plate gate to Rangers Ballpark at Arlington on Thursday afternoon. The life-size statue was created by Central Texas sculptor Bruce Greene.

"Today is a celebration of spirit, family and love of the game," Ryan said.

Stone's wife, Jenny, and Cooper helped unveil the statue, which shows Stone and Cooper leaving a baseball game.

Stone's mother-in-law told NBC 5 that Greene invited Cooper and Jenny Stone to put their thumbprints over Shannon's heart before the sculpture was done.

"This bronze represents so many things that are good about baseball -- competition, happiness, memories -- and I think Shannon embodied what we as an organization hope for in our fans," Ryan said.

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Several of Stone's family members and friends attended the ceremony, along with firefighters from Brownwood and Arlington. The entire Texas Rangers team, along with manager Ron Washington, were also there.

Afterward, Hamilton stuck around to take pictures with Cooper, Jenny Stone and other children next to the statue.

Ryan said he hopes people take time to stop by the statue during Friday's season opener.

"I hope the fans that come in look at it, remember Shannon and understand that interaction between dad and son ... and all the good things that baseball represents," he said.

The statue joins other sculptures at the Ballpark of Ryan and former Arlington Mayor Tom Vandergriff. The Rangers' season opener is scheduled for Friday against the Chicago White Sox.

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