MLB Power Rankings: The Best and Worst Fanbases in Baseball

Joe Fitzhenry@@joefitz1014Correspondent IIJune 13, 2012

MLB Power Rankings: The Best and Worst Fanbases in Baseball

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    Diehard MLB fans are some of the best in sports. They stick with their teams through the ups and downs. 

    Let's just say there are plenty of those ups and downs over the course of a 162-game season as well. From April to October, fans live and die by how their team does each day. 

    This article will rank the best MLB fan bases from 30 counting down all the way to the team that has the best fans. 

30. Miami Marlins

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    When thousands of empty seats are routinely seen throughout the stadium, it can never be a good thing for the team. 

    World Series titles in 1997 and 2003 have done nothing to increase attendance in South Florida. It isn't so much that the Marlins have been awful, but fans just simply don't go to the games. 

    That is the biggest reason behind Miami earning this dubious distinction. 

29. Oakland A's

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    The A's are like the ugly red-headed step child of Oakland sports. Empty seats are a common site in the Bay Area. 

    And despite their various struggles in recent years, the A's fellow tenants, the Raiders, still have some of the most passionate and violent fans (literally) in all of sports. 

    The A's haven't exactly racked up the wins in this decade and the lack of winning has shown with the lagging attendance numbers. 

28. Cleveland Indians

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    A city that hasn't won a championship of any kind since 1964 should at least get behind their baseball team and try to go to the game. 

    However, that is not exactly the case, as the Tribe average just over 17,000 fans per game

    What was formerly known as Jacobs Field used to be rocking, but not so much in recent years. 

    We'll see if the Tribe can continue their hot start this season and maybe bring more fans through the turnstiles. 

27. Chicago White Sox

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    Similar to the A's, the White Sox are Chicago's version of that forgotten kid in high school, the one who never got invited to any of the parties. 

    Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and Cubs fans are both very knowledgeable and passionate about their teams. 

    Fans of the South Siders tend to show up only when the team is winning, for example, during the 2005 World Series run. Outside of a select few, that is. 

    Since then, fans haven't exactly struggled to find a seat. 

26. Tampa Bay Rays

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    People wonder why Carl Crawford, among many others, has left the Tampa area to play baseball elsewhere. From the perspective of a Red Sox fan, he may have well just stayed with the Rays, having done nothing positive in Boston thus far. 

    Simply put, the Rays have won in recent years, but fans simply don't have the passion that they show for Bucs and Lightning games. 

    Ever since the inception of the franchise, attendance numbers have been some of the worst in the league. 

25. Seattle Mariners

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    A franchise seemingly stuck in neutral has seen their attendance numbers take quite a fall from where they once where, when Ken Griffey Jr. still roamed the outfield in the Pacific Northwest. 

    With the exception of Ichiro, nearly every other marketable superstar the franchise has ever had has departed for greener pastures. 

    The losses have piled up for the M's and fans are sick of residing in the bottom of the AL West. 

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    You gotta feel for Pirates fans a little bit. The team hasn't had a winning season since 1992 yet fans still show up and fill the seats to a certain degree. 

    At the beginning of each year, fans are filled with false hope only to be disappointed at the conclusion of the season. 

    The parades held by the Steelers and Penguins haven't exactly helped matters either. At this point, the Pirates are currently in first place and five games over .500. 

    For the sake of Pirates fans, let's hope the Bucs can buck the trend and experience some winning for the first time in two decades. 

23. Kansas City Royals

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    Can you really blame fans of this team for not exactly scheduling their lives around Royals games? 

    The team has struggled for so long, and frankly, nearly everyone outside of the true diehard fans won't show much interest in going to watch a losing team play. 

    With that being said, Kansas City is still home to some passionate fans despite the excessive losing. Kauffman Stadium also remains one of the nicer parks in baseball. 

22. Houston Astros

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    The popular saying "Everything is bigger in Texas" doesn't exactly hold true for baseball. Both the Rangers and Astros have struggled since their inception to keep a strong fanbase. 

    For the Astros, the lackluster on-field performance in recent years hasn't helped matters. Similar to all the other teams who are not the biggest draw in their local market, winning is essential to bringing fans to the stadium on a consistent basis. 

    2005 has never seemed farther away for this now down-trodden franchise. 

21. San Diego Padres

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    Here's another example of a city that has suffered heartbreak on numerous occasions and has gone decades without seeing a championship. Fans in San Diego are desperately clinging to hope that one of their teams can make a run and win a title, most likely not the Padres, but that's a story for another day. 

    This year is looking bleaker by the day as the Friars are playing to the tune of a 20-41 record, not quite a great recipe to draw more fans. 

