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A's wear black ribbons to honor fan

A's wear black ribbons to honor fan

A's wear black ribbons to honor fan
ARLINGTON -- Both the Athletics and the Rangers wore black ribbons on their jerseys for Friday's game to honor the memory of Lt. Shannon Stone, a firefighter who fell to his death during Thursday's game while trying to catch a ball thrown by Texas left fielder Josh Hamilton.

Brad Ziegler, who was in the Oakland bullpen at the time, said his immediate thoughts were to connect to Stone as a father.

"I'm a father, I know what it's like to have a kid, " Ziegler said. "To see that guy in an extreme amount of pain, and his only thought throughout the entire time was, 'Where is my son? Make sure my son is taken care of.' It is touching, and it breaks your heart for the kid."

Conor Jackson, who hit the ball that Josh Hamilton flipped into the stands, was in the lineup again, batting sixth and playing first base. Oakland manager Bob Melvin said there was no hesitation in putting Jackson back in the lineup.

While the team was grieving, they did not feel that the incident will affect their play on the field.

"I think we'll be fine at game time," Ziegler said. "All the way up to game time, it might be a little tough, but getting out on the field, playing catch and warming up, everybody will be able to flip the switch."

Melvin said that there was not much he could say as a manager to make the players move forward, but that each person must do it in their own way.

"Last night, we addressed it, but everybody handles these things differently," Melvin said. "There's not one piece of medicine you could give somebody, because we're all human beings, and we all handle these things differently. But they know they have a job to do once the game starts."

Ziegler, who was seen hugging his father and crying outside the locker room just after the game Thursday when it was announced that Stone had died, said that he feels better today.

"I'm OK," Ziegler said. "There's going to be a stretch here where we all are going to grieve for a while. I don't feel like I'm necessarily any worse off than any of the other guys, I just expressed it a different way. I think they feel just as bad or worse than I do."

The Rangers announced that they will fly the Texas state flags in the outfield at half mast for the remainder of the weekend series.

There was also a moment of silence before the national anthem on Friday.

During the game, the A's announced that they had donated $5,000 to a special memorial fund benefiting Stone's family.

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