Hundreds turn out for wake of Oswego baseball player

Special to the Tribune

They came by the hundreds, many of them youths wearing baseball uniforms.

They somberly filed into the Dieterle Memorial Home in west suburban Montgomery on Wednesday to pay their final respects to a 12-year-old Oswego boy who died last week after he was hit on the head with a baseball in Wheaton.

Eric Lederman was hit April 11 as he played catch with a teammate on his youth baseball team, officials said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said Eric, who passed away April 12 at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, died from a cerebral hemorrhage that resulted from blunt head trauma suffered when he was struck by the baseball. His death was ruled an accident.

Family friend Marilyn Ellefsen, 67, was teary-eyed as she walked to her car from the funeral home. She said that flowers and beautiful photographs of the boy and his family were on display.

“There were a lot of tears,” said Ellefsen. “This was a terrible accident. We are all touched by it.”

Ellefsen believes the incident was a freak accident.

“It just happened,” she said. “How could you stop something like that from occurring? He was just playing catch with his teammate.”

Just one hour into the wake on Wednesday, the funeral home’s parking lot was full, prompting some people to park on residential streets. Some even took a shuttle bus from downtown Montgomery.

Police officials were also out directing traffic along Illinois Route 25 in front of the funeral home.

The funeral for Eric will take place Thursday.

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