    While PETCO Park may not be necessarily full on a nightly basis, sometimes far from it, the city of San Diego still loves the Padres and will go to games no matter what. 

    When it comes to ranking the fanbases, raw numbers don't account for everything. 

20. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    A franchise-wide revival over the past couple of seasons has led to renewed interest in baseball in the desert. 

    After suffering through a few lean years following the 2001 World Series, a playoff appearance in 2011 should help the Diamondbacks to compete with the Cardinals, Coyotes and Suns in the greater Phoenix area. 

    As evidenced by the Coyotes' recent success in the playoffs this season, winning can do wonders for teams in the desert. 

    Justin Upton will be the face of this franchise for years to come and should help the attendance numbers if the team can build off of their 2011 success. 

19. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Major League Baseball's only Canadian-based franchise is trending upwards. A team that truly redefines the popular phrase, "good, but not great" and is still in the midst of a lengthy playoff drought still manages to put fans in the seats at Rogers Centre. 

    Partially due to the incompetence of the Maple Leafs (especially when it comes to trades) and Raptors, baseball is as popular as ever in our neighbor to the north. 

18. Texas Rangers

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    Ditto to what I wrote on the Astros slide, the Rangers sometimes struggle to outdraw their fellow teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. 

    Well, prior to the last two years that is. Texas has seen attendance numbers skyrocket following back-to-back World Series appearances. 

    Not to suggest that they are now as popular as the Cowboys, but winning on a consistent basis and marketable stars such as Josh Hamilton and Michael Young have helped peak fan interest in Rangers baseball for the time being. 

17. Washington Nationals

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    A team on the rise, the Nationals have fan interest at an all-time high. 

    Following years of last place finishes in both Montreal and the nation's capital, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper have helped reverse the fortunes of this franchise. 

    With a boatload of young talent, the winning should continue in D.C. for the foreseeable future. 

16. Atlanta Braves

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    This ranking may seem a bit low to some, but the Braves do not actually draw quite as many fans as some may think. After all, they currently rank just 14th in the league in attendance.

    The team hasn't made a habit of winning division titles like they once did so that may have played a role in the decrease in attendance. 

    With that being said, the diehard Braves fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated that you will find in baseball. 

    They love their team and most of the players as well, especially Chipper Jones who is a cult hero in Atlanta. 

15. Colorado Rockies

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    Once the laughingstock of the league, the Rockies have drawn more and more fans over the past four or five years. 

    Starting with the unforgettable 2007 World Series run, fans have flocked to Coors Field to support their hometown team. 

    Similar to Chipper Jones in Atlanta, Todd Helton holds the same stature in the Mile High City. He is a veteran who has been with the franchise for his whole career and is still a fan favorite. 

    Prior to 2007, this team would have ranked likely in the bottom 10 of fanbases, but that isn't the case anymore. 

14. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    I'm not quite sure why, but I have always had a desire to take in a game at Angel Stadium. It just seems like one of the most fun ballparks in the league and watching a game there has to be a great experience. 

    Who wouldn't wanna hang out with the world famous rally monkey? 

    It isn't just the rally monkey though that makes this one of the most passionate fanbases in the league. It is the fact that the passion is matched by only a few other franchises in baseball. 

13. Minnesota Twins

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    The Twins used to be what the Tampa Bay Rays are now to baseball: a team in a small market with limited funds that still somehow finds a way to make the playoffs each and every year. 

    However, neither team has been able to take that next step and bring home the ultimate prize since the Twins did it in 1987 and 1991. 

    The World Series always seemed so tantalizingly close for Minnesota from about 2001-2009, but the trophy was never brought in that time to one of the country's most underrated cities. 

    Early season struggles over the past couple of years haven't done anything to calm the excitement surrounding this organization in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Twins fans are one of the most dedicated groups in the league. 

12. Baltimore Orioles

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    I know, I know, the Orioles still don't come anywhere close to filling Camden Yards to capacity, but they do have some very solid fans. 

    Anybody that supports this once-proud franchise for so long deserves a medal. The losing is starting to get old for those fans and Buck Showalter has completely changed the culture of the organization. 

    I have a strange feeling that this year isn't like any other old year for the Birds, so don't expect them to fade away down the stretch. 

11. Detroit Tigers

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    For the economically depressed city of Detroit, the Tigers, Red Wings, Lions and Pistons represent something greater than just passion; they represent hope and a sign that better days will come. 

    Even during these hard times, the loyal Detroit fans will still come to the games. They are a blue-collar fanbase that loves their hometown teams. 

10. Cincinnati Reds

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    In my opinion, Reds fans are some of the most underrated in sports. They may not have the highest attendance numbers, but they sure are passionate. 

    This franchise has not experienced a whole lot of success since the days of the Big Red Machine in the 1970s, but the loyal fans of this team still make their way to the field no matter what. 

