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TAKE ME OUT TO THE RALLY! BLACK LEADER PULLS BIGGER CROWD THAN THE YANKEES

It took Nelson Mandela to do what the woeful New York Yankees haven't been able to this year - fill Yankee Stadium.

The last of 52,000 seats for Thursday night's rally featuring the South African black nationalist leader sold out several hours before the event's 7 p.m. start, mayoral spokesman Stanley Davis said.Mayor David Dinkins' personal appeals on Wednesday for ticket sales seemed to work; 10,000 tickets went in the last 24 hours.

The most expensive seats went for $500. The cheapest were $5. Organizers said they raised $250,000 for the African National Congress.

Crowds have been sparse this season in the House that Ruth built. The Yankees have the worst record in baseball.