Whenever someone close to me passes away I think of one thing: archeologists excavating burial spaces for early homo sapiens. It somehow comforts me to know that grieving is historical, natural and primal, and that as much as we use cutlery and soap and tend not to eat each other anymore, there’s still at least one aspect of our uncivilized history that we maintain.

Last night in Texas, Josh Hamilton tossed a foul ball to a fan in the outfield seats. As the fan reached for the ball, he fell over the outfield railing and then plummeted twenty feet onto a concrete platform. Shannon Stone was a 39-year-old firefighter. He was conscious after falling from the seating area, but went into cardiac arrest shortly afterward, and died. Most deaths can be described as tragic, but the meaninglessness surrounding this one makes it especially sad.

Adding to that sadness is that the man who died did so in front of his young son, who watched his father’s fall happen right in front of him.

Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan spoke with the media following the tragedy:

We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball. As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we’re very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

And The Rest

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have called up super prospect Mike Trout. While the news may be unexpected, it’s not hard to explain: center fielder Peter Bourjous is out with a hamstring injury and the Angels somehow find themselves only a game back of the Texas Rangers in the American League West.

After 81 games, Jose Bautista’s WAR is 6.2. After 161 games last year, it was 6.9.

Derek Jeter doubled last night, and is now only two hits away from collecting 3,000 in his career.

Jordan Walden will replace Mariano Rivera at the All-Star Game, while Shane Victorino and Paul Konerko round out the rosters.

Can the Milwaukee Brewers find success while dismissing defense?

Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has set the record for rookie saves before the All-Star break.

Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams has passed away.

The great divide in Detroit.

Baseball Reference takes a look at the players who make the highest percentage of their team’s payroll.

What was Bill Neukom’s role in bringing the World Series championship to San Francisco?

Finally, Phoenix’s sheriff is doing his part to make racist policies even more distasteful. Well played, jerk face.