Unfortunately, memories like this won’t be able to happen for the 6-year-old son of Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter who recently fell to his death at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington when he tried to catch a ball tossed up from Josh Hamilton. The Texas Rangers announced earlier this week that they will be erecting a statue of Stone and his son at the home plate entrance of their 17-year-old stadium.

Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jack Buck said it best in one of his poems when he described baseball as a great bond between fathers and sons. And it’s true.

My greatest memories of baseball will always be at Busch Stadium II in St. Louis, watching the Cardinals. There was certainly nothing like it, and I think what made my experiences so memorable is that I’m a lot like my dad when it comes to baseball.

Once I walk through the turnstiles at any stadium, I immediately go from my mid-20s to being a 12-year-old again. I really don’t know why, there’s just something about this great game that does that to me and many other deep lovers of baseball. Is it the atmosphere? Is it the great players we get to see? What is it about baseball that can take two grown men and turn them into kids again?

I think that’s just the beauty of being in love with something like our national pastime. There are so many great things about baseball and the three hours or so it takes to get a game in that infatuates the thousands of fans in attendance and those at home watching intently from their couches.
And the best part about is when you get to take all of this in with your dad.

When you go to a game and see something great happen, not only can you say you saw it, but you can say you saw it with Dad. So not only does it become a baseball memory, it becomes a special moment with Dad.

The old walls of Busch Stadium might be gone today, but all I have to do is sit back, close my eyes and I’m back inside our old home away from home.
I’ll never forget the night of my 21st birthday when Jim Edmonds hit a walk-off double to score Abraham Nunez.

“Walk-off, walk-off,” my dad shouted as the ball launched off of Edmonds’ black bat toward the right field wall.

Nunez scored to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win, and all five St. Louis runs came in the bottom of the ninth inning. Just as the players swarmed home plate, embraced one another and jumped up and down, my Dad, my brother and I did the same in the upper deck stands of right field.

There was also Game 4 for the 1996 National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves. Dimitri Young belted a triple to left-center field.
I can still see that ball sailing out and landing at the base of the wall as the arches of the ballpark glowed in the display lights. We all went crazy.

I was a chubby 12-year-old, about 105 pounds, but that didn’t stop dad from celebrating by lifting me up like I was 3. Boy, that was a great night.

There was also our last night at the ballpark. All good things must come to an end and, unfortunately, our time at the second Busch Stadium did, too.
I bought some tickets off the janitor who always came to clean our newsroom at St. Louis Community College, and Dad and I went to the ballpark one last time.

It was a great game. The Cards won, and we took one last look around.
As we slowly walked out, we high-fived the entrance gate that hung above opening of the stadium. I can still feel the rust and paint chips on my fingers.

We followed the crowd, got in the car and went home. New memories continue to be made at Busch Stadium III, but I don’t think they’ll ever compare to the old stadium.

Unfortunately, memories like this won’t be able to happen for the 6-year-old son of Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter who recently fell to his death at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, when he tried to catch a ball tossed up from Josh Hamilton.

Stone fell between the outfield wall and the structure of the stands, and later died at the hospital. His son was robbed of a father, but in one form, the youth’s father will live on forever.

The Texas Rangers announced earlier this week that they will be erecting a statue of Stone and his son at the home plate entrance of their 17-year-old stadium. It is reported the statue will salute the annual ritual of fathers and sons going to the ballgame.

I don’t think there is a better way to not only salute fathers and sons and their generational connection to baseball, but also celebrate the memory of a man who just wanted to take his son to a baseball game.

Shannon Stone will live forever in this statue, even if his untimely death sparked it, and his son will always have a great image of his father as the statue welcomes fans young and old to one the most decorated ballparks in America.

Hopefully, Stone’s son stays a baseball fan. I can only imagine how hard it would be to return to the place where his father lost his life. But all he has to remember is that this is the game of fathers and sons, the statue of him and his father will become a pivotal piece of history, and they are now – artistically speaking – immortal.