Rangers fans turn memorial statue into garbage can on opening day

Did Texas Rangers fans use the statue of tragically deceased fan Shannon Stone and his son Cooper as their opening day trash can? It sure looks like, and if so, we have a winner for the most disgusting photo from an MLB ballpark on baseball's first day.

If you've forgotten the story of the Stones, it's a horribly sad one: Shannon Stone fell to his death at a Rangers game in 2011, trying to catch a ball for his 6-year-old son, Cooper. Former Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton tossed the ball toward the Stones, who were in the left-field stands, and Shannon lost his balance, landing headfirst. The Rangers honored Shannon, a firefighter of 18 years in Brownwood, Tx., with a statue unveiled in April 2012.

Two years later, it looks like that? How quickly Rangers fans forget.

It's opening day, people of the right age have every right to guzzle a few before hitting their seats. Can't blame anyone for that — heck, it was Budweiser that wanted to make opening day a holiday, so obviously beer is a part of the fan experience. But having a good time at a baseball game shouldn't mean common decency goes out the window. Finding an actual trash can couldn't have been that hard, could it, Rangers fans?

Maybe a picture like this suggests the team should put a fence around the statue to keep people's garbage away, but there's a simpler solution than that. Rangers fans need to recognize they're being lazy and disrespectful, and do a better job of basic human duties like picking up after themselves.

It's not terribly difficult, especially when we're talking about a statue that's "dedicated to all fans who love the game." 

UPDATE: The Rangers sent out a handful of tweets Monday night explaining the statue situation, apologizing and saying it wouldn't happen again.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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