- Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 10:57
- Written by Bobby Leach "The Rooster"
- Category: On the Fence
Last Friday the Oswego Baseball and Softball Association sent out a press release regarding the sudden death of 12-year old youth baseball player Eric Lederman who was reported to have been accidently struck by a baseball in the neck and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove and then air lifted to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge where he passed away last Thursday evening.
The young player was not on the field of play according to reports but rather was playing or warming up and was struck by an errant ball which cause the death. It is not know if the young man was wearing any protective gear such as a catchers mask or if standard equipment would have played any role in preventing the injury.
"He was an inspiration to his teammates, coaches, and baseball family," said his baseball coach, Brian Zacker. He played in-house baseball for two years followed by OBSA travel baseball for three years wearing #2 with his primary positions being catcher, third base, and centerfield.
"He played with an infectious smile and played the game with tremendous passion and heart," Zacker continued. His trademark move was to clap his batting gloves together continuously when he got on base to distract the pitcher. We could always hear when he was on base. He was also the comedian of the team. 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. He may have been #2 in the field, but he will always be #1 in our hearts."
Tragic events like this are extremely rare in sports but can happen and when they do the entire sporting community, in fact the whole community mourns the loss. This is a sad reminder that we are not guaranteed tomorrow and should be a wake up call to all parents, coaches and fans that no matter how big the game is, nothing is larger than life. By all accounts, this young boy was like many kids, a source of pride and joy for all those who knew him. In moments like this, there is little anyone can offer beyond condolences and a determination to prevent it from ever happening again.
While the exact circumstances surrounding the boys death are unknown, I am saddened to hear of such a tragic death and offer my condolences to his family and friends.