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Mayors Play 'Can You Top This' in Friendly World Series Wager

Hats become the main stakes as the executives of San Francisco and Anaheim trade barbs in advance of baseball's Fall Classic.

October 17, 2002|Kimi Yoshino | Times Staff Writer

Stylish San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown knew one thing for certain about his World Series bet with Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly: The Mickey Mouse ears were nonnegotiable.

Before Daly could even complete his suggestion during a conference call Wednesday to finalize their friendly wager, Brown "soundly and completely" rejected the notion, bursting out: "Wait a minute. I'm not wearing any mouse ears. Let's get that straight.... I don't want to be photographed in mouse ears."

Brown offered up something a bit more fashionable -- because, he pointed out, he is "well known for wearing quality hats."

If Anaheim wins, Brown said, he will sport a cowboy hat in honor of Gene Autry, the Angels' original owner. If the Giants win, Daly must don a black and orange fedora.

Throughout their 10-minute conversation, the two mayors traded lighthearted insults while holding court in front of chuckling reporters gathered in each city.

Brown, for example, said he's not much of a betting man. Instead, he said, he's been relying on prayer to help tip the scales toward the Giants in their quest for a World Series title.

Daly, on the other hand, has become a bit of a gambling veteran since the Angels made the playoffs, beating the mayors of New York and Minneapolis with Anaheim victories.

"I already know he's a sinner," Brown said about Daly's betting habits. "I'm still fairly pure."

Daly fired back, "You know, Mayor Brown, we have angels on our side."

So far, the heavenly magic has been working. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be wearing an Angels jersey and Mickey Mouse ears at the office Monday.

And Daly is still waiting for a shipment of Nathan's hot dogs and H&H bagels from New York even though the Yankees were sent home packing nearly two weeks ago.

"It has not been sent yet," New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's spokesman said, promising that they'd mail the bounty "today or tomorrow."

To round out their World Series bet, Daly and Brown agreed that a family from one area could get a free trip to the losing town.

"San Francisco is so interesting and attractive, they might want to stay," Brown said. "Don't blame me if you lose a couple votes."

Brown later added that he would be around to "pay proper respects when the Angels' wings are clipped."

But it was Daly who got in the last word:

"The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

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