    Guys like Joey Votto and Jay Bruce have helped to turn this team around over the past couple of seasons and this team should continue to grow even more in the future. 

9. Milwaukee Brewers

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    Just like Angel Stadium, Miller Park seems like a great atmosphere in which to watch a ball game. The Brew Crew draws over 35,000 fans per game despite a lack of, well, winning for the better part of their history.  

    Milwaukee has never won the World Series, but the dedicated followers of the team haven't even blinked and still come to the park in droves. 

    As a baseball fan, you have to appreciate the fans whose teams haven't yet rewarded them with a championship. 

8. New York Yankees

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    Somewhere, all the arrogant Yankees fans are shaking their head at this ranking. 

    It's hard to face the truth, isn't it? The fact of the matter is that there are just too many bandwagon Yankee fans who simply wear the hat or shirt without knowing the first thing about the team. 

    Sorry, but when your favorite player is Derek Jeter because he's one of the three players you know, that doesn't quite make the cut as a dedicated fan. 

    Granted, there are still a fair share of diehard Yankee fans, but too many of them are along for the ride without more than a passing glance until October, that is. 

    October is when millions of closet Yankee fans all of the sudden clog up your feeds on both Facebook and Twitter. 

7. New York Mets

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    "There's the first pitch...and the season's over."

    All joking aside, Mets fans don't always get the credit they deserve when it comes to talking about passion for the team. 

    The picture above describes everything that makes them good fans. The tease of 2006 aside, this team has suffered through losing season after losing season for the better part of the past 23 years. 

    Not to mention the fact that their beloved team has been the butt of so many excessively used jokes in recent years. 

    Mets fans simply take it in stride and go on rooting for their team, the same thing they have been doing since the good ole' days of the Amazins' in 1969. 

6. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    During the whole Frank McCourt saga, Dodgers fans remained loyal to their team throughout. The team draws nearly 40,000 fans per game. 

    Frankly, I can't blame them, Dodger Stadium is an absolute gem. Just take a look at the breathtaking view from the seats behind home plate (pictured above). 

    This season, the team has rewarded their faithful fans by sitting pretty atop the NL West and holding the best record in baseball through 62 games. 

5. San Francisco Giants

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    In 2010, this devoted fan base finally saw their dreams come true when the Giants defeated the Texas Rangers to win the World Series. 

    Just like a number of the other teams in the top 10 of this list, these Bay Area folks are most well known for their passion and dedication. 

    The sometimes not so great weather in San Francisco has not stopped fans from coming to the field and supporting their hometown team. 

4. Chicago Cubs

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    This lovable band of losers has done positively nothing to assure their fans that better days are ahead, but it hasn't affected the loyalty of those in the Windy City. 

    If you don't believe in curses, just ask a Cubs fan if they're a real thing and he might just make you a believer by the end of the conversation. 

    As much as it stinks to have your team go through a long drought without winning a championship, nothing will compare to the 104-year (and counting) drought currently hanging over the Cubs organization. 

3. Philadelphia Phillies

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    Say what you will about Philly fans, but one thing cannot be questioned: they sure do love their teams. 

    The MLB attendance leaders for the past three years, and current leader for 2012 brings in nearly 45,000 fans per game. 

    Fans in the City of Brotherly Love may not be the most gracious hosts by any stretch of the imagination, but they are passionate, dedicated and faithful. 

    This is the cream of the crop when it comes to ranking the fanbases. 

2. Boston Red Sox

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    As a full-fledged member of Red Sox nation, it pains me greatly not to put my own team at the top of this list. 

    With that being said, there is not a whole lot of difference between the fans of the top three teams on this list. 

    Red Sox Nation suffered through heartbreaks in 1946, '67, '75, '78, '86 and 2003 before finally seeing the 2004 "Idiots" complete the greatest comeback in sports history against their hated rival and go on to sweep the Cardinals, hoisting the World Series trophy for the first time in 86 years. 

    Just to give you an idea of the dedication of the fans from Beantown, the last time there was a non-sellout at Fenway was 2003. 

    Yankees fans have no argument when it comes to who has the more faithful and passionate fans. 

    Sports are everything in Boston, they determine the mood of the city depending on what time of year it is. 

1. St. Louis Cardinals

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    This is one of the few fan bases that compares to Red Sox Nation when it comes to keeping the faith. 

    Take 2011 for example. On August 1, the Cardinals were left for dead by everyone outside of the Show Me State.

    Two and a half months later, David Freese wrote his name into the history books with one of the most thrilling World Series performances will ever see. 

    The point I'm trying to make is that Cardinals fans have passion and dedication that ranks near the best in not just baseball, but all of professional sports. 


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