A 12-year-old boy from the southwest suburbs died from head trauma after being struck by a baseball.
An autopsy Saturday by the Cook County Medical examiner determined Eric Lederman died from bleeding in the brain after being hit in the head by a baseball, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Lederman died Thursday night from injuries he suffered Wednesday while playing baseball for the Oswego Panthers 12U Orange traveling team. Lederman, of Oswego, was playing with the team in Wheaton when he was struck with a ball during warmups. He was a sixth-grader at Thompson Junior High, said Kristine Liptrot, District 308 director of communications.
Wheaton Fire Department Deputy Chief Bill Schultz said paramedics were called to Atten Park in Wheaton at 6:12 p.m. Wednesday. Lederman initially was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, before being flown by helicopter to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Liptrot said.
A spokesman with the Cook County Medical Examiner's office said Lederman was pronounced dead at 8:04 p.m. Thursday.
"This is a tragedy that affects the entire District 308 family," Liptrot said. "Not only was he a student at Thompson, but many of his teammates were students at our other junior highs."
Lederman was remembered by his coach Brian Zacker as someone who played the game with passion.
“He was an inspiration to his teammates, coaches, and baseball family,” he said. "He played with an infectious smile and played the game with tremendous passion and heart."
He also knew how to lighten the mood after a loss, Zacker said.
"He was also the comedian of the team," he said "Whether we lost 2-1 or 20-1, he would always say something in our post game huddle that would make us laugh. He brought a tremendous amount of joy, passion, and love to his team, coaches, and baseball family and we will never forget him."
According to a statement from District 308, Thompson staff remembered Lederman as a boy with "character and a wonderful sense of humor." He also was a member of the wrestling team who was always willing to help out, staff said.
"His caring attitude towards his peers, quick wit and dedication to teamwork are things that will be remembered about him at Thompson Junior High," the release said.
Liptrot said counselors and social workers are available at Thompson to aid children and adults who may need it.
District 308 released a press release Friday afternoon about Lederman's death, saying he had "great character and a wonderful sense of humor."
Information on funeral services for Eric will be announced on the the Oswego Panther baseball website at oswegobsa.org.
The Oswego Baseball and Softball Association, in conjunction with Oswego Youth Tackle Football, has set up a memorial fund. Monetary donations can be made to the fund at Allied First Bank, 3201 Orchard Road, Oswego, IL 60543. Make donations payable to "Eric Lederman Memorial Fund."