A MAJOR LITERARY EFFORT The books are on history, on philosophy, and other deep subjects - all in all, a pretty impressive library that George Szamuely accumulated in his New York apartment. Some of them are even irreplaceable, experts at New York University say. And they ought to know: Every one of the 570 tomes is from the school's own shelves. Szamuely checked them out while he was a continuing-education student at NYU. Unfortunately, according to criminal charges filed against him, he refused to bring any of them back and the fines he owes now amount to a whopping $31,000. If convicted, he faces possible jail time, which would give him ample opportunity to read. But - just guessing now - he'd probably need to find a new lending source.

Besides baseball, Red Sox, Indians play a waiting game One of these years, the Boston Red Sox or the Cleveland Indians may break a long drought and win Major League Baseball's showcase event, the World Series. At the moment, they're battling each other in a five-game playoff to determine which of them advances to the American League Champion-ship Series. Both franchises have come close to winning it all in recent years, only to lose in the seventh game of the fall classic (Boston in 1986; Cleveland in 1997). This season's eight contenders and the years each has spent waiting either to win another world championship or its first:

Boston Red Sox 81

Cleveland Indians 51

Houston Astros (none yet) 37

Texas Rangers (none yet) 27

New York Mets 13

Atlanta Braves 4

Arizona Diamondbacks

(none yet) 2

New York Yankees 1

- Sports Illustrated 1999 Almanac

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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