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  • Smallest Crowds in Major League History?

    "It would have been a great crowd for a spring training game. On a back field. In the rain." - The Palm Beach Post

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins...lins_0913.html

    The announced crowd for yesterday's (9/12) Nationals-Marlins game at Dolphin Stadium was 10,121, which is plenty pathetic enough in its own right. The time of the game was moved from 7:05 to 1:05 to accommodate the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana. However, when the first pitch was thrown by Byung-Hyun Kim, there were 375 people in attendance. It was so quiet that when BK struck out trying to bunt, he cursed loud enough that you could hear it on TV, and the announcers had to apologize on the air. The Marlins ended up winning on a walk-off dribbler in the 12th by Todd Linden.

    I'm convinced that 375 people has to be the smallest actual crowd in modern baseball history. Can anybody prove me wrong? What are some other historically tiny baseball crowds?
    1997 2003
    Parks I've visited: 30 for 30, plus 5 closed

  • #2
    Originally posted by marlins739 View Post
    "It would have been a great crowd for a spring training game. On a back field. In the rain." - The Palm Beach Post

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins...lins_0913.html

    The announced crowd for yesterday's (9/12) Nationals-Marlins game at Dolphin Stadium was 10,121, which is plenty pathetic enough in its own right. The time of the game was moved from 7:05 to 1:05 to accommodate the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana. However, when the first pitch was thrown by Byung-Hyun Kim, there were 375 people in attendance. It was so quiet that when BK struck out trying to bunt, he cursed loud enough that you could hear it on TV, and the announcers had to apologize on the air. The Marlins ended up winning on a walk-off dribbler in the 12th by Todd Linden.

    I'm convinced that 375 people has to be the smallest actual crowd in modern baseball history. Can anybody prove me wrong? What are some other historically tiny baseball crowds?
    In 1916, only 23 people showed up for a Philadelphia Phillies game at Shibe Park:

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/stadium/st_shibe.shtml

    I'm pretty sure Griffith Stadium had a crowd of about 45 or so in either the depression era or the 1930s.

    In 1933, the St. Louis Browns had only 88,133 fans for the entire season. Average attendance was 1,152:

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/baltatte.shtml

    In 2003, the Mighty New York Yankees, on their way to a World Series appearance, had a relatively small crowd of 8,848 in a game against the Blue Jays. To be fair, however, it was a make-up game.

    http://www.boston.com/sports/basebal..._crowd?mode=PF

    Actually, paid attendance will almost always be less than actual attendance, and in some cases, substantially so. My guess is if the standard bearer for attendance was on actual attendance, several teams would be in 4 figure averages.
    Last edited by PeteU; 09-13-2007, 06:49 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by marlins739 View Post
      "It would have been a great crowd for a spring training game. On a back field. In the rain." - The Palm Beach Post

      http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins...lins_0913.html

      The announced crowd for yesterday's (9/12) Nationals-Marlins game at Dolphin Stadium was 10,121, which is plenty pathetic enough in its own right. The time of the game was moved from 7:05 to 1:05 to accommodate the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana. However, when the first pitch was thrown by Byung-Hyun Kim, there were 375 people in attendance. It was so quiet that when BK struck out trying to bunt, he cursed loud enough that you could hear it on TV, and the announcers had to apologize on the air. The Marlins ended up winning on a walk-off dribbler in the 12th by Todd Linden.

      I'm convinced that 375 people has to be the smallest actual crowd in modern baseball history. Can anybody prove me wrong? What are some other historically tiny baseball crowds?
      375, assuming they could count it accurately, and how big was the crowd eventually? Here are alleged figures for other small crowds

      9/22/1966 Yankee - 413
      9/25/1947 StL Browns - 350
      9/9/1902 A's - 172
      9/29/1882 Worcester - 25
      9/18/1916 A's/Yanks - 23
      9/27/1881 Troy/Cleveland - 12
      9/28/1882 Worcester - 6
      On 9/21/1884 supposedly the Union Association's Wilmington team didn't play because they couldn't afford to pay the other team the minimum fee. There were exactly zero in attendance
      The Cleveland Spiders ENTIRE home attendance for 1899 was 6,088
      Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
      Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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      • #4
        On 4/17/1979, Oakland had 653
        Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
        Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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        • #5
          The Astros had an official attendance of "0" on May 12, 1995 when the team gave away every ticket. It was an effort to get fans back to the ballpark after the strike had ended.

          A total of 54,350 tickets were available for free and 30,828 showed up through the turnstiles.

