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.

5 thoughts on “One of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in some time …”

  1. There’s a lot of bad around this, but one thing about Hamilton: in the future, some insensitive asshole in the outfield seats will rag on him about it.

  2. As someone who’s attended multiple baseball games every year with my dad since I was little, I had to turn away from the photo of the boy looking over the railing at his father below. Utterly devastating and heart-breaking.

  3. Considering the individuals involved, I’m not sure there is a standard way to handle this. Hamilton is a drug addict. In an earlier career, I was a case manager serving a homeless population that included many individuals in some stage of recovery. Several times a year, a holiday would fall on a Monday. We’d return Tuesday to discover that several people relapsed over the three day weekend. A seemingly insignificant, one-day break in a routine was enough to derail one’s recovery, employment, housing status, etc. Accidentally causing the highly improbable death of a fan in front of their son will present a number of challenges for Hamilton. I wish him strength in the coming days.

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