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New York Fan Raises Some Questions About the State of California

November 01, 1986

I'd just gotten back from mugging a couple of Valley Girls at the Galleria when my friend told me a guy named Scott Ostler had written this funny article ("Real New York Fans Don't Eat Quiche--They Throw It," Oct. 23) about New York and what kind of fans New York baseball fans are and that since I was New York born and bred, I might just like to read it.

It sounded like a great idea to me, reading did, only--as Ostler rightly points out--New York fans can't read, so I got a California baseball fan to read it to me.

Naturally, hearing about my hometown did make me nostalgic to do all those things I love to do when I'm home: Slashing tires, spitting up, urinating on one's neighbor, vandalizing cars, baseball fields and anything expensive and nice looking we can get our hands on. Growing ever more homesick, I looked outside at the attractive homes and swimming pools and thought of all the damage a true city boy could do.

My friend calmed me down and suggested we play a game instead:

(1) This player accepted losing the World Series twice in the late '70s to the New York Yankees with typical team dignity, blaming the defeats on, among other things, pebbles in the infield. Name that player. (a) Bill Russell. (b) Bucky Dent. (c) Richard Dent. (d) Vanna White.

(2) In its 25-year history, this team has never won a pennant. Period. Not even if you gave them a three-games-to-one lead, two outs and two strikes at home, with a utility outfielder at bat against its top relief pitcher. Not even then. Name that team. (a) the California Angels. (b) the California Golden Seals. (c) the California State Legislature. (d) the California Fruit Salads.

(3) Despite the country's worst air pollution problem, this city spends less than any major city on environmental control and also boasts a murder rate twice the national average--yes, higher even than that crime-stricken nightmare, New York. Make my day and name that metropolis. (a) Los Angeles. (b) Coogan's Bluff. (c) Paris. (d) Khartoum.

The answers to all these questions are (a). If you got at least one of the questions right, then you've been reading the newspapers; if you have no idea how many you got right, then you must be a New York baseball fan. We also can't count.

ANDREW POSTMAN

La Canada

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