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World War I Newsbeat

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-6-2014

[Salem, Oregon] Daily Capital Journal, May 6, 1914:

“A war with Mexico would prove a great baseball hardship,” said [Frank] Chance. “...To my mind nothing else could spell ruin for the Federal league so certainly.”
...
“In case of a war a club either will have to win a pennant or at least be in the fight all the way to make any money…[When the Yankees played there,] Countless thousands were collected around every bulletin board in Philadelphia. They preferred to get their baseball that way because they had the additional lure of all the latest bulletins from Mexico…And conditions in Philadelphia simply reflect the mind of the public elsewhere.”

My gut reaction was that Chance was crazy, but I did the math and I can’t say he was wrong.

The United States officially entered World War I in April 1917. Attendance that year was down 16.8% in the AL and down 23.0% in the NL. In 1918, attendance was even lower: Down 26.8% from 1917 levels in the AL, down a further 28.5% in the NL.

In 1919, with the end of the war, American League attendance was up 94.1% over 1918 figures and NL attendance was up 91.0%.


 

 

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