Cast your mind back to the first London Series, which the New York Yankees took 2-0, thanks to two incredible victories over the Boston Red Sox: 17-13 in Game One and 12-8 in Game Two.
The Yankees man-mountain of an outfielder, Aaron Judge, thanked the crowd in a post-match interview and commented that the “Yankees have the best fans in baseball” – he was wrong.
Now cover your ears if you follow the Yankees or the Chicago Cubs or any of the other 27 MLB teams not from St Louis, but Cardinals fans are the best fans in the world. And it’s a proven fact.
(1) Hometown interaction
This is the percentage of locals who watched or listened to at least one game during the season. Cardinal fans were the clear winners, with three-quarters of the polled St Louis natives claiming to have watched, listened to or attended a game over the last 12 months.
(2) Three years of television ratings
With so many new platforms, it is not surprising that ratings are increasing year-on-year. The Baltimore Orioles’ 10-9 victory over the Boston Red Sox – you know, the one where Adley Rutschman went 5-for-5, is the most-watched game in MLB.TV history.
(3) Three years of stadium attendance
The Philadelphia Phillies, thanks to their fanbase-awakening World Series appearance, top the list of the 20 MLB teams that are enjoying increased home attendance this season. The Cardinals are also in there, but alas, the Cubs are among the 10 teams whose attendance dropped.
(4) Three years of merchandise sales
It is the appearance of Oakland Athletics fans on the big spender’s list that makes me question the legitimacy of these studies, but it’s the best we have to go on.
(5) Social media reach (as a percentage of the area’s population)
This is a combination of Facebook fans and Twitter followers as a percentage of the team’s metro area population. Populations were halved in two-team cities.
The Cardinals were the undisputed winners as the Best Fans in Baseball. The Boston Red Sox came in second place, with the Yankees down in ninth.
Look, don’t shoot the messenger; I’m just reporting the Forbes discovery.
Interestingly, there was no correlation between market size and ranking, or between team value and ranking. The Yankees, first in team value and market size, ranked ninth in the Best Fans in Baseball list, while the Milwaukee Brewers sitting in the smallest market, were fifth on the list.
For Cubs fans feeling a little aggrieved can take heart that the Forbes article is a couple of years old, and in a more recent one, by our friends at Franchise Sports, where they ranked MLB fans from 1-30, the Cubs jumped up to second… still behind the Cardinals.
Now, a study to find the Best Baseball Fans in the UK would be really something. I’m putting the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Chicago Cubs in the top three. How about you?
The London Series 2023 will feature the first-ever NL games in Europe when the Chicago Cubs take on the St Louis Cardinals on Saturday 24 June and Sunday 25 June. Check out the Ticketmaster website with tickets starting from £59.00 – make sure you are following @Batflips_nerds for all your London Series content.