The Top 10 Season Attendance Totals

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:

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)

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Tips on How to Secure The Baseball Field Properly

baseball field

Every year there has been an increase in the number of recorded accidents due to people playing baseball. And most of the accidents happen while the game is still on. The security of the baseball field is not really about the field itself but the people that are using it.

Therefore, in order to secure baseball fields correctly to avoid any untoward and unwanted accidents from happening, parents, coaches, as well as the kids, must learn about some basic baseball safety tips. Surely, there is no way injuries can be prevented as no one can predict what will happen during the game, however, knowing these tips will surely be beneficial for everyone as it will give them the opportunity of being provided an injury free involvement with the sport.

Listed below are several basic safety facts as well as common sense safety tips that every player, parents as well as the coaches that they must be aware of :

  1. A preseason physical examination has been the practice of most players and their teams to monitor their physical health. And also, another reason why this must be done to all players is for any medical related concerns to be detected at an earlier time so that it can be prevented or cured. This is also a way of securing the safety of every player. One the physical examination is done and the results are available, in order for each player to be allowed to play in a game, the coach must secure a written approval allowing them to take part on the game. The requests forms provided must contain information with regards to a particular type of medication or any special medical needs that a player might need. And also, it should grant permission to coaches to seek for emergency care if there is a need for such.
  2. One of the most important gears that baseball player must have is the batting helmet which serves to protect their heads. It is being mandated that all players who are at bat must use a batting helmet as well as when they are running from base to base. People who are on the field while the game is going on is required to wear headgear for safety purposes. This pertains to any base coaches, those players who are taking part in hitting exercises, as well as those who are practicing their own swing while they are within for their turn in the on-deck circle. It is important for everyone, regardless of whether you are a player, coach or just an audience, to be very attentive and vigilant all the time.
  3. One of the most efficient ways of keeping oneself secure on the baseball field is to have an open communication with their team. Having proper communication will prevent any player to made contact with immovable objects such as walls, fences, to name a few. By using simple verbal communication such as saying “This is mine” or “You take it” will certainly keep ay accidents from happening while playing the sport. This will also prevent anyone from having to suffer any serious injury caused by a collision.
  4. Throwing the ball properly will keep danger at bay. This is one of the most important skills that coaches must impart to their players. They should teach them how to correctly and safely set up the ball and execute the throw notwithstanding the actual throwing exercise.
  5. It is important for players to be cautious about his surroundings. Never walk behind a player who is practicing his batting or to a player preparing to bat. Same goes for those who are swinging their bats. They are responsible for the people around so they must also pay attention to their surroundings. There is also that possibility that a bat might slip from the players hand therefore extra caution is crucial.

Though we might have been discussing precaution inside the field but the most important of all is to maintain the cleanliness and orderliness of the baseball field to secure it properly. It is significantly essential to clean the field be throwing away the garbage and debris that may cause harm to the players, and also, make sure that that the field is clear of any stumps and holes is of utmost importance.

Playing baseball may not be life threatening, however, it is still important to make sure that any and all care is taken into consideration to prevent injuries from happening.

Whilst this article talks about keeping the players safe and healthy, obviously you need to keep the field secure, with appropriate locks on the field gates when the field is not in use. Lock away your equipment and any other valuables. For more information on securing your property, contact the 24 Hour Locksmith Pros. They recently wrote a great article on how to hire the best locksmith – check it out here.

Chiropractic Treatment: Remedy for Damaged Shoulders Caused by Baseball Pitching

chiropractorChiropractic treatment is a kind of treatment that is commonly used as a remedy for people who are experiencing or suffering pain, and this is done by expertly moving the bones in the spine and joints. This is also used for people who are seeking relief from their back or neck pains. However, the job of a chiropractor is not only limited to the taking care of the spine.

There are so many chiropractors nowadays who are being trained to treat and adjust extremities such as the knees, smaller joints like the toes, and even the shoulders. There are times that shoulder pains are caused by the irritation of the joints. Sometimes it is caused by the irritation of the tissue. There are lots of ways on how to achieve chiropractic care for shoulder pains like manipulation and other treatments.

Chiropractors are treating shoulder pains successfully on a daily basis. Lots of factors cause shoulder pains and most of it are the common practices that we always do every single day. Poor sleeping position, lifting bags that are heavy, children’s backpacks, and even by using computers as well as other devices for such long time contributes to the straining of the shoulders. Playing baseball is also another factor that causes shoulders to be strained especially if you are playing the position of the ace: the starting pitcher. Such position is very straining as you need to put a lot of force on your shoulder just to pitch varieties of styles. That is why most of the players playing for the said position are always subjected to chiropractic care in treating their shoulder pains.

