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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia participates at the third annual Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington in 2011.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia participates at the third annual Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington in 2011. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday at age 79, a passing significant for his conservative legacy in the country's highest court and the political opportunity it presents President Barack Obama.

Often overlooked in Scalia's obituaries, however, is his baseball fandom. A Trenton, N.J., native who moved to Queens, N.Y., as a young child, Scalia was "fond of reminding me that he was the first Yankees fan on the Court and he is still a very loyal Yankees fan," Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in 2012.

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Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986, Scalia had occasion to visit Camden Yards, as Lyle Denniston noted in this 1993 Baltimore Sun profile:

"When the Yankees play at Camden Yards, a famous -- and devoted -- fan of theirs sometimes can be found in a good seat there. But not easily. He will blend in perfectly, wearing an ordinary baseball cap and glasses. He won't look a thing like Antonin Scalia. ...

"To him, it doesn't always matter greatly that his side loses. As he once said to a companion after watching the Orioles beat the Yankees at Camden Yards, 'It was a great game -- but it turned out wrong!' "

Del. Samuel I. "Sandy" Rosenberg, a Baltimore Democrat, told WJZ's Pat Warren he went to an Orioles game every year with Scalia. WBAL's Brett Hollander remembered seeing him at Orioles games in college "enjoying a beer & sausage."

If you find Scalia's partisan leanings in the courtroom and the ballpark disagreeable, well, consider his answer to a question about whether he was a Washington Redskins fan.

"I'm not really much of a football fan," Scalia said in 2013. "To the extent I am, I hate the Redskins."

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