Fan almost falls during Home Run Derby

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PHOENIX --- The ball arching against Chase Field's bright lights, Keith Carmickle climbed up on a narrow table, leaned forward and lost his balance, momentum carrying him toward a 20-foot fall to a pool deck below.

Fans grabbed Keith Carmickle as he tried to catch a ball hit by Prince Fielder during Monday's Home Run Derby. Carmickle said he and his friends had caught three and he was "going to go for the cycle.'"  David Kadlubowski/Associated Press
David Kadlubowski/Associated Press
Fans grabbed Keith Carmickle as he tried to catch a ball hit by Prince Fielder during Monday's Home Run Derby. Carmickle said he and his friends had caught three and he was "going to go for the cycle.'"

Had it not been for the quick reactions of his brother, a friend and a handful of fans Monday night at the All-Star Home Run Derby, Carmickle might have suffered the same fate as Shannon Stone , the Texas Rangers' fan who died Thursday night trying to catch a ball thrown into the stands.

"I thought: I've lived a good life," Carmickle said.

Seated in a section of seats above the right-field fence, Carmickle and his group had already grabbed home run balls by Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez , and were looking to add another when Milwaukee's Prince Fielder came up in the second round.

Trying to snare a shot by Fielder, Carmickle stepped up onto a metal table about 18 inches wide and reached down for the catch. He missed the ball, which hit the wall several feet below him, and the momentum carried him forward, headfirst over a short railing.

Carmickle was headed for a hard landing when his friend, Aaron Nelson , grabbed his legs and his brother, Kraig, grabbed him around the arms. He dangled over a deck where a couple of cameras were positioned behind Chase Field's pool before his brother, Nelson and a few fans pulled Carmickle back to his seat.

SHOOTING VICTIMS HONORED: The intern whose quick actions helped save the life of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords threw out a first ball at the All-Star game.

Daniel Hernandez joined longtime announcer Joe Garagiola in tossing the ceremonial pitches.

Victims of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting that killed six people and critically injured Giffords were honored as part of the pregame ceremonies.

The youngest of those who died was 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green , daughter of Los Angeles Dodgers scout John Green and granddaughter of former major league manager and pitcher Dallas Green .

Giffords. who is undergoing outpatient therapy outside of Houston for a gunshot wound to the head, is staying at husband Mark Kelly 's home in League City, a town 26 miles south of Houston.

NO HOT TICKET: Possibly because the heat caused some fans not to travel to Arizona, there was less demand for tickets to the All-Star game this year. Just six hours before first pitch, resale tickets were available for as low as $74, according to fansnap.com, and there were 1,000 tickets for less than $140.

The list price set by Major League Baseball ranged from $90-$350, down from $150-$360 when the Los Angeles Angels played host to the game last year.

FUTURE SITES: Commissioner Bud Selig all but confirmed the 2013 All-Star game will be played at the Mets' Citi Field. Minnesota's Target Field is the leading candidate for 2014.

Stadium safety under review

Commissioner Bud Selig says major league teams are reviewing stadium safety after the death of a fan at a Rangers game last week.

The fan, 39-year-old Shannon Stone, fell over a railing while trying to catch a ball thrown to the stands by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

"It was a horrible accident, heartbreaking, almost beyond comprehension," Selig said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

"Each team determines its own ballpark safety features based on local laws.

"Maybe there's some things they can or can't do," Selig said. "Common sense should always take over in this situation."

-- Associated Press


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