Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Here's the quote of the day from Boston Globe cartoonist Larry Johnson on the Big Show on WEEI, responding to a point from the Herald's Tony Mazerotti, who was saying that Red Sox fans shouldn't feel persecuted by the A-Rod deal:

"Don't act like Red Sox fans are paranoid for no reason; that's well earned."

Damn straight it's well earned. I have all the psychic battle scars to prove it.

Here's a different, yet still baseball related topic for today. Did you know that nearly 2.4 million people went to see the 11 minor league baseball teams in New England last year? That's pretty amazing. All but one of the teams, the North Shore Spirit in Lynn, MA, drew more fans than the Pawsox drew in the first year of Ben Mondor's management. In 1977, the Pawsox drew about 77,000 people for the whole season. In 2003, the team drew 550,157 fans, 11th best among 176 teams in Organized Baseball (i.e., the minor leagues affiliated with Major League Baseball). The other affiliated teams had the following attendance figures for 2003 (courtesy of minorleaguebaseball.com):

Portland Sea Dogs - 405,021
New Britain Rock Cats - 271,143
Lowell Spinners - 175,000 - selling out all 35 of their home dates
Norwich Navigators - 158,620
New Haven Ravens - 141,366 - moved to Manchester, NH for the 2004 season
Vermont Expos - 101,431

In addition, New England has four entries in the independent Atlantic and Northeast leagues. Those teams had the following attendance figures:

Bridgeport Bluefish - 231,407
Brockton Rox - 149,738
Nashua Hawks - 132,278
North Shore Spirit - 76,016

Add that to the Red Sox 2003 attendance of 2,724,165 and over 5 million paid attenances were tallied by the region's professional baseball teams.


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