An October trial date was set yesterday for two former New York Yankees accused of attacking a Fenway Park groundskeeper after he cheered for the Red Sox in the Yankees bullpen during last year's playoffs.

Roxbury District Court Judge Edward Redd set an Oct. 26 trial date for pitcher Jeff Nelson and outfielder Karim Garcia, who both face assault and battery charges in the alleged attack on Paul Williams Jr. of Derry, N.H.

Nelson and Garcia did not appear at the hearing, as required, and were assessed $500 each in court costs, said David Procopio, spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. Nelson is currently with the Texas Rangers and Garcia with the New York Mets. Both players' lawyers said the fee was less onerous than the cost of leaving their teams to appear.

The trial is scheduled to start the day of Game 4 of the World Series. If either player is involved in the World Series, "that's something we'll address at that time," Procopio said.

Prosecutors allege that Nelson attacked Williams in the Yankees bullpen last Oct. 11 during the AL championship series.

Nelson said Williams started the fight after he calmly asked Williams to stop cheering.

-- From News Services

WILLIAMS