Stanley watches the game from George Steinbrenner's box. Watkins wants to set the Cup down in the row behind his seat. "No, let it watch the game," snarls Leetch. But when Watkins props Stanley on a folding chair, Kypreos snaps, "The Cup doesn't like an aisle. It likes a middle." (And you think you had a hard time finding a seat for the Stanley Cup.)
With 27,000 Yankee fans cheering "Let's Go Rangers!" the Bombers beat the Twins 6-4. "I saw the Stanley Cup all day," says Yankee shortstop Mike Gallego. "It was nice to sit there and think maybe we could have a World Series trophy soon."
It was just as nice to think of Stanley's hospital visit earlier that day. The Cup had dropped in on Brian Bluver, a 13-year-old awaiting a heart transplant at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. "When Brian saw the Cup, he smiled for the first time in seven weeks," says his father, Bill. "He was too weak to speak, yet I'd never seen him so happy. A week and a half later Brian had 11th-hour heart surgery. I think the Cup was a tremendous part of helping him stay alive."
JULY 1: Before Go for Gin sticks his head where it doesn't belong, Olczyk pays a call on Tony D'Onofrio, cashier at a tobacconist in Rye, N.Y. The previous weekend, Olczyk had left D'Onofrio and his wife, Peggy, a cryptic message: "On Friday, remember to bring your camera. I'll have a little surprise for you."
On Friday, some 400 Stan Fans await the Cup's arrival at the smoke shop. "I'm so sorry," says D'Onofrio to Olczyk. "I only told one person."
JULY 2: Stanley attends a pool party at the Armonk, N.Y., home of Ranger physician Ron Weissman. "We had seen a photo of the horse and the Cup," says Weissman. "So before filling it with champagne, we made sure to clean it out a couple of extra times."
JULY 7: Lifrieri and Stanley make the rounds in suburban White Plains. They hit the Pedigree Ski & Tennis Shop, Mr. C's Deli and the office of Dr. Irwin Miller, a.k.a. Miller the Driller, one of the Rangers' two dentists. Finally, the Cup turns up at the Sunshine Pizza Lounge. "That's not the Stanley Cup!" brays a customer. "It doesn't even look like it."
"Yes it is," says Lifrieri. "It's the real deal."
"In White Plains? Get outta here! Who are you trying to kid?"
I'm not kidding!"