ARLINGTON, Texas - Josh Hamilton could hear 6-year-old Cooper Stone screaming for his dad after the man tumbled over an outfield railing and fell 20 feet onto the concrete below.
Firefighter Shannon Stone had called out to Hamilton for a foul ball in the second inning of Thursday night's game. Hamilton tossed it to him, but Stone fell as he reached for it and died an hour later of blunt force trauma.
Hamilton says he remembers the man's fall "like it happened in slow motion." He also remembers the screams of the little boy who came to the game with his dad in hopes of catching a ball.
Hamilton says he can't stop praying enough for Stone's family. The reinging AL MVP is playing in Texas' game against Oakland on Friday night.
More of Hamilton's comments, via the Star-Telegram:
"Behind me I heard someone say 'Hey Hamilton, how about the next one.' I turned around and Stone was the first guy I saw sitting there with his son. I gave him a nod, and I got the next one and threw it in that direction. I just remember it happened in slow motion. Obviously, as soon as it happened, I couldn't help but think about what was happening behind that fence."
On reaching out to the Stone family: "Absolutely. I haven't yet. I'm going to give this situation time to, you hate to think sink in, but I can't imagine what they're going through right now. I can't imagine. All I can think about is praying for them and knowing that God has a plan. You don't always know what that plan is when those things happen, but you will."
On what his night was like when he went home: "She (his wife Katie) stayed up with me and talked with me and gave me some encouragement and support. She was there to talk to me if I needed to. The kids stayed up to talk to me for a while. It was just hard for me, hearing the little boy screaming for his daddy after he had fallen, and then being home with my kids really hit home last night."