CHICAGO —A Cubs fan avoided a potentially serious injury at Tuesday’s game thanks to a silly but fortunate choice of headwear.
On a beautiful summer night, Wrigley Field had a nearly full house under a nearly full moon.
"The skies cleared up and it was almost like a perfect night for a ballgame," said Nancy Hopf, a fan who was sitting in the bleachers at the time. "It was packed; I mean, only the Cubs can pack the place on a Tuesday night."
As Hopf and her husband settled into some seats, they didn’t realize how bizarre things would get that night.
"He was like, ‘How about we sit underneath the scoreboard?’ I’m like, ‘That’d be great, yeah,’ and we happened to find seats pretty close underneath the scoreboard," Hopf said.
About two hours into the game there was a commotion in the crowd.
"All of a sudden, everybody starts turning behind me and looking at the scoreboard, and I’m like, ‘Something must be going on with the scoreboard,’ so I turn around and I’m like, ‘No. It’s the kid,'" Hopf said.
A 19-year-old man sitting in the centerfield bleachers just a row or two from the Hopfs had been hit in the head with a foot-long metal pin. The team says it was either dropped or fell from the manually-operated scoreboard.
"People started talking, ‘What happened? What happened? A tile fell on him?' I was like, ‘Has this ever happened? Does this happen all the time or what? What’s going on?’” Hopf said.
Paramedics came into the bleachers to help the fan. Hopf says he could have been seriously hurt, except for the fact that he was wearing a plastic bucket on his head.
"So, I can imagine what would have happened if that bucket wasn’t there. I think we might have been dealing with something totally different,” Hopf said.
The fan hasn’t been publicly identified, but he was treated at Illinois Masonic Hospital, and still needed five staples to close a cut on his head, according to the Cubs.
"It happened in probably the best circumstances it could happen. For some reason you had a kid with a bucket on his head, and he’s going to be ok,” Hopf said.
Hopf says some fans left, but most went on to watch the game when it was clear the injured fan was going to be fine. She says she hopes the Cubs review safety around the scoreboard in the bleachers.