3 Million Expected For Yankees Parade
NEW YORK (AP) _ Crowds have lined Broadway scores of times to honor this century’s heroes, from Amelia Earhart to Harry S. Truman, from Gulf War veterans to the ’86 Mets.
Today, for the fourth time, the roar echoing off the high-rise walls and the blinding flurry of paper will be for the New York Yankees.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a lifelong Yankees fan, promised ``the biggest parade in the history of the city,″ for the World Series champs. Pleasant weather was predicted for a crowd that Giuliani said might exceed 3 million.
Public school officials wouldn’t call off classes, but the parochial school of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Queens did. The principal is Sister Mary Marguerite Torre, sister of Yankee manager Joe Torre.
Students, parents and teachers gathered at 7 a.m. to ride the subway to Manhattan for the parade. Vito Randazzo, who accompanied his wife and two children, said the come-from-behind team taught a valuable lesson _ ``There’s always hope, never give up, have a little faith.″
Unlike 1978, when shortstop Bucky Dent was the hero of the Bronx Bombers’ triumph, the spotlight may fall on the team’s relief pitchers, who are to ride in a vintage fire truck up Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall. The route is just under a mile.
In addition to floats carrying team members, one will hold special fans like Pee Wee Scheidt, who was first on line for playoff tickets, and Freddy ``The Fan″ Schuman, a pot-banging regular in Yankee Stadium’s upper reaches.
Each Yankee was to receive a key to the city.
The 1991 Gulf War parade was the last in which actual ticker-tape fell. Two hundred miles of the thin paper ribbon that used to spout from oldtime stock-quotation printers were specially purchased for the parade. For years now, the paper blizzard has consisted of shredded telephone books, computer printouts and toilet paper.
A measure of success for parades past has been the tonnage of confetti cleaned up afterward. The heaviest paper storm along the traditional parade route, more than 1,200 tons, fell on the American hostages returned from Iran in 1981.
The Yankees’ parade will be the fourth of the 1990s, following those for the Rangers, Gulf War vets and South African hero Nelson Mandela in 1990.
Ticker-tape parades date from the late 1800s, but became an institution in 1927, after ``Lone Eagle″ Charles Lindbergh was honored for his solo trans-Atlantic flight.
Other athletes getting the ticker-tape treatment have included the ``Miracle Mets″ of 1969 and 1986 and the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. The Yankees got parades in 1961, 1962 and 1978.
The Mets offered gracious praise to their crosstown rival today, taking out a full-page ad in the New York Post with a message that ended: ``You’ve made our city proud.″