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Fan who fell to death at Rangers game identified

By Karen Brooks

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A baseball fan who fell to his death trying to catch a ball at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, was identified Friday as 39-year-old firefighter Shannon Stone of Brownwood.

Stone, a firefighter in the small town three hours southwest of the ballpark, was trying to catch a ball tossed by one of the players during the game between the Rangers and the Oakland Athletics Thursday when he fell 20 feet from his seat in the lower left field Section 5, officials said.

He was reaching for a ball thrown by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton during the second inning when he fell over the railing and landed behind the left wall, out of view from the field, officials said.

His young son, Cooper, was with him at the time, Brownwood officials said.

"We are deeply saddened to learn that the man who fell has passed away as a result of this tragic accident," Texas Rangers President Nolan Ryan said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Stone was 17-year veteran of the fire department in Brownwood, said City Manager Bobby Rountree.

In July 2010, an area firefighter, Tyler Morris, suffered minor injuries when he fell from the stands at Rangers Ballpark trying to catch a foul ball.

(Editing by Greg McCune)