The chiropractor is the one who will conduct examination on every muscle and bones in the body, however; they will be focusing more on the shoulders. The reason behind that is because they want to have a better understanding of the relationship that various parts of the body have. Hence, in order for them to understand how everything is going to work together, they need to examine the backbone, the armpit, the joints in the elbow, the carpal bones, and even the hands. Another reason why they do such examination is for them to determine the cause of the shoulder pain. There are times that it is caused by a problem with the bones, arthritis or perhaps osteophytes.

Sometimes, it might be caused by problems with the soft tissues in the muscle, sinews or the ligaments. There are also instances when chiropractor will require you to undergo X-rays and other diagnostic tests such as electromyogram or a magnetic resonance imaging scans, in order for them to carefully diagnose the condition of your shoulder.

Problems associated with the shoulder are being treated the adjustments of the backbone in order to guarantee that the nerves going to the torso are properly functioning. They will also do some adjustments on the different joints to make up the complexity of the torso. There is no need to worry about chiropractors adjusting your joints as they will do it in a gentler and much precise manner.

They will also make sure that you will not feel intense pain while doing the chiropractic care. In addition to that , doing the adjustments will also restore the usual scope of the shoulder’s motion plus, it allows the muscles to properly function in order for it to follow your command like if you wish for it to contract, it will contract and if you wish for it to relax, it will relax as well.

Chiropractors are also using various procedures being included on the treatment plan that may involve things like heating or icing, making use of ultrasound, lasers that are cold, and even exercises for stretching and strengthening the joints. As for those who are playing baseball and acts as the pitcher (regardless of whether the starting pitcher, relief pitcher or ), the chiropractor will give you careful instruction as to how you can avoid straining your shoulders while pitching or how many pitches you should carry over in order for you not to stress your shoulders. There are also those chiropractors who will advise you to use creams which contain arnica, and oftentimes oils that are essential, or even other creams that are tropical that will certainly help reduce the inflammation if this happens to the case.

For whatever activities it is that you will be using your shoulders, you need to always bear in mind the fact that our torso is a very fragile joint which is the reason why we have a great motion range on our shoulders. However, if an injury was inflicted on your shoulder, such as by pitching in a baseball game, you need to make sure that you have it checked the moment you got your shoulders injured in order for you get the chance to resolve the injury before it’s too late.

Do Big Barrell Bats Help or Hurt

Do Big Barrell Bats Help or Hinder Young Hitters?

baseball kidMy eight year old was playing baseball this fall on a coach pitched team. It was the perfect situation for the fall with only one practice every Sunday afternoon from 2:00-3:30. It was a great experience, one in which he learned a lot and he had a great time with the other kids on the team. We were also playing flag football this fall, so we didn’t have a lot of time for extended fall ball, plus he is only 8 so I wasn’t interested in him being involved with a team that was going to play games every week.(I’m not a big proponent of playing year round baseball, but Ill save that for another article.)

The coaches decided they would try to play a couple of games and put into action what they had been teaching during the Sunday practices. We traveled about 45 minutes away on a nice Saturday during the middle of the fall to play a double header with another eight year old team. It was a good experience but I was shocked when I watched the other team hit. Yes, they beat us in both games 20-8 and 17-9, but that wasn’t what shocked me, it was the bats they were using ‘ Big Barrel Baseball Bats.

Let me back up a little bit first. My eight year old is our youngest. My oldest is 26 (I was 40 when our youngest was born) and we have already went through Little League, Babe Ruth, Summer Ball, etc with our oldest. Also, as a high school baseball coach I host youth camps every summer and thought I was in tune with what was happening in youth baseball. But the bats I saw the other eight year old team using that day caught me by complete surprise. Every player on the other team was using a big barrel baseball bat (2-5/8 inch) even though they were only eight years old.

The big barrel baseball bat is designed for senior league play, which is typically 13-15 year olds. I did a little investigation and found that all the manufacturers (Easton, DeMarini, Louisville, etc) specifically advertise these big barrel baseball bats are not approved for younger youth league teams. This was reinforced more when I found out that most youth leagues (Cal Ripen, Little League, Pony, etc.,.) did not allow players to use the larger barrel bats. However, I did find it odd that the manufacturers are making -10 to -13 drop bats (the unit distinction between the length and the weight of the bat, such as 27 inches long and 17 ounces in weight). Its obvious that the sale of these ultra-light, big barrel baseball bats are targeted at youth league players.

Youth league (ages 6-12) aluminum bats are typically 2 ‘ inches in diameter at the sweet spot and usually have a -8 in drop. The idea is to work up as they get older and eventually get to the -3 drop bat that is required in high school.

