Oct 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals fans wave towels prior to game five of the MLB baseball World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Busch Stadium. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The truth is that fans have nothing to do with their favorite team’s performance on the field. We may wear our hats backward when the team is losing. We may yell at the television when the manager does something that we disagree with. We may stand when the closer is one strike away from closing the game out. We may even refer to the things the team does by the personal pronoun “we.” The truth is, however, that we have nothing to do balls and strikes. If Cardinals win or lose this year it will not actually be because of anything done by those of us watching in the stands or our living rooms.
Fans may not influence the actual product on the field, but there is still pride amongst fans. Which team has the best fans is almost as hotly debated as which team will be the best on the diamond this year. The moniker of “The Best Fans In Baseball” has been used to refer to fans of the St. Louis Cardinals for some time now. Other teams and their fans disdain the nickname, but as much as Cardinal fans may proclaim themselves to be the best, most of the attention comes from outside St. Louis.
- ESPN’s Jim Caple has contributed
- Prominent Cardinals fan Will Leitch has made the case
- Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports chimed in
- The Sporting News proclaimed St. Louis the best baseball city in America
- USA Today got in on the act
- Hatred from Chicago seems to confirm that it is true
Despite all of the bluster about whether or not Redbird fans are actually the best in baseball or not there is actually a metric to measure such things. The website ticketcity.com has measured fan engagement for the last few years and the 2014 results are in – and fans of the Cardinals have some work to do. TicketCity’s formula takes into account average total attendance, average home attendance, average home game ticket price, percentage of stadium capacity filled at home games, Facebook “likes” and “Talking About”, and the Team’s Twitter following. Based on this formula the Cardinal faithful placed fourth behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, and the San Francisco Giants.
The statistics say that the Cardinals have the fourth-best fans in baseball. Sounds like the guys on the field are not the only ones with work to do.