In action that was either disrespectful or simply inconsiderate, fans on Opening Day laid trash and empty beer containers all over the base of the Texas Rangers memorial statue as they headed into the game against the Philadelphia Phillies. After a photo of the mess hit the Internet on March 31, ESPN's Scott Van Pelt tweeted his displeasure at the Rangers' faithful.
"Dear Texas Rangers fans, can you please not turn a statue memorializing a fan who died at the park while with his son into a garbage dump?," Van Pelt wrote.
The statue was built to honor Shannon Stone, a Rangers fan and firefighter who fell to his death in the stadium at a Texas game. The statue is Stone with his son by his side and is dedicated to families who come to the ballpark for the love of the game. Stone died when he reached over the railing to catch a ball tossed his way by Josh Hamilton to give to his son and then fell 20 feet to the ground.
The Rangers responded by explaining that this was the scene at all entrances to the stadium, as fans had been tailgating before the game began but were not allowed to bring in any bottles, cans or other containers. The fans, instead of trying to find trashcans to throw their trash into, just sat them wherever they could.
The trash on the statue just added insult to their inconsiderate behavior. The Rangers said they had employees running around all the entrances trying to clear away the trash as the fans piled into the ballpark.
“The Rangers certainly regret and apologize for the trash that accumulated on the Rangers Fans statue at the home plate gate this afternoon,” the club said in a statement. "The debris on the statue was removed in a timely manner but it should not have been allowed to be placed there in the first place. The Rangers Fans statue is a cherished component of Globe Life Park in Arlington and the club will make certain this situation does not occur in the future.”