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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Gallup Poll: Nearly Half of Americans are Baseball Fans

As I dab a dewey drop from my eye…

A new Major League Baseball season is underway, and Gallup finds that just under half of Americans consider themselves to be baseball fans. Traditionally known as “America’s Pastime,” baseball trails football as the top sport in the United States, both in terms of the percentage of Americans who say they are fans of the sport, and the percentage who say it is their favorite sport to watch. While baseball’s fan base is fairly consistent across demographic categories, older Americans are much more likely than younger Americans to name baseball as their favorite sport.

...The trend line shows that the percentage of Americans identifying as baseball fans has not always been so consistent. It has varied significantly in response to events happening in the sport. The recent high point was in Sept. 1998, just after Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa surpassed Roger Maris’ record 61 home runs in one season, when 63% of Americans said they were baseball fans. The low point was 41% in April 1995, just before Major League Baseball resumed play following its last (and longest) player strike.

Repoz Posted: April 04, 2006 at 12:40 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospect reports

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   1. jolietconvict Posted: April 04, 2006 at 12:52 PM (#1936552)
pas·time
n.

An activity that occupies one's spare time pleasantly: Sailing is her favorite pastime.


Baseball is still America's pastime IMO. MLB may not be but baseball is. How many people do you know that play in flag football leagues? How many do you know that play in softball leagues?
   2. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: April 04, 2006 at 12:58 PM (#1936556)
I hope this doesn't mean that baseball fandom is waning.

In a way, though, it might be a *good* thing for MLB to get worried about losing fans. They might be more interested in fixing the deplorable situations (e.g. by finding a way to stop clubs from abusing their revenue-sharing) we have in places like Kansas City & Washington if they thought their pocketbooks would take a hit.
   3. TerpNats Posted: April 04, 2006 at 01:34 PM (#1936603)
I would love to see how this poll runs geographically. With the migration to the Sunbelt, one would think the popularity of baseball might increase in those areas. Instead, I sense newcomers are more or less adapting to local mores, which explains in part why Florida and Tampa Bay have been such relative disappointments.
   4. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: April 04, 2006 at 02:28 PM (#1936659)
I'm always leery of polls taken out of season, so this poll should be taken with a grain of salt (i.e., a poll taken from March 10th to March 12th is not exactly a poll taken at the right time).

It'd be interesting to see a poll taken in September or mid-October and compare it to this one.
   5. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: April 04, 2006 at 02:29 PM (#1936662)
IN fact, reading further, I note that the "high point" was indeed in September (1998), and the "low point" was april 1995, right before the striking players came back to play....

For these crappy Gallup polls to work, they'd have to take the poll every year AT THE SAME TIME OF THE YEAR.
   6. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: April 04, 2006 at 02:49 PM (#1936694)
Half of all Americans are baseball fans...but only 10% of them understand the infield fly rule.
   7. PhillyBooster Posted: April 04, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#1936789)
The sports are hardly comparable, with baseball playing 10X as many games. Also, every semi-major city has a minor league team drawing 5000+ for a cheap minor league game for 70 dates a year.

I love going to baseball games, but if I'm taking my family, I'm probably going to the Camden Riversharks or Reading Phillies. That's a REAL 'pastime'.
   8. DiggerP Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:20 PM (#1936907)
There is absolutely no reason why anyone who wants to understand the infield fly rule can't. It's just not that hard.
   9. Biscuit_pants Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#1936919)
I am surprised at the tie between Baseball and Pro Basketball for favorite sport to watch. I have found the pro basketball play since somewhere in the late 90’s to be boring and one dimensional. Maybe it is I that have changed and not the game.
   10. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#1936928)
Traditionally known as “America’s Pastime,” baseball trails football as the top sport in the United States, both in terms of the percentage of Americans who say they are fans of the sport, and the percentage who say it is their favorite sport to watch.

This was first noted in about 1963, and has been reported as a hot news scoop about 70 thousand times since.

I have found the pro basketball play since somewhere in the late 90’s to be boring and one dimensional.

I completely agree. The NBA is truly dreary these days.
   11. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#1936946)
I have found the pro basketball play since somewhere in the late 90’s to be boring and one dimensional.

I completely agree. The NBA is truly dreary these days.


