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Alito on curve balls, playing second, and Stevens’ Babe Ruth moment

During the last World Series, DC Dicta wondered if there were any friendly wagers between lifelong Phillies fan Justice Samuel Alito and Justices Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor, lifelong Yankees backers.

Turns out, there was!

“Yes. Unfortunately I had a bet with Justice Sotomayor about the outcome of the World Series,” Alito told the Philadelphia Daily News in a baseball-themed Q&A. “She’s a Yankees fan. Justice Scalia is a Yankees fan. So we had a bet, cheesesteaks vs. Nathan’s hot dogs and I had to provide Nathan’s hot dogs.”

Alito, whose Supreme Court chambers is filled with Phillies gear and memorabilia, took his entire staff to see the Phillies play at Nationals Park for the first game of the season earlier this month.  The Trenton native – who played second base from little league until high school when nearsightedness and the use of curve balls put an end to his baseball career – told the paper that he could have easily been a Yankees fan like his two colleagues.

“I could have,” he said. “My father was a Phillies fan, so I guess that’s the explanation. But, yeah, my neighborhood was split down the middle. My friend across the street and his father were rabid Yankees fans. In those days there were some [Brooklyn] Dodgers fans and New York Giants fans, but I was a Phillies fan from the beginning, when I first became interested in baseball.”

And baseball is a popular topic among the justices of the Court, he said.

“Justice [Stephen] Breyer is a Red Sox fan and Justice [John Paul] Stevens is a Cubs fan. He claims to have been present when Babe Ruth called his shot [in the 1932 World Series] at Wrigley Field,” Alito said with a smile. “Although about 200,000 people claim to have been in attendance at that game, I trust him that he actually was.”

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