Texas Rangers Raising Ballpark Railings Following Death Of Fan
Following the death of 39-year-old Shannon Stone at a Texas Rangers game earlier this month, the organization has committed to making its ballpark safer by raising the height of all rails in front of the seating areas "to the highest standard in the United States at this time."
At present, it is unknown how high that will be, or when construction begins. In the immediate aftermath of the July 7th accident — during which Stone fell over a railing trying to catch a foul ball flipped to him by outfielder Josh Hamilton — nets were installed over that portion of the outfield wall.
Said Rangers president Nolan Ryan in a news release:
"The safety of our fans is our top priority. The initiatives we are announcing today for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will help to ensure that we meet that priority."
According to the club, the current height of the rails exceeds code, but there have still been several accidents, including one last year in which a man trying to catch a foul ball fell over a rail on the second deck. He did not sustain life-threatening injuries, nor did the woman who fell over a rail posing for a photo following the first regular-season game at the stadium in 1994.
Signs reading "DO NOT LEAN, SIT ON, OR STAND AGAINST RAIL" have been added near the rails, with the same warning being issued over the public-address system and on the scoreboards before each game.
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