And once again, I'll disagree. The NBA of the last couple years had definitely improved from the lows during the Riley/Knicks era. It's not perfect, but then again neither is baseball or football.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#1936969)
The NBA is a hundred times better than it was in the late 90s. Really, I think all four major sports league are at the top of their game right now. All four finally have labor peace (for now), have added rule changes to improve the game (particularly in the NBA and NHL) and we're no longer subjected to dynastic championship games showing the same teams over and over again. Good times to be a sports fan.
   13. Jack Keefe Posted: April 04, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#1936985)
Well I beleaf that Americans are 1 half baseball fans because I half like baseball my self Al I like it if I am pitching which is not frequently or then I like it if we get to play catch in the bull pen or if they bring around those ice creams in a paper cup 1/2 choclet 1/2 vanilla other times I do not like it Al during reign delays when we watch a nother game in the club house and I hear T-Mac Carver.
   14. Jack Keefe Posted: April 04, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#1937005)
Also some 1 mentioned the infield fly rule here goes. Al it is not that hard to under stand. When there is two men on base and none out or 1 out only the men have to be 1st and 2nd Al at least 1st & 2nd I mean there can be 1 on 3rd though it must be an extra man you cannot have it 1st & 3rd or 2nd & 3rd well as I was saying lets say the batter hits a popup the umpires all yell and you must not catch that pop up the batter is out only if the pop up is in the infield it would be funny Al if they had an outfield fly rule though that would help German Die. Why they do this it is to save all the running. If the batter is not out then all the guys must run out and run back waiting for the short stop to catch the ball and then by that time they are pooped.
   15. Jeff K. Posted: April 04, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#1937073)
When there is two men on base and none out or 1 out only the men have to be 1st and 2nd Al at least 1st & 2nd I mean there can be 1 on 3rd though it must be an extra man you cannot have it 1st & 3rd or 2nd & 3rd well as I was saying lets say the batter hits a popup the umpires all yell and you must not catch that pop up the batter is out only if the pop up is in the infield it would be funny Al if they had an outfield fly rule though that would help German Die.

Now that's funny.
   16. Backlasher Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:05 PM (#1937112)
The NBA is a hundred times better than it was in the late 90s.

I also agree with you and Moses. I enjoyed the Riley Knicks when only the Riley Knicks were playing that way. When the whole league starting taking the air out of the ball and going thuggy, it became a problem.


I miss some of those games that would have Dr. J and the Iceman just scoring at will, but I don't like an absence of defense. I remember this every time I watch the Rookie Challenge.

I still don't like the frequency of isolation sets in the NBA, but its much better, and you have some variation in offensive sets between teams.


This was first noted in about 1963, and has been reported as a hot news scoop about 70 thousand times since.


Yeah, I guess those two sentences were overkill and hyperbole.
   17. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#1937136)
I would think that with illegal immigration, baseball should be gaining ground.
   18. schuey Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#1937142)
It was 1965 when the Harris Poll started listed football as number one. Right when the Green Bay Packers were in a streak of being in a championship game 6 out of 8 years, winning 5 titles easily and just missing winning in 1960. The good old Days of NFL parity.
I haven't watched an NBA game since Jordan retired from the Bulls. Do I need to watch wifebeaters like Jason Kidd and rapists like Kobe Bryant? I would rent the 9 DVD disc set on 1986 Mets if I wanted to see lowlife.
   19. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#1937166)
I enjoyed the Riley Knicks when only the Riley Knicks were playing that way.

Being a Bulls fan, I sure as #### didn't. But I could understand you feeling that way.
   20. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#1937170)
Do I need to watch wifebeaters like Jason Kidd and rapists like Kobe Bryant?

RDF. I'm not defending them, but once again no sport is perfect.
   21. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#1937171)
we're no longer subjected to dynastic championship games showing the same teams over and over again. Good times to be a sports fan.

Errr... Patriots, Eagles, Steelers, Colts, Broncos, Yankees, Sox, Braves, Cards are all in the playoffs just about every fricking year. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, mind. I can't speak to basketball, but I definitely think the quality of NFL play has gone down since the late 90s. Back then you still had the nucleus of teams that stayed together over the years. Now every team is cobbled together on the fly and it really shows.
   22. RobertMachemer Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:34 PM (#1937175)
just under half of Americans consider themselves to be baseball fans...
...while the other half are steroid-apologists... *ducks, runs*
   23. Backlasher Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:35 PM (#1937180)
Being a Bulls fan, I sure as #### didn't. But I could understand you feeling that way.

