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Subway Series digs up fans' New York roots

In many Pasco homes, rooting interests will be divided as the Yankees and Mets battle for baseball - and city - supremacy.

By MATTHEW WAITE

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 20, 2000


John Nagy can remember the last Subway Series.

It was 1956, Nagy was a year away from starting a 22-year career as a New York City police officer, and the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees squared off in baseball's World Series.

The '56 series is an immortal one to baseball fans. The Yankees' Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history -- 27 Dodger batters up, 27 outs without one runner reaching first base -- en route to the pinstripers winning their fifth of six titles that decade.

Now, 44 years later, two New York teams, Nagy's beloved Yankees and the New York Mets, start a best-of-seven series for baseball supremacy Saturday.

And the team that wins also will take bragging rights in Nagy's home; his wife, Dale, is a Mets fan.

"I know I'm going to be watching it," John Nagy said.

Since Nagy was a boy, watching some of the greats of baseball such as Roger Maris, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra play, he has been a Yankees fan.

Nagy said the baseball die-hards in the New York City Police Retired Nature Coast 10-13 Association, of which he serves as a director, will be watching on their own. Many other New York area retiree associations in Pasco also have no get-togethers planned. Although it's big news in the Big Apple, the Subway Series' impact seems to be small in Pasco, home to numerous ex-New Yorkers.

Calls to a handful of sports bars in the county Thursday found they aren't doing anything special for the World Series, at least nothing different from what they'd do for any other teams playing in baseball's showcase -- except, of course, the Devil Rays.

Troy Barlock, manager at Winners Sports Grill in Wesley Chapel, said the amount of interest patrons show in baseball is "kind of iffy."

"We'll have every TV on the game, that's for sure," he said. But if he gets a surprise crowd, Barlock said, he'll adjust and start offering specials.

His own interest in the Subway Series is passing, Barlock said.

"The Cincinnati Reds didn't make it, and neither did the Devil Rays," said Barlock, an Ohio native.

But one home where the series will be watched with a lot of interest is Joann and Thomas Stanley's home in Hudson. Members of the New York City Transit Retirees of Florida association, Joann has been a Mets fan since their first year in 1962, and Thomas has been a Yankee fan since he was a boy.

Because the Stanleys have spent their lives rooting for the other team in town, does it mean this Subway Series gives the winner bragging rights in their house?

"Definitely," Joann Stanley said.

- Staff writer Matthew Waite can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6247 or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6247. His e-mail address is waite@sptimes.com.

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