For a single season, what team has drawn the most fans? It’s an interesting question and the answer will surprise many of you, as it did me. Here’s the list of the top 10:
10. 1996 Colorado Rockies (3,891,014)
The 1996 Rockies finished first in MLB attendance, beating out the Orioles (3,646,950) by almost 4,000 fans per game. Managed by Don Baylor, the Rockies finished 8 games behind the Padres with an 83-79 record. Coming off their first trip to the postseason in ’95, the 1996 Rockies hovered around .500 all year. Four hitters finished with over 100 RBI’s (Castilla (113), Burks (128), Bichette (141), Galarraga (150)) and their team ERA was 5.59. Compiling 17 wins, Kevin Ritz still shares the team record for wins in a season; his ERA was 5.28. Coors Field + Steroids = Lots of Offense. This explosive offense, mixed with the team’s success from the previous year, resulted in an average game attendance of 48,037. However, Coors Field attendance was still clearly negatively affected by the strike, as they averaged 57,570 fans over the first 57 home games of the 1994 season.
9. 1991 Toronto Blue Jays (4,001,527)
There have been nine seasons with over 4 million fans in MLB history. The 1991 Blue Jays come in at #9, just crossing over this plateau. At the time, though, they were the first team to ever do it. This was the team’s 15th year of existence, and only their second full-season in the Sky Dome. The ’91 Blue Jays won the AL East by 7 games over the Red Sox before losing to the Twins in the ALCS. Before the season, the Blue Jays acquired Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter from the Padres. Both players went on to have very productive seasons. The pitching staff was deep and consistent, led by Jimmy Key (I could hit him), a young David Wells, and Todd Stottlemyre. The Sky Dome also hosted the 1991 All Star Game.
8. 1992 Toronto Blue Jays (4,028,318)
The Blue Jays broke their own record, topping the ’91 season by 330 fans per game. The team’s on-the-field performance also was better, as they finished 96-66 before winning the World Series. The ’92 Jays were never swept in a series, a feat that hadn’t happened for 49 years. Jack Morris and Dave Winfield were added as free agents before the season and David Cone was traded for in late August (sending Jeff Kent to the Mets). The 1992 World Series was the first to have games on non-American soil, as the Blue Jays defeated the Braves in 7 games. Fay Vincent was forced to resign a month earlier, so American League President Bobby Brown presented the World Series trophy, making it the first World Series since 1919 to not be presided over by a Commissioner (Bud Selig was “interim” Commissioner).
7. 2008 New York Mets (4,042, 045)
6. 1993 Toronto Blue Jays (4,057,947)
5. 2005 New York Yankees (4,090,696)
4. 2006 New York Yankees (4,248,067)
3. 2007 New York Yankees (4,271,867)
2. 2008 New York Yankees (4,298,655)
1. 1993 Colorado Rockies (4,483,350)