The statue memorializing the firefighter who died from a fall at a Texas Rangers game three seasons ago appeared as a garbage can on Opening Day at Globe Life Park.
In 2012, the Rangers erected a statue depicting, Shannon Stone, a Brownwood firefighter who fell to his death after reaching for a baseball souvenir tossed by Josh Hamilton, and his son Cooper. Yesterday, a picture of the statue, littered in beer cans and other junk, went viral.
“The Rangers certainly regret and apologize for the trash thataccumulated on the Rangers Fans statue at the home plate gate thisafternoon,” the team said in a statement. “With thousands of opening dayfans, many of whom had been tailgating, entering the park in the 30minutes before game time, large amounts of cans, bottles, and otheritems that are prohibited in the park, accumulated at all entrances.Numerous clean up calls came into the maintenance department in thisperiod, and the club utilized a large number of employees to continuallyremove the vast amount of trash that was accumulating. The debris onthe statue was removed in a timely manner but it should not have beenallowed to be placed there in the first place. The Rangers Fans statueis a cherished component of Globe Life Park in Arlington and the clubwill make certain this situation does not occur in the future.”
Placed near the home-plate entrance, the statue has become a popular meeting place for fans, a la the bat at Yankee Stadium, and witnesses a high-volume of passersby. Like most stadiums, Globe Life Park prohibits fans from entering with their own commissary in tow, so the statue apparently acted as a final resting spot for the prohibited cans of unthinking fans. Concerns about terrorism at mass gathering spots has led to a reduction in barrels that could be used to hide explosives but are generally used to collect debris of the like that wound up temporarily marring the tribute statue.