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CHICAGO (CBS) — A day at a professional baseball game should be one of the fondest memories for a child, but one 5-year-old’s trip to a White Sox game last summer left him to afraid to return. 

CBS 2’s Pam Zekman investigates the dangers of sitting up close at the old ballpark.

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As the White Sox celebrated a victory this past June, one of their youngest fans was fighting for his life at nearby Comer’s Children’s Hospital.

“I would talk to him, try to tell him everything was OK,” Ambrosia Stiles says.

Her 5-year-old son, Jackson, was struck in the head by a smash foul ball off Gordon Beckham’s bat. The youngster was sitting just rows off of third base — prime foul-ball territory.

“It almost sounded the same hitting him in the head as it did coming off the bat — just a ‘crack,’” father Jason Stiles said.

Jackson suffered a fractured skull and bleeding in the brain. The swelling went down after a day in the intensive care unit. The hospital bill was $20,000, and the family is liable for $2,000 of that cost. 

A lawyer friend called the White Sox to see if they would pay the bill.

“They told him no, that there was an assumption to the risk of being at the game,” Ambrosia Stiles said.

That warning is on the back of game tickets, in tiny print. But is that enough for everyone who goes to a game to be aware of the dangers?

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Baseball historian Bob Gorman said ideally ushers would tell fans of the potential danger as they are being seated. He says there could be more than 1,000 fans injured each year by foul balls, but no one knows for certain because Major League Baseball doesn’t keep track.

“They can tell you how many broken bats there during the game but they can’t tell you how many fans are injured,” he said.

In Japan, ballparks have protective netting down the foul lines that prevent injuries like Jackson’s.

“I don’t want anyone to be hurt again,” Jackson said.

The Sox did send Jackson autographs of A.J. Pierzynski and invited him back for another game, but Jason Stiles says the team never followed up to see how Jackson was doing.

“For all they know he could have long-term injuries, he could have died a week later and they would have never known,” the father said.

The Stiles family says they believe the Sox should pay the remaining medical bills, but the ballclub has no plans to help with the bill. A sox spokesperson says they are glad Jackson is feeling better and stressed that there are various signs and announcements made during the game warning fans of potential risk.

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The bottom line: If you have young children you should really think twice about where you’re sitting.