A very big thrill of mine was getting to see the Bulls-Knicks in Chicago. I had some business in Chitown, and the local co-worker had season tickets.

That was fun. Lots of energy in that place (as compared to the Hawks games I went to in Atlanta).
   24. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#1937187)
A very big thrill of mine was getting to see the Bulls-Knicks in Chicago. I had some business in Chitown, and the local co-worker had season tickets.

That was fun. Lots of energy in that place (as compared to the Hawks games I went to in Atlanta).


There had to be some good games back in the 'Nique days. A lot of that energy was pure hate. I think I honestly hate those Knicks teams more than the Pistons teams that beat the Bulls. At least I understood that the Pistons had talent and were a good team, I never felt that same way about the Knicks (and I'll begrudingly admit that Ewing was a good player).

I would have much rather the 94 Bulls had lost to the Magic than the Knicks.
   25. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: April 04, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#1937192)
I know the infield fly rule isn't hard to understand.
   26. Chip Posted: April 04, 2006 at 07:01 PM (#1937244)
This poll is completely invalid, since it sampled fewer than 10,000 people and used telephones to reach tem.
   27. Backlasher Posted: April 04, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#1937273)
There had to be some good games back in the 'Nique days.

I wasn't in Atlanta for most of the prime 'Nique days, just caught his last couple of years. The Hawks weren't terrible when I was there, and there were plenty of players that you could attach yourself too like Blaylock. I even went to what should have been some of the marquee games against the Pacers.

But the crowd was pretty lethargic.
   28. Mefisto Posted: April 04, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#1937306)
This poll is completely invalid, since it sampled fewer than 10,000 people and used telephones to reach tem.

And probably very few of the respondents had PhDs.
   29. Flynn Posted: April 04, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#1937307)
I am surprised at the tie between Baseball and Pro Basketball for favorite sport to watch. I have found the pro basketball play since somewhere in the late 90’s to be boring and one dimensional. Maybe it is I that have changed and not the game.

I would assume that most football fans still watch baseball, while few baseball or football fans are watching basketball.

I am also skeptical of this poll. From my experiences, being a college student, baseball is growing in popularity among young people.
   30. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: April 04, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#1937368)
But the crowd was pretty lethargic.

I guess the city does have that reputation.
   31. I can't believe we're playing Francoeur(KevinHess) Posted: April 04, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#1937531)
I would assume that most football fans still watch baseball, while few baseball or football fans are watching basketball.

I'm a little confused. Why would you make that assumption?
   32. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#1937547)
Despite all the articles about how baseball isn't drawing younger fans, I'm always amazed at how many teens and twenty year olds I see at Royals games. Then again, there isn't THAT much to do in Kansas City.
   33. Booey Posted: April 04, 2006 at 09:43 PM (#1937659)
Despite the annoying dominance (and occasionally blatant favortism) of the Jordan led Bulls, I enjoyed the NBA much more in the 1990's than I do now, though much of that probably comes from the fact that my homeboys (Jazz) were actually contenders back then. I think the predictability of the NBA is what hurts it most compared to other sports. I've been following the league since the 1980's and the 2004 Pistons were the first and only team to win a championship that wouldn't have been in my top three preseason picks. I'm 26, and a grand total of seven teams have won NBA titles in my lifetime (compared to 19 MLB teams).
   34. dr. scott Posted: April 05, 2006 at 12:13 AM (#1938015)
Crowds in Atlanta rarely reach excitement threshold. The Violent Femmes once stopped in the middle of the concert to tell the lame folks in the omni just how incredibly lame they were. Games at the Launching Pad and the Ted only got loud when they were expropriating native american sterotypes in unison. In fact the Tomohak Chop seemed to be the only way we Atlantans could get excited. I even heard it before the final encore at a Peter Gabriel concert.

That being said I have not been any more impressed by the San Fran fans at The Stick or the Basin. Oakland, however, has a great atmosphere. Speaking of which... off to see Harden/musina...

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