Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Most Dangerous Stadium in Baseball

This week, a terrible tragedy occurred at AmeriQuest Field. A man, Shannon Stone, tried to catch a ball tossed into the stands by Josh Hamilton for his son, only to tumble over the railing separating the seats from the field, and fall 20 feet to his death behind the outfield wall.

The incident rattled Hamilton severely, as he claimed that he could hear Stone's son screaming as his father fell down behind the outfield wall. He says he's getting by with the help of his family and his faith, and intends to reach out to the family of the dead man in the near future. But if Hamilton thought his week couldn't get any worse, it did when he hit a foul ball into the stands and clonked a fan on the head. That fan required stitches.

Though you can argue that the saintly Josh Hamilton has turned into baseball's most dangerous player-literally, I say that AmeriQuest Park is baseball's most dangerous stadium. I don't remember where I heard this, but building inspectors who came to look at AmeriQuest Field said that the railing which Shannon Stone tumbled over was too short. Someone could easily fall over it in the future.

This is actually the second fatality to take place at an MLB stadium this year. The first was at Coors Field in Denver, CO, where a fan attempted to slide down the railing of some stairs in the stadium, fell, and died after hitting his head on the concrete floor. Admittedly, the fan was acting recklessly, but it raised the question of stadium safety.

Nolan Ryan and the Rangers better cough up the money to fix their stadium, or else this will be the fate that awaits them in the near future:



DCMcLovin419 said...

Not just that one TamTam but there can be some blame placed on people that go to the games and don't pay attention like when Bats fly in the stands some guy is on his cellphone or not having your eyes turned to the field sometimes when I go to the Toledo Mud Hens games I see people with there back turned to the field that can be pretty dangerous at times if your not paying attention, Major League Baseball and Baseball in General should do safety checks every year just to see if the stadiums need any maintanence work done on them.

tamtam said...

True, there are inattentive fans at games. God knows I've seen plenty when I've gone to games.

I've been thinking-MLB should order stadiums to conduct inspections three times over the course of the season-once at the beginning, once in the middle (like around All-Star Break week), and once at the end. This way, when the team is on the road, any repairs can be made without inconveniencing the fans. You can't do anything about fans who don't pay attention to their surroundings, but you can do something about the condition of the stadium to minimize potential injuries.

But then again, you can make the argument that even if you pad the concourses, railings, and everything except the field; people will still find ways to get hurt.