ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sculptor Bruce Greene got the Shannon Stone statue just right.
He captured the interaction between a son and his father, symbolized with Stone and his son, Cooper, who was six years old when his father died from injuries sustained from his 20-foot fall over the outfield railing last July.
But the best thing about the statue is that it's more than just a memorial to Stone. It's called "Rangers Fans" and it's meant to celebrate what's great about baseball -- that it's a family game. I think this statue really does that. Stone is talking to his son, looking at him as they hold hands walking out of the park. And his son is smiling, excited about seeing a baseball game.
Cooper is seven now and was on hand for the ceremony. He jumped around and played near the statue after the unveiling was over, looking up at himself and his father. I wonder what that will be like for Cooper as he gets older and walks past that statue entering the ballpark.
But for those of us that were there that night -- and any father with a son that he likes to take to the ballgame -- the statue is a nice and fitting reminder. Stone will always be remembered now. And he can represent all Rangers fans -- all Rangers fathers, if you will -- as they take their sons to the game. I know I'll think of him when my three-year-old son, Owen, shows up at a ballgame with me soon.
It was a classy move by the organization to do this. It was nice to see the entire team out there for the ceremony, too. Josh Hamilton stuck around because the family wanted to take some pictures with him in front of the statue. He hugged various family members and spent time with Cooper.
So do yourself a favor on Opening Day or whenever you get to the ballpark this season. Go by the home plate gate, take a look at that statue and give thanks for your family and the great game of baseball. I did on Thursday afternoon.