ARLINGTON, Texas — A fan died Thursday night after falling about 20 feet from the stands behind the left-field scoreboard at Rangers Ballpark while trying to catch a baseball tossed his way, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The Texas Rangers confirmed the report after the game and released a statement.
"We are deeply saddened that the man who fell has passed away as a result of this tragic accident," Rangers president Nolan Ryan said in the statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
The fall happened at about 7:30 p.m. CT, after Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton tossed a ball into the stands during the second inning after a foul ball hit by Oakland's Conor Jackson ricocheted into left field.
The injured fan “went into full (cardiac) arrest” in an ambulance en route to an area hospital, the Arlington Fire Department said in a statement. He was pronounced dead at 8:26 p.m. CT, less than an hour after the accident.
Fan Ronnie Hargis was sitting in the stands next to the victim, who was at the game with his son, according to a report from The Associated Press.
"He went straight down," Hargis told AP. "I tried to grab him, but I couldn't. I tried to slow him down a little bit."
The Comcast Bay Area broadcast of the game showed a replay of the man's fall, in which he went head first over the left-field railing.
Safawna Dunn, who was sitting behind the victim, told AP he looked to have arm injuries and was conscious when taken away by paramedics.
''Josh Hamilton tried to throw (the ball) up to the guy because they were yelling for the ball,'' Dunn told AP.
Hamilton and the other Rangers were understandably upset about the fan's death, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
"We spoke to the ballclub," Ryan told the Star-Telegram, "so they understood what had happened, and we spoke to Josh. . . . As any of us would be, Josh is very distraught over this, as the entire team is."
This is the second fan at Rangers Ballpark to fall from the stands in the past 12 months.