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Alert fan prevents All-Star from boarding plane bound for Newark

July 8, 1997

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ An alert baseball fan earned an assist Monday when he prevented Milwaukee Brewers All-Star third baseman Jeff Cirillo from boarding a plane bound for the wrong city.

Cirillo and his wife, Nancy, were heading for Cleveland _ site of Tuesday night’s All-Star game. Instead, the plane they got on at Mitchell International Airport was bound for Newark, N.J.

``They said it was Gate 24, so that’s where we went,″ Cirillo told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Cleveland. ``But they switched it to Gate 26 and I didn’t know it. I gave the lady our tickets and I guess she didn’t really look at them. We were on our way.

``At the last minute, a guy recognized me and said, `Why are you going to Newark?′ I said, `What do you mean? We’re going to Cleveland.′ And he said, `No, we’re going to Newark.‴

The Cirillos got off the plane just in time and barely made it onto the Cleveland flight. The airline had given away their seats, but room was made for the couple.

``I was on my way to Newark,″ Cirillo said. ``I was going to be in New Jersey. I would have missed everything today. That would have been very embarrassing.″

The All-Star squads worked out Monday at Jacobs Field.

When it was pointed out that the first-time All-Star was lucky that a fan recognized him, Cirillo said, ``Yeah, I was traveling under my alias, Jeff Cirillo.″

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