Mets fans on enemy territory as subway series rolls


NEW YORK, AP

Billy Bergmann was deep behind enemy lines, staring disdainfully at the towering home of his nemesis: Yankee Stadium. “The only way you could ever get me inside there,” he said, adjusting his blue and orange Mets cap, “is a Subway Series.” Done. Bergmann, who drove down with his wife, Cindy, from Cooperstown, New York, was one of a badly outnumbered group of Mets supporters invading sold-out Yankee Stadium for the first-ever post-season meeting between the Mets and the New York Yankees, which the Yankees won, 4-3. “You know why there’s so many of them?” Bergmann asked, jerking a finger at a chanting group of Yankee fans. “If you leave one alone, he can’t do anything right.” The buzz outside the ballpark Saturday before Game One of the World Series hasn’t been this electrified since 1956 — the last Subway Series, between the Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the surrounding neighborhood, the allegiance was clear, as the sign outside Stan’s Sports Bar put it: “Welcome all Yankee fans.” The subway train from Manhattan to the Bronx was packed four hours before the first pitch, and thousands of people were waiting outside the ballpark to get in. Fans lined up to happily drop US$30 for ball caps, US$40 for Subway Series shirts. Gov. George E. Pataki, who planned to take the subway to the stadium along with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, announced Saturday that subway rides home would be free for all the World Series games. “This is one of the biggest sporting events in New York history,” Pataki proclaimed. While Mets fans like Bergmann were rooting for a victory in their team’s first trip to the World Series since 1986, Yankee fans were confident that their heroes — winners of three of the last four World Series — would vanquish the visitors.