MLB Power Rankings: Analyzing the Passion of All 30 Major League Fan Bases

Sean ZerilloCorrespondent IIMarch 14, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: Analyzing the Passion of All 30 Major League Fan Bases

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09:  Fans watch the spring training game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 9, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The opening of Target field had a dramatic impact on the Twins attendance figures in 2010. 

    The organization that finished 23rd in 2008 and 15th in 2009 sold out for the season this past year. 

    All told, they sold 3,223,640 tickets in 2010, an average of 39,798 per game (100.7 percent attendance).

    This is a dramatic increase, especially considering the fact that the team moved from the climate controlled indoors of the Metrodome's to the sometimes frigid environment (at the beginning and end of the season) of Minnesota's outdoors. 

    Eventually, heavy snow fall will disrupt