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Baseball player Josh Hamilton says there will be a time and place to meet the family of Shannon Stone, the 39-year-old Brownwood, Texas, firefighter who fell to his death Thursday reaching for a ball Hamilton tossed his way for his 6-year-old son at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Rangers star Josh Hamilton (USA Today photo)

However, the firefighter’s funeral was neither that time nor place.

Hamilton said his Christian faith, which helped him overcome alcohol and drug addiction, has buoyed him and his family this week in the wake of the tragedy at Rangers Ballpark.

“I didn’t know Mr. Stone. I don’t know his family,” Hamilton said Monday, a day before he starts in left field for the American League in the All-Star Game. “I don’t feel it’s my place to be in an intimate setting such as that.

“But when I feel like the time is right and enough time has passed, I’ll definitely reach out and talk to his wife and little boy.”

Hundreds of family members, friends and law enforcement personnel attended the memorial service at First United Methodist Church in Brownwood.

Hamilton said he and his family continue to pray for the Stone family.

“This is life,” Hamilton said. “There are tragedies, things that happen that you have no control over and you don’t understand them. One of them is standing in front of your maker.

“Maybe I was a little more prepared to handle a situation like this. Still, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt and affect you. It was just a random act of kindness that turned tragic.”

Texas teammate Michael Young thinks Hamilton will be OK.

“I think Josh is in a good place right now — or as good a place as we could have hoped for,” Young said. “I think he’s put this in the hands of a higher power and really relied on his faith.

“It’s been a very tough week for Josh and everybody else. The last couple games, baseball was kind of on the back burner. We were far more concerned about a family, a son and a wife.”

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