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"I keep two lists of buns, one through 10—a baseball list and a life list. Danny Heep is No. 1 on both of them." "No kidding."
She had a large pair of binoculars with her. She said she had used them only four times during the game—each time Danny Heep came to bat.
She was by no means the only free spirit in the car. One young man who saw me scribbling notes came up and said, "Make sure you spell Mattingly this way: G-O-D." He had three friends with him. The Mattingly fan wore a Green Bay Packers field jacket over a New York Giants sweat shirt. He said he was a Giants fanatic. When I asked him why he was wearing a Green Bay jacket, he said that for years, following a superstitious bent, he had worn the jacket of the Giants' next opponent for a week before the game. It was a kind of hex. He had 25 different field jackets lined up in the closet at home so that no matter whom the Giants played, he was sartorially prepared.
Tom shook his head and wondered what sort of a crowd we might find on the Yankee train.
We had a drink in midtown and got on the No. 4 about 45 minutes before game time. Our car—a gleaming, graffiti-less Kawasaki, as Donna Evans had promised—was packed. There were enough people under Yankee caps to field a team. I was pressed in against a young woman who was wearing a pair of red-rimmed dark glasses dangling on a cord from her neck. On her leather jacket she was wearing a large pin featuring a blue-jean-clad rear end that turned out, when I asked her, to be Bruce Springsteen's. She had bought the pin at his concert in the Meadowlands, to which she had gone in a limo. She did not think much of subways.
She introduced me to her date, a heavyset gentleman named Richard, who, because of his fanatic feelings for the Yankees, was known to his friends as the Yankee Clipper. At home he has a grandstand seat obtained from the old Yankee Stadium when it was refurbished; it was bolted to the floor in front of his television set.
This was only the second time the Yankee Clipper had persuaded his date to go up to the Stadium. When I asked her what might get her to go more often, she said only if the Yankees brought Reggie Jackson back.
"For his rear end or his hitting?"
"Both," she said.