The problem with using big barrel baseball bats at such a young age is that it doesn’t reinforce hitting mechanics. When a young hitter swings and misses the sweet spot, this reinforces the fact they need to use their hands to hit instead of their arms. The sweet spot is typically 4-7 inches from the barrel end of the bat, located between the bats trademark and the end of the bat. With aluminum (or composite bats) when the player misses the sweet spot the bat jars in their hands. With a wood bat (which I think all young players should spend time learning to hit with) if the sweet spot is missed the ball doesn’t travel very far, maybe a ground ball to second or short. Anyway, it reinforces the need to rotate the hips and use the hands and forearms to get the barrel of the bat on the ball.

With much practice a player can become good at making consistent contact on the sweet spot of the bat. Using the hands correctly will strengthen the hands as they get older and allow them to progress in their mechanics as a hitter. Many players struggle with hitting on high school freshman or JV teams (and middle school teams) because they drag the bat head with the -3 bats that are required by the National Federation rules. They have been swinging the -8 or -5 with their arms and the -3 is heavier for them to swing. They have not yet developed good strong hands or forearms from hitting properly.

Another problem with the big barrel baseball bats is the extended hitting zones. The player can have a long swing (one that disconnects with the arms getting away from the body) hitting the ball on the area below the sweet spot near the trademark and still get a solid base hit into the outfield. This was what I witnessed that Saturday this fall during the eight year old coached/pitched game. Most of the hitters in the on the opposing team used more arms than hands to hit but they still had solid shots into the outfield. In fact, when they did make solid contact the ball was sent like a laser to the outfield fences. Several times our players were hit with the ball (one in the head on a line drive to center field) and the opposing coach was also hit by a hot line drive back to the mound. It was a little scary and these young players were not ready to be swinging these bats.

During my research I also found this was a common practice for travel league teams. Most travel tournament sponsors do not have regulations against using these larger barrel bats for youth league ages. With the manufacture warnings clearly listed on these bats this could be a serious point for litigation. The travel tournament sponsors and teams that all these bats against the manufacture warnings are exposing themselves to potential lawsuits.

From a hitting stand point players will never understand their hitting flaws. Its like the weekend golfer that uses a monster head driver, one that can correct the flight of the ball if the swing is not perfect. As long as you make contact anywhere on the face of the club you’re in good shape. (I got one in my golf bag) The same is true for the large barrel bats for youth leagues. See, hitting a baseball is difficult and comes with much failure. A good big league player that hits around .300 will fail 7 out of 10 times. With young hitters the failure is what makes them better. Missing the sweet spot on the bat reinforces the idea to use your hands and get the barrel on the ball.

If you’re serious about your child being a better hitter make them use the 2 inch barrel in youth league. They can also work with a wood bat in practices and scrimmage games. (or summer/fall league play). Use bamboo when they are young moving to maple by the time they are 11 or 12. Both of these bats are extremely durable and hard to break. By the time they are 15-16 they can graduate to a nice Ash bat. Most big leaguers use either Ash or Maple. All of our high school players have a wood bat in their bag and train with it regularly.

