Thousands expected for funeral of fan who fell

By JAIME ARON | July 11, 2011 | 7:44 AM EDT

A Texas Rangers ballpark employee sits waiting for the gates to open as fans stand by a Texas flag the sits at half staff before the start of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Saturday, July 9, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. The flags around the ballpark have been lowered in remembrance of a fan, Shannon Stone, who fell at Thursday nights game and later died. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

BROWNWOOD, Texas (AP) — Front-office executives from the Texas Rangers and firefighters from across Texas were expected to arrive in Brownwood on Monday for the funeral of the 39-year-old man who fell to his death trying to catch a souvenir baseball tossed by his son's favorite player.

Shannon Stone was to be remembered at a memorial service Monday at the First United Methodist Church, followed by a procession to the cemetery that was expected to include more than 100 fire trucks.

Stone took his 6-year-old son, Cooper, to a Rangers game about a three-hour drive away in Arlington on Thursday night. They stopped to buy the boy a new glove, and sat in left field, behind Cooper's favorite player, Josh Hamilton. Hamilton threw them a foul ball, but Stone fell headfirst about 20 feet onto concrete.