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Off the Schneid

After 20 L's, a Nats fan is a witness to wins

Stephen Krupin's long Nationals nightmare is over. Krupin is the Nats fan who watched his team lose all 19 games he attended last season, earning him the unofficial title of the unluckiest fan in America (SI, Oct. 19). He's more than willing to pass that mantle on to some other star-crossed spectator now that he has, at long last, witnessed a Washington victory in person.

The streak was at 20—Krupin, a 28-year-old speechwriter, saw the Nationals lose their home opener 11--1 to the Phillies—when the blessed event occurred on May 6. He watched the Nats beat the Braves 3--2, but even in triumph his favorite team made him suffer a bit. Washington lefthander Scott Olsen took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Atlanta tied the game 2--2. "I started to think, Maybe it really is me," Krupin says. But Washington won on Willie Harris's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.

Krupin has since been on hand for two more wins (including Sunday's 4--3 victory over the Orioles) and a loss. So now he's had three chances to hear Dancing in the Street, the song played on the Nationals Park loudspeakers to celebrate a win. The Martha and the Vandellas tune is a fine choice, but in Krupin's honor the Nats should have added an even more appropriate golden oldie—Etta James's At Last.



MOST IMPROVED So far this season at Nationals Park, Krupin is at .600.