10 Best Coaching Tips

Top 10 Best Coaching Tips for Baseball

  1. Best Coaching Tips for BaseballBE ORGANIZED A good coach must have practice plans, and be thinking in advance as to what is to be accomplished and learned for that days practice. Kids will pick up on an unorganized coach and he will lose respect and focus from his players. Plan a week in advance of each practice and modify each plan according to what you need to get done.
  2. DISCIPLINE No matter who breaks your rules, even your best player, you as the coach must act upon your preset punishment, and reprimand that player accordingly. Play no favorites, as hard as that may seem and you will win the respect and admiration of your team.
  3. P.M.A. (POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE) Situations in baseball can get pretty bad, your not hitting, your pitcher can’t throw a strike etc. but you as the coach must remember to find a positive and rally around that point. Maybe your defense is outstanding or you’re running the bases well, players need encouragement. Mistakes will undoubtedly happen; it’s what you do as a coach during this time that will define your coaching ability. Take a negative, work on it, and put it to your team’s advantage.
  4. WINNING, IT’S NOT EVERYTHING Be a teacher of baseball first, then winning will take care of itself if you have prepared the team to play hard and always give their best efforts.
  5. TEACH, LEARN & COMMUNICATE Players at all levels learn by listening and doing. Remember, telling a player to do something, he will forget, but TEACH a player by showing and they remember. When a player does something on their own with your instruction they have a tendency to do it better and remember much more. Here is a simple four word phrase that I and several other coaches use: TEACH, SHOW and DO. Teach them in theory, Show them on the field, have them Do it themselves. Communicating to a player and parent is also key. I have developed and used The Coaches Communication Plan. It is a step by step approach to assist the coach, the parent and the player in better communication and understanding.
  6. IMPROVEMENT Emphasize your teaching and instruction by challenging all your players at any level to improve on their skills. Players want to improve, so as a coach, plan appropriately to accommodate them. This may require you to work on different drills for different players or stay later after a practice is finished. Be prepared to give of yourself and your time for overall team and individual success.
  7. BE CARING Nobody likes the mean and grumpy coach that sits in the corner of the dugout barking out orders. Show the players that you care about them as individuals and that you believe each one is important to the team. Let them know what their roles and responsibilities are to the team. Take time as the coach to talk to players individually, ask them what is going on. Remember coaches, be human. You’re not a good coach unless you can relate and understand your players, both on and off the field.
  8. BE A GOOD SPORT Yes winning brings high fives and smiles, but instill in your players how to accept winning as well as losing. Your coaching of baseball will reflect on your players and if they show poor sportsmanship, what does that say about you, their coach!
  9. DEALING WITH PARENTS I included parents in my top ten best baseball coaching tips because they are un-avoidable and setting a precedent early with them will help you as a coach. First, send home a congratulatory letter letting them know their son or daughter made the team. Explain your rules, philosophies, what is expected of them and their kids, put in practice and game schedules and put in a contact number so they can contact you if needed. Unfortunately, nothing will prevent a disgruntled parent from wanting to talk or yell at you for not playing their kid, but at least the letter will let them know first off, where you stand.
  10. HAVE FUN Sometimes as coaches and parents we forget the whole reason we play this great game of baseball: To have fun. Coaches, you don’t have to be a Drill Sergeant to teach baseball. Create a practice environment that is structured, varied and enjoyable. If you’re having fun and so are the players, chances are they will learn more, quicker and with less complaints to you or their parents. I am not saying to create a circus atmosphere, but add variety to your regular drills ad stations to keep the level of excitement and fun.

Hey Coach, When Can I Play Shortstop?

Kids Playing ShortstopTo fellow coaches and parents, if you ask youngsters which position they want to play, many would say shortstop. While many players want to play shortstop, only a few really can. The shortstop must have good range, which means a good quick lateral movement. The shortstop must be quick to react to sharply hit balls, getting into a fielding position for a backhand in a flash. Shortstops should have strong throwing arms to make long throws in the hole, or to get runners on slow rollers.

They must be agile enough to run down humpback liners or pop ups in shallow left field. The shortstop must be able to make numerous plays from a wide range of spots in the field. Their responsibilities include taking throws on steal attempts, covering or holding runners at second base. They must back up second and third base on steal attempts. The shortstop makes take defense signs from the bench. They often get the defense set for the next play. Many times, shortstops aren’t the biggest or strongest players on the field. They are usually one of the best athletes on the team however.

Shortstops must be willing to keep working on their skills, even during the off-season if they want to continue to play the position. The shortstop must be able to learn to judge the field conditions and adjust accordingly. During warm ups before the game, they see how the field is affecting grounders. If it is a fast track, they will play back some. Grass infields or slower infields will allow them to play in somewhat.

Mindset is so important at short, because there may be more than one play you could choose to make on any hit ball. Knowing whether to go for a play at the plate with less than two outs must be determined, and thought about before they receive the ball. If your team is up by five runs, throw to first base. When your team is down by three runs it becomes an option for the out at the plate.

Strong armed shortstops can hold a runner. Alert shortstops look back an average runner at second or third base to save a run. “Looking back” the runner is just a brief glance at the runner to freeze them and stop their momentum to whatever base they are trying to advance to. Simply not looking back a runner will let an average base runner move up a base they should not have.

Taking charge of pop ups, and directing other fielders on who should catch them on the left side of the infield is another duty of the shortstop. With a runner at second base, the shortstop should use the “daylight play”to keep the runner close.

When the shortstop uses the daylight play, they start out the play five or 6 ft. behind second base, 4 ft. down the baseline towards third. As the runner begins their leadoff, the shortstop quickly comes up right behind the base runner, looking at length of their leadoff.

If the shortstop determines lead is too large, they quickly cut towards second base, holding out their glove arm as a signal for the pitcher to make a pickoff attempt. If the shortstop determines the lead is safe, they will quickly shuffle to the right back towards their position.

When the pitcher, who is in the set position, sees daylight between the runner and the shortstop, they start their delivery towards home plate. This daylight play gets rid of most of the running back and forth by the shortstop and second baseman.

Keeping the runner close to second is very important for obvious reasons. The daylight play also helps keep middle infielders in position more often to field baseballs. It reduces the pitcher inducing a ground ball, only to see it go through the infield for a hit because the infielders were late getting back to their positions.

These are just a few of the scenarios faced by shortstops. I will cover more in upcoming articles. Please encourage your youth baseball players to stay upbeat and positive even after mistakes. You can lead the way by staying that way yourself.