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World Series 2001
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10/23/2001 12:17 PM ET
Yankee Stadium fans made sure they were heard
By Aimee Crawford
The fans let it be known that there would not be a Game 6 in Seattle.
Stadium crowd comes alive: 56k | 300k
More Mariners-Yankees video in Daily Cuts

NEW YORK -- The chants started early Monday night, in the top of the first inning, rolling down from the upper deck at Yankee Stadium.

"No Game 6! No Game 6!"

The sellout crowd of 56,370 provided a stirring soundtrack for the Yankees' 12-3 drubbing of the Mariners. A combination of sing-song tributes, sarcastic gibes and celebratory shout-outs echoed throughout the hallowed "House that Ruth built."

New Yorkers still pride themselves on their caustic cleverness. And given its proximity to Broadway, it's no surprise Yankee Stadium was once again the setting for high theater -- both on the field and in the stands.

"I wish people could sit where we sit and see the whole panoramic view of the crowd," said Yankees reliever Jay Witasick. "It's an incredible feeling to see the crowd get into the game like this. I've never been a part of anything like this in my whole life. It's a thrill to watch."

The New York faithful hailed Chuck Knoblauch's spectacular diving catch in the top of the first with roars that morphed into a mellifluous "Knob ... lauch! Knob ... lauch!" They warmed to catcher Jorge Posada, who worked the count and drew a two-out base on balls in the second.

"Hip, hip, Jor-ge!" they chanted, accenting the final syllable with a jump and wave-like salute.


They saluted longtime left fielder Paul O'Neill before and after each at-bat. One section shouted "Oh!" and another followed up with "Neill!"

After Bernie Williams' home run to left-center staked the Yankees to a 4-0 lead in the third, the Stadium echoed with chants of "Ber-nie! Ber-nie!" for several minutes.

And they spared no one on the opposing squad. Their team poised to clinch its fourth consecutive American League pennant, Yankees fans could smell blood.

Jay Buhner started in right field in Game 5 for Seattle, which made him an automatic target for the leather-lunged Bleacher Creatures of section 139. No matter that he's a former Yankee; Buhner, patrolling the outfield for perhaps the last time, felt the full force of their ire.

"Byoooo-ner!" they bellowed, "you s..." Well, you get the idea. Much of the bleacher creature mantra is R-rated.

"They've been wild ever since Game 5 against Oakland," said Yankees reliever Mike Stanton, who particularly enjoyed the hooray for Jorge. "They were riled up tonight, which was great to see."

Even beloved Mariners superstar Ichiro was not immune. The rookie outfielder, who moved from right field -- and away from the Bleacher Creatures -- to left field for the first time this season, was serenaded with this sendoff:

"Iiiichiroh, sayonara!" And when there was a break in action on the field, they engaged one another. The Bleacher Creatures barked at their neighbors in right field:

"Box seats suck!"

The box-seaters responded by holding up their cups -- presumably filled with adult beverages -- and shouted back: "We've got beer!" (Alcohol is no longer sold in the Yankee Stadium bleachers.)

The game ended, of course, as all Yankee home wins do -- with a hearty rendition of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York."

Once again, the House that Ruth built was rocking in October. The Babe most certainly would have approved.

Aimee Crawford is deputy managing editor of