An Iowa man said his improvised rally cap saved him from what could have been a “fatal” blow to the head during a freak accident at Chicago's Wrigley Field last week.
Cubs fan Kyle McAleer told NBC 5 he thinks he could’ve been killed when a metal pin fell from the ballfield’s scoreboard and struck him in the head last Tuesday. He said if the Cubs weren’t losing he wouldn’t have put on his "rally hat" — an empty chewing gum container — and the pin could have done much more damage.
"Without the goofy bucket on my head, it absolutely could have been fatal," McAleer said.
McAleer was at the ballpark with his family to watch the Cubs take on the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 24, a day before his 20th birthday. When Arizona took the lead in the game, McAleer put the bucket on his head in hopes of changing the North Side team’s luck.
That's when, according to McAleer, a pin fell from the old centerfield scoreboard above them, striking him on the head.
"I take the bucket off to look for my glasses and as soon as I looked down, the blood came running out of my head," McAleer said.
McAleer said he was in “considerable pain” and his ears were ringing after he was hit. Cubs staffers helped rush him to the hospital where he received five staples to close the two-inch gash on his head.
The Cubs confirmed to NBC 5 the item that fell was a six to eight inch pin that is used to secure the metal plates used to show the scores on the old mechanical board.
Scott McAleer, Kyle's father, told NBC 5 he's surprised the scoreboard doesn't have any netting or other safety measures to prevent falling objects from hitting spectators.
His son said while the Cubs responded quickly and professionally to provide him aid, due to his long road to recovery, it’s not clear if there will be any legal recourse.
McAleer, meanwhile, said he plans on returning to Wrigley soon for another Cubs game, but this time he won't sit under the scoreboard. And, he said, he'll continue to wear his special "rally hat" — an ode to one-time Cubs infielder Starlin Castro, who wore a bubble gum container on his head in 2015 in lieu of a true rally cap.