George Steinbrenner hoisted a broom from a parade float. Darryl Strawberry broke down in tears. And millions of fans staged another Broadway revival with a blizzard of confetti.
"This stuff never gets old," New York Yankees Manager Joe Torre said at a City Hall rally after the parade yesterday. "This one seemed even better. I think you appreciate it more each time you do it."
This was the Yankees' third title--and third parade--in the past four years. A half-dozen floats carried the players, eliciting wild screams and chants of "Let's go Yankees!"
Police Commissioner Howard Safir generously estimated the crowd at 3.6 million, topping the crowds for the 1996 and 1998 parades.
On a day that felt more like spring, designated hitter Chili Davis puffed on a victory cigar. Strawberry videotaped the roaring, face-painted crowd and then cried at the rally presided over by the city's most prominent Yankees fan, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Strawberry, who overcame colon cancer and legal problems earlier this season, was overcome with emotion as he acknowledged his manager. Torre embraced him until the outfielder composed himself and said, "Thank you for caring for me, and I love you guys."
Another Bout for L. Ali
Laila Ali, the daughter of former champion Muhammad Ali, will meet Shadina Pennybaker in a four-round women's heavyweight fight Nov. 10 at Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort in West Virginia.
Kwan Is Perfect
Michelle Kwan received one perfect 6.0 for artistry in easily winning the short program at Skate America in Colorado Springs. The three-time U.S. champion and 1998 Olympic silver medalist swept the judging panel and gave an early indication that being a freshman at UCLA won't dampen her skating skills.
"I was calm. I actually thought of school," she said with a chuckle. "I thought, 'What am I doing out here? I should be doing homework.' Then I thought, 'School, skating--it's all right to have some fun. I know I can let it rip.' "
Which is just what the two-time world champion did. Kwan nailed a double Axel to start, hit a triple Lutz-double toe loop combination and a triple toe.
She so impressed the Russian judge that he gave her a 6.0, something Coach Frank Carroll called a first. It was her 21st perfect score in Olympic-eligible competition.
Two-time world champion Alexei Yagudin, benefitting from generous judging after a sloppy routine, won the men's short program.
Yagudin is using the season's first major international competition as a tuneup; he will get no points from Skate America in the Grand Prix series because he will compete in two other events. Yagudin landed a sharp quadruple toe loop. But his shaky triple Axel-double toe was unimpressive, and his spins were slow.
Still, he edged American champion and Fairfax resident Michael Weiss, who stepped out of his quad but had a strong triple Axel-triple toe combination. Weiss, who will get points in this competition, edged countryman Timothy Goebel.
Weiss, who became a father for the second time last week and has been fighting a sore ankle and a sinus infection, was pleased with his opening performance.
"It's been an interesting couple of weeks for me," he said. "It's a big step to know with things not going smoothly, I can put out a short program that was solid. It's a big help for me."
Rusedski Avenges Loss
Greg Rusedski saved four match points and rallied to beat Todd Martin, and top-ranked Andre Agassi crushed Andrei Pavel in 54 minutes to reach the semifinals of the Eurocard Open in Stuttgart, Germany.
Rusedski, seeded fifth, fired 22 aces in clinching a 4-6, 7-6 (12-10), 6-4 victory over Martin, who had won six of their previous seven showdowns. The last time they met, in the fourth round of the U.S. Open last month, Martin rallied from two sets down to oust Rusedski.
"It's a great feeling to come out and win that sort of match after the match at the U.S. Open," Rusedski said.
Agassi rolled over Pavel, 6-2, 6-1, and later said he was in the best shape of his life.
Defending champion Richard Krajicek, the eighth-seeded Dutchman, eased into the semifinals by beating Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina, 6-3, 6-2, and Sweden's Thomas Enqvist, seeded 13th, upset No. 6 Marcelo Rios of Chile, 6-4, 6-2. . . .
Top-seeded Mary Pierce rallied to beat Irina Spirlea and turn the $520,000 Generali Ladies tournament into an all-French affair in Linz, Austria.
Joining Pierce in the semis are Sandrine Testud, Amelie Mauresmo and Sarah Pitkowski.
Pierce defeated Spirlea, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Testud stopped compatriot Nathalie Tauziat, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Mauresmo advanced when Barbara Schwartz of Austria retired with an arm injury while trailing, 3-6, 7-5, 4-1, and Pitkowski crushed Denisa Chladkova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-0.
World Squad Drops U.S.
Brazilian stars Pretinha and Roseli combined for nine goals, powering the World Team past the United States, 15-7, in Cleveland in the third game of a 12-city indoor soccer exhibition tour.
The United States was without Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers and Brandi Chastain, key members of the team that won the Women's World Cup in June.
Tiffeny Milbrett scored three goals and Cindy Parlow had two for the United States, which dropped to 2-1 on the tour. Kristine Lilly and Saskia Webber also scored for the United States.
Street's Return Delayed
Picabo Street will not be in the start hut for this weekend's Alpine World Cup opener in France but U.S. team officials refused to rule out a possible comeback before the end of the season.
After battling back from injury to win the Super-G gold medal at the Nagano Olympics, Street's season came to a crashing halt a few weeks later at the World Cup downhill finale in Crans Montana, Switzerland, when she careered off the course, breaking her left leg and tearing ligaments in her right.
Bill Egon, the U.S. team coach, had been told that Street would be back on skis for the first time since her accident this weekend but then learned that the decision had been pushed back.
"At this point there are no plans for Picabo to compete this season," said Bill Sterett, U.S. team doctor. "The plan is back on snow this year, compete next year.
"But you never know with Picabo."
In March, doctors removed a nine-inch plate from Street's shattered left leg. She also moved to Park City, Utah, where she has been undergoing intensive therapy.
Starzz Sign Extension
The Utah Starzz, who have battled low attendance for the past three seasons, signed a three-year contract extension with the WNBA.
Utah's average attendance last season was 7,544, a figure that beat only Charlotte's 7,081. Washington led the league with 15,306, and the WNBA averaged 10,207 overall.
LocallyYow, O'Malley Honored Maryland Athletic Director Deborah A. Yow and Washington Sports and Entertainment President Susan O'Malley were among the top 10 female sports executives of the year as selected by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal.
CAPTION: Yankees Manager Joe Torre, left, joins Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, center, and team owner George Steinbrenner in showing off the championship trophy.