Not much local interest in Subway Series


Thursday, October 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The excitement New Yorkers feel about a Subway Series hasn't reached northeastern Oklahoma.

The Big Apple is buzzing over the World Series between the Yankees and Mets, but some folks around here say they couldn't care less.

``I didn't know who was playing until she told me,'' said Bob Coates of Cushing as he and his fiancee, Rachael Cross, grabbed a quick hot dog at Coney Island restaurant in downtown Tulsa.

Some of those interviewed Wednesday said they wished other teams were playing. Others said they can't stand the Yankees, have more important things on their minds or just don't care.

The Claremore Progress newspaper, in an editorial, said the series ``will free up the rest of the country to get involved in more interesting things _ like stacking firewood, cleaning out the rain gutters, and servicing the lawn mower for the coming winter.''

At Coney Island, customers waited in the serving line as the workers heated hot dogs on the grill and handed up coneys with chili and cheese.

``I'm a White Sox fan,'' George Wondaal said while eating.

Wondaal, a Chicago native, was already eating with friends who sat at wooden chairs with narrow school-desk tops. He admitted his baseball passion cooled after his Sox exited the playoffs against Seattle.

Just the same, Wondaal said he doesn't like the Yankees and prefers that the Mets win, but added, ``I won't lose any sleep over it'' either way.

Neither, apparently, will Roger Hendryx of Skiatook, who sat next to Wondaal.

``I don't do baseball at all,'' said Hendryx. His sport, he said, is football.

Tom Lewallen of Sand Springs ate nearby and said he didn't especially care about who wins, but when faced with a choice he preferred the Mets since the Yankees are repeat champs.

He wanted the St. Louis Cardinals in the series, but they lost to the Mets in the National League Championship Series.

Still, Lewallen wondered how Mets catcher Mike Piazza would fare at the plate against Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, who beaned the All-Star catcher earlier in the season.

The subway series will be the 14th pitting New York teams. The Yankees played the Giants and Dodgers repeatedly before those two teams left the Big Apple for California.

Lupe Lucero, a Kansas City Royals fan and retiree having coffee at Tulsa's downtown pedestrian mall, said he wished other teams were playing for variety's sake.

He didn't like two teams being from New York, but guessed he was pulling for the Mets. He had been rooting for Seattle in the playoffs.

Others had stronger sentiments.

``I kept up with it until I found out the Yankees won,'' said Dan Baker, who was taking a break at the mall. ``I don't like the Yankees.''