Kyle McAleer, 20, of Scranton, recently received a package from Tootsie Roll Industries with 37 pounds of candy for propelling the company’s Dubble Bubble buckets of gum into the national spotlight. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Enough buckets to go around

‘Bucket Man’ gets 37-pound gift of gum and candy

By JARED STRONG

j.strong@carrollspaper.com

The 20-year-old Scranton man who propelled Dubble Bubble gum into the national spotlight last month at a Chicago Cubs game received a handsome reward from the gum-maker’s parent company — 37 pounds of gum and candy and a hat.

Kyle McAleer was wearing an empty Dubble Bubble bucket on his head to help rally the Cubs back from a three-run deficit against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 24 when a metal pipe fell from Wrigley Field’s manually operated scoreboard and conked him on the head.

It took a doctor five staples to close the wound on McAleer’s head, and the injury would have likely been much worse had McAleer not been wearing the bucket, which cushioned the blow.

A 2016 graduate of Greene County High School, McAleer is now colloquially known by Cubs fans as “Bucket Man” or “Bucket Guy.” His story has appeared in news media across the country.

On Aug. 2, the candy package arrived.

“Probably the coolest thing that has come out of all this,” McAleer said, “other than being alive.”

The box — shipped FedEx priority overnight — included eight buckets of Dubble Bubble, Tootsie Rolls, Dots, Fruit Chews, Fluff Stuff, Sour Razzles and others. 

There was also a letter.

“We’re beyond moved by your experience at the recent Cubs game,” it read. “We wanted to reach out to let you know how glad we are that our bucket helped lessen your injuries! We sincerely hope you are recovering swiftly and all around doing okay. We are excited to hear this incident has not affected your love for the team and that you look forward to another game at Wrigley Field.”

The letter is signed, “Your Friends at Tootsie Roll Industries.”

McAleer is still waiting to discover what special plans the Cubs have for his return to the stadium.

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