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Touching moment at the ballgame

Updated on July 13, 2013

Little Cooper Stone

Little Cooper shines

Every kid dreams of walking out onto the baseball diamond for the team they follow while hearing their name announced to the crowd, carrying their baseball mitt and walking up to their favorite baseball player with their mom by their side to prepare to throw out the first pitch for a very important game. Not many kids get this opportunity as it is usually reserved for special guests. Most kids are just happy to see a baseball game from the stands but to actually walk on the field and be given the royal treatment is something very special and little Cooper and his mom, Jenny really deserved this fitting tribute.

It is every kid's wish to catch a baseball at a major league game to keep as a souvenir and what can be more special than a father and his son spending an evening out at a baseball game together rooting for their team and hoping to bring back a major league baseball. For Cooper and his dad, Shannon that was what they had hoped for when they went to see their team, the Texas Rangers play in a midsummer night game on July 7, 2011. It was a heartbreaking tragedy that thrust little Cooper into the media and into the hearts of all who heard the sad and painful story of his father's unexpected death while trying in a futile attempt to catch a baseball for his son thrown to him from the outfielder, Josh Hamilton. Poor little Cooper was right there standing by his father's side when he saw him lean over to try to catch the ball and then realize he had fallen. Shannon survived the fall and was asking for his son as he was placed on a stretcher to be brought to the hospital.

It is never easy dealing with the death of a loved one but when it happens unexpectedly and in such a tragic way and in front of a child it just makes you wonder why it had to be this way. It makes no sense and it makes you realize how unpredictable life is. Little Cooper learned a very sad lesson that night and now he will have to grow up without his father and it just seems so unfair. The Texas Rangers management never had to address a tragedy like this before and they tried to provide comfort to Cooper and the prompt medical attention for his father, Shannon that fateful night. It was devastating news when it was learned that Shannon had died from his injuries suffered in the fall from the stands later that night.

This was one sad chapter the Texas Rangers had to put behind them and focus on the business at hand. The Texas Rangers had a successful season the year before as they were in the World Series but they were no match to the San Francisco Giants who beat them in 5 games. This year the Texas Rangers maintained the same level of success as they did in the previous year and they were able to advance again into the post season to play the Tampa Bay Rays. There was a very heartwarming scene at the ballpark in Texas to start the playoffs with the Tampa Bay Rays and there was not a dry eye in the crowd. That brave little boy Cooper accompanied by his mother, Jenny and Team President, Nolan Ryan were led to the pitcher's mound as Josh Hamilton prepared himself to catch the ceremonial first pitch which Cooper was ready to throw as his mother looked on with pride. It was a special moment and it was very touching and it made you appreciate Cooper's youth and innocence.

Cooper took center stage with baseball in hand and walked to the pitchers mound with his mom standing nearby and Josh Hamilton crouched down to prepare to catch the first pitch which was a very special moment for all who were part of it. I had tears in my eyes as I watched this special little boy who showed so much courage and strength at that moment in time and who touched so many as he wound up and threw a perfect strike in honor of his father with his mom looking on proudly. Josh Hamilton was very sincere and he gave Little Cooper a big hug after catching the ball and walked him to his mother and he hugged her and comforted her with consoling words and then he hugged Cooper one more time and led them to the dugout and he turned and gave Cooper the baseball. You could sense the emotion in the crowd and see the tears of all watching this brave little boy do something very special. It was a wonderful moment that came out of a very sad tragedy. You wish the best for Cooper and his mom, Jenny and you know he did it with a heavy heart and was so beautiful and courageous. He really shined in the moment and he made all in attendance at the ballpark and watching on the television screen very proud.

It really touched our hearts seeing little Cooper throw out the first pitch of the playoffs with his mother by his side to his favorite player, Josh who was trying to do a good thing that fateful night that changed their lives forever!

God Bless little Cooper, his mother and his father who died trying to catch a baseball for his son. God Bless Josh Hamilton too for being so kind and caring and for having a heart and embracing a little boy who is so brave and misses his daddy very much.

Edward D. Iannielli III


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    • ediann profile image

      ediann 4 years ago

      Matty, my son you are such a caring young kid and you have such wisdom. Yes I will take note of that. I love you kid! I'm proud of you too! Love, Dad

    • ediann profile image

      ediann 5 years ago

      daddy, i love this story in all, but when you mention someone is d***, please correct it and say is insted of was because they r still here. thank u.

      matty :)

    • ediann profile image

      ediann 6 years ago

      Charlotte, I was touched by little Cooper and his mom and the courage they both showed. It was truly heartwarming to see him throw that ball with such enthusiasm and you know he was doing it for his dad and his mom. I also thought Josh Hamilton was great and their embrace was very special. I only hope the Texas Rangers will help the family. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking. Thank you for your kind comment. You are so right in what you say. I could not have said it any better. Thank you!

    • ediann profile image

      ediann 6 years ago

      Matty, There are no answers sometimes. We just have to try our best and realize our faith must be strong. I was inspired by the courage of brave little Cooper and his mom and wanted to write my feelings on this. My prayers go out to them for their continued healing.

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      This is such a sad tragedy, but at the same time it is very sweet moment to watch. I really hope that no kid would ever have to lose his father in such a way - especially a father who loved him so much and wanted to do something special for his son.

      Thank you for sharing this story.