Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

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April 5, 2012

Remembrance

Rangers unveil statue

Texas Rangers baseball players filed out to stand by members of Shannon Stone’s family on Thursday afternoon at the Ballpark in Arlington’s Home Plate entrance for the unveiling of a statue depicting Stone and his son, Cooper.

Cleburne native Stone died in a freak accident last year during a game at the ballpark. Stone, 39, fell over the railing in left field and through a gap between the fence and the stands about 20 feet onto the concrete after reaching for a ball tossed into the stands by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. Stone was at the game with Cooper, who watched as his father lost his balance and fell.

The statue unveiled Thursday, named “Rangers Fans,” is a full-size bronze depicting Stone and Cooper attending a game.

Bruce Greene, a nationally known western artist and sculptor, created the statue. Although the statue was the Rangers idea, Stone’s widow, Jenny, and Cooper offered input during it’s creation.

Stone’s parents, Al and SuZanne Stone, brothers and other family members attended Thursday’s ceremony.

“We’re tickled to death about it,” Al Stone said Thursday morning. “We thank the Rangers organization and everyone who had anything to do with it, and I’m very humbled by the fact they would do this for us and to honor Shannon’s memory.”

Cooper and Jenny, Al Stone said, are doing fine.

“Cooper’s a resilient kid,” Stone said. “I’m sure he still has his down times, but overall he’s doing great in everything.”

Cooper, 7, last September, stood on the pitcher’s mound to throw the ceremonial first pitch of the playoffs to Hamilton.

During Thursday’s ceremony, former baseball player Buddy Bell, who Shannon Stone caught a foul ball from when he was about Cooper’s age, presented Cooper with a jersey, bat and ball.

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