          The Astros and Phillies had Doug Drabek and Curt Schilling squaring off against each other on this Friday night with Philadelphia winning 5-2.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Astros View Post
            The Astros had an official attendance of "0" on May 12, 1995 when the team gave away every ticket. It was an effort to get fans back to the ballpark after the strike had ended.

            A total of 54,350 tickets were available for free and 30,828 showed up through the turnstiles.

            The Astros and Phillies had Doug Drabek and Curt Schilling squaring off against each other on this Friday night with Philadelphia winning 5-2.
            They should have made this announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, tonight's paid attendance: zero. The Phillies and Astros don't thank you for coming... because you aren't here."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Astros View Post
              The Astros had an official attendance of "0" on May 12, 1995 when the team gave away every ticket.
              Some would disagree

              http://www.baseball-reference.com/bo...99505120.shtml
              Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
              Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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              • #8
                Cleveland Stadium had a few games when the official attendance announced of that game was less than 4,000. Despite it wasn't the best stadium, people refused to attend because of the Cleveland Indians' poor performance during the season, allegedly because of the Curse of Rocky Colavito.

                In the modern era, two stadiums had its share of small crowds. Busch Memorial Stadium and Comiskey Park II had pitiful attendance for one game in separate years. Busch had around 1,500 show up against the Pirates on September 14, (?) 1989. Comiskey Park II's official attendance for one game was a pathetic 750 one game in April 1997. I forgot who the opponent was against, but oh well.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Solair Wright View Post
                  Cleveland Stadium had a few games when the official attendance announced of that game was less than 4,000.
                  I've been to some of those :

                  http://www.baseball-reference.com/te...85_sched.shtml

                  I've got to think that Brooklyn's total attendance in 1918 of 83,831 had some clunkers, the Cards' 80,922 in 1935, Oakland's 306,763 in 1979
                  Last edited by RuthMayBond; 09-13-2007, 11:04 AM.
                  Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                  Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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                  • #10
                    The way I've always understood it is that announced attendance is the number of tickets that have been sold for that day's game . . . . and that actual attendance is usually lower that announced attendance.

                    Or am I way off base here?
                    There's a fly ball out to left. Waiting is Cleon Jones ...the Mets are the World Champions! Jerry Koosman is being mobbed! Look at this scene! - Curt Gowdy announcing that the Mets had just won their first World Series.

                    1966 1970 1983
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
                      On 4/17/1979, Oakland had 653
                      My dad was there. He said that, at the start of the game, there were less than 300 people actually at the game.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tearforamariner View Post
                        My dad was there. He said that, at the start of the game, there were less than 300 people actually at the game.
                        I hope he kept his ticket (it should be a rarity ) and got a bunch of foul balls
                        Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                        Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
                          I hope he kept his ticket (it should be a rarity ) and got a bunch of foul balls
                          He did keep his ticket. Next time I visit him, I'll see if he'll let me scan it. He didn't collect any foul balls, but he bought from Ebay a few years ago that was signed by Julio Cruz.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jason R. Maier View Post
                            The way I've always understood it is that announced attendance is the number of tickets that have been sold for that day's game . . . . and that actual attendance is usually lower that announced attendance.

                            Or am I way off base here?
                            Yes it is. The American League has counted everybody for eons. For years, the National League would only annouce the paid attendance and not include other ticket holding patrons. When I used to listen to Mets game on the radio, Bob Murphy would occassionally mention both the actual and paid (usually around 2-3000 higher) at the game. One I remember was the Gooden-Tudor pitching match-up in September 1985 which drew 52,616 paid and had a total of 55,269 in the joint.

                            In 1993, both leagues started using the total ticket count. Interestingly enough, for the post-season games, the the total attendance has always been used from very far back (in both AL + NL parks).

                            All the major pro sports does the total attendance route. Does anyone think that every NY Knick NBA game drew exactly 19,763 every night as accounced? Every ticket holder always showed up? Yeah, right. I've been to games at MSG with about 1-2,000 or so empty seats and the attendance was always released as 19,763 becasue the game was sold out.

                            There was a college football game in the late 1990's at Michigan where due to bad weather there was "only about 70,000" in the place with huge sections of empty seats shown on TV. The attendance was still listed as over 100,000 in the paper the next day. And no, those 35,000 missing people weren't all staying inside the stadium under cover because of the weather...they weren't there at all.
                            Obladi, Oblada...

                            July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
                              Then they disagree with official team information given in the Astros media guides since 1996. They are listing the in-house crowd but major league owners had already decided attendance would be deteremined by tickets sold (not to start this argument again). The total attendance in 1995 for the Astros does not include that number given as the in-house number that actually showed up. It's just like when Cleveland had all their record sellouts at Jacobs Field but it was clearly seen that the ballpark was not full every night. They went on tickets sold like everyone else.

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