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Fans Camp Out For Precious Playoff Tickets

September 27, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ How loyal are Yankee fans?

Peewee Scheidt, 72, got to the stadium at 7:45 a.m. the day BEFORE tickets went on sale to stake his claim for next week’s playoff games.

``You have to get here early to get good seats,″ he said, ``and I’m a die-hard Yankee fan.″

That’s a good thing to be these days _ these dark days _ in these parts.

The Yankees are a bright spot in an otherwise grim year for New York sports fans. First, the Knicks and Rangers didn’t live up to expectations. Now, the Mets are bad, the Giants awful, the Jets worse.

``I’ll talk to you about the Yankees,″ said Marc Haas, of Yonkers. ``But don’t spoil it by asking me about the Giants.″

But Frank MacAdam of the Bronx, who took one look at the line at the stadium and then drove up to White Plains, said he loves it when the Yankees make the playoffs because it extends the baseball season.

``I hate it when the football is on the back page,″ he said. ``Giants lose, Jets lose, Giants win, Jets win, who cares? Baseball is the real thing.″

Scheidt, a retired truck driver from Brick Township, N.J., was at the head of a line that snaked around Yankee Stadium waiting for the box office to open at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

After clinching the American League East on Wednesday, the Yankees will face the Texas Rangers (probably) or the Seattle Mariners (possibly) in the first round of the playoffs.

Many fans had made themselves comfortable with lawn chairs, coolers and radios. Some played dominoes, some tossed a football.

Scheidt had a sleeping bag and seemed fairly well rested Friday morning.

``I think they’re going all the way this year,″ said the man who attended his first Yankees game in 1935. ``The old-time Yankees were the best. Now it’s all money. But God bless ’em if they can get it.″

About 300 people down the line, William Mugno of Valley Stream, Long Island, waited with his mother, Norma.

``Without a doubt, they’re going all the way,″ said Mugno, who said he was shattered when the Yankees lost to Seattle in the playoffs last year. ``There won’t be any first-round disappointment this time.″

Tickets for the stadium games next Tuesday and Wednesday also went on sale at Ticketmaster outlets and Yankee Clubhouse stores. At the Galleria Mall in White Plains, fans were given ``admit one″ tickets that guaranteed them a place in line for the 4:30 p.m. sale.

Doug Cortland, of Highland Mills, snapped up No. 687. His hopes were high _ for game tickets and for the Yankees.

``Texas is a problem,″ he said. ``But we can take care of Cleveland, the Orioles, the Braves. The Yankees are playing like real Yankees.″

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