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The Line Between Laughs and Tragedy

By / 07.08.11

I spent all morning trying to figure out whether or not I should write about this. We aren’t a Faces of Death website and my job description is basically “take anything that happens and make jokes about it on the Internet”. The only other way to take it is in the “my thoughts and prayers are with his family” direction, but if your thoughts and prayers are really with his family you wouldn’t be writing about it, or posting a video of it, or posting a comment about it after searching for and finding it on YouTube. Or would you? I spent all morning trying to figure this out. I spent my entire life trying to figure out how humanity works, and when I thought I had the answer, people changed the question. Mostly with cell phone cameras.

But anyway,

On Thursday, July 7, 2011 during a game between the Texas Rangers and Oakland A’s, Conor Jackson hit a foul ball which ricocheted off the left field wall. Fans yelled for Josh Hamilton to give them a souvenir ball. Josh threw the baseball up and a fan who has not been named fell over the railing to catch the ball. He tumbled and fell head first.

I go to a lot of baseball games, but I’ve never been that guy who brings his glove and shoves people over to catch a foul ball. At the same time, I can’t tell you with any honesty that when the Fun Bunch comes around with a t-shirt gun I’m not standing on my chair, waving my arms yelling OVER HERE, OVER HERE. It’s unsettling to think how easily this could’ve been me, with “me” as sort of an everyman qualifier meaning “if Josh Hamilton tossed me a ball, I would try to catch it no matter where I was standing”. Most of us would. It’s easy to say we wouldn’t.

And the writing starts to get maudlin.

@thejimderwin Right, So your point being Jesus controls every second of every minute of our lives so everything is just so perfect and us humans can’t live our lives. What an ignorant, Stupid comment. We have a choice to either accept Jesus or Not too….If you choose not too then not only do I feel sorry for you because of where you’re headed, but I’ll also pray for you.
bigmrclean 1 hour ago

the idiot announcer wouldn’t be laughing if he understand a man can get seriously hurt with that fall.. what a moron
sammyjny 2 hours ago

i wonder if he was drinking
jose123001 2 hours ago

Like everything else ever posted on YouTube, the comments section is a heated religious debate, with one side claiming Jesus Has A Plan that sometimes involves falling over an outfield wall to your death and the other pointing out minutia from the video (Is that his son? They should put a roof over that drop. The announcers are being glib. And so on). But it always comes back around to the nature of an all-knowing, all-seeing God, and it’s weird to think our greatest form of philosophical expression is beneath YouTube videos. Why do we do this? Why does it matter if God exists so much that we have to bitch at each other semi-anonymously because a guy accidentally died? What the f**k is our problem?

My thoughts are with the fan’s family, and with Hamilton’s, because that guy’s been through a lot and this is the kind of thing that drives people to nihilistic madness. And yeah, my prayers are with them too, when I have them. There’s no religious slant to this, no matter how much we want to argue it. A guy reached out for a tossed ball and died, just like that. Sadness is sadness, chuckling announcers aside.


TAGSBaseballDEATHS IN SPORTSFansMLBOAKLAND ATHLETICSTEXAS RANGERStragedy

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