Ranking the 5 Fanbases of the NL Central
The National League Central boasts some pretty rabid and loyal fanbases. The division also features fanbases who long for a winner since they haven't seen one in many years or even in their lifetime.
With a division that features sausage races, ivy-covered walls and crazy mascots, here are the rankings for National League Central fanbases in order.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
A picture of a 2013 game against the Cardinals
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Now it should come as no surprise that the Pittsburgh Pirates fanbase would be in last place in the division. Granted, their last memory of a winner was when Andy Van Slyke was sitting in the outfield with his disheartened look on his face as the Pirates lost Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS to the Atlanta Braves.
That was the last season the Bucs finished above .500. Since 2002, the Pirates have finished no higher than 14th of 16 teams in the National League in attendance.
You've got to give the diehards who show up year after year some credit for watching some pretty poor baseball.
But as the Pirates have amassed some pretty good talent with their most current squad, it seems like just a matter of time before the Pirates find themselves above the .500 mark.
4. Cincinnati Reds
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With a team that has been in the playoffs two of the last three seasons, you'd think Cincinnati Reds fans would be a little more appreciative.
Yet, they are on the bottom half of attendance in the National League and have been since 2004. With the poor football they have had to endure with the Bengals, you would think they would get behind a team that has been putting a quality product on the field recently.
The Reds haven't averaged over 30,000 fans a game since 2000. They haven't finished above 10th in the league in attendance since 2003.
With a ballpark known for offense, it seems like fans would be interested in watching the home runs fly out of the park during a humid, hot summer.
Plus, what else is there to do in Cincinnati anyway?
3. Milwaukee Brewers
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Milwaukee Brewers fans have had a decent amount to cheer for in the last few seasons. They have seen two playoff appearances and had an MVP in their midst.
With the likes of Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and a brief appearance from C.C. Sabathia, the Brewer fans have seen some top-tier talent come through Brew City.
The fans have done a nice job of supporting their team, the sausage races and Bernie Brewer. They have been on the top half or better in attendance since 2007.
Hopefully for Brewer fans in 2013, they'll have some October baseball to follow their Oktoberfest celebration.
2. Chicago Cubs
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There is probably not a fanbase who has higher hopes every April than the Chicago Cubs. They come out year after year with the mindset that the upcoming season is their year.
Year after year, they are wrong. The Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908. Here is a list of things that have occurred in the world since the Cubs last won a World Series as taken off Snopes.com:
1. Radio was invented; Cub fans got to hear their team lose.
2. TV was invented; Cub fans got to see their team lose.
3. Baseball added 14 teams; Cub fans got to see AND hear their team lose to more teams.
4. George Burns celebrated his 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th,70th, 80th, 90th and 100th birthdays.
5. Halley’s Comet passed Earth…twice.
6. Harry Caray was born...and died. Incredible, but it's true.
7. The NBA, NHL and NFL were formed, and Chicago teams won championships in each league.
8. Man landed on the moon, as have several home runs given up by Cubs pitchers.
9. Sixteen U.S. presidents were elected.
10. There were 11 amendments added to the Constitution.
11. Prohibition was created—and repealed.
12. The Titanic was built, set sail, sank, was discovered and became the subject of major motion pictures…the latter giving Cub fans hope that something that finishes on the bottom can come out on top.
13. Wrigley Field was built and becomes the oldest park in the National League.
14. Flag poles were erected on Wrigley Field roof to hold all of the team’s future World Series pennants. Those flag poles have since rusted and been taken down.
15. A combination of more than 40 summer and winter Olympics have been held.
16. Thirteen baseball players have won the Triple Crown; several thanked Cubs pitchers.
17. Bell bottoms came in style, went out of style and came back in style.
18. The Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Florida Marlins have ALL won the World Series.
19. The Cubs played 14,153 regular-season games; they lost the majority of them.
20. Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma and New Mexico were added to the Union.
But even after all those facts, the Cubs still fill Wrigley Field day in, day out. You have got to give credit to fans who continue to show up and hope this will be their year.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louisans take great pride in being labeled the "Best Fans in Baseball." But what makes them the so-called "best fans in baseball"?
Here is a great article from ESPN columnist, Jim Caple that outlines why they are considered the best fans in baseball.
But, in my opinion, what makes them the best fans in baseball is their consistency. Even with some of the poor teams in the 1990s, the Cardinals' fanbase showed up to support their beloved Redbirds.They cheer for the opponent when baseball etiquette dictates. They understand the game like no other fanbase.
Year in, year out, the Cardinals draw 3,000,000-plus fans. They have seen two World Series championships since 2006 and have been in the playoffs nine times since 2000. They rabidly support their team and make it truly a sea of red at every home game.
The Cardinals have been no worse than sixth in National League attendance since 2000 and have finished third or better nine times.
St. Louis loves its baseball and will continue to fill Busch Stadium III for many years to come.