JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

One of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in some time …

… is the above video [*NOTE: OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE FAN, I TOOK DOWN THE VIDEO], which is heartbreaking, engrossing—and tragic.

In yesterday evening’s game between the A’s and Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Josh Hamilton tossed a foul ball to a fan. As he reached to grab it, he extended too far and plummeted to his death.

Tragic.

Tragic.

Tragic.

We know how this will play out over the next few days. First, we’ll learn his name. Then the local paper, probably the Dallas Morning News, will do a feature on the man, where someone will be quoted as saying, “He loved nothing more than baseball.” Then his wife and kids will be invited to throw out a first pitch. Hamilton will meet with them beforehand, talk to the press about the experience, etc.

Then life moves on.

I’m not exactly sure if there’s a different way to do things—I just know the standard way, as I just described, feels forced and insincere. Is there something to learn from this man’s death? Probably not—these things don’t happen often, though when they do they’re highly publicized.

Just tragic.

PS: Coincidentally, the wife just called as I was writing this and said, “Did you hear about Josh Hamilton? I feel so sorry for him.” Indeed, me too. Hamilton has always been one of my favorites—a wonderful guy who has turned around his life. This wasn’t his fault, but I can see how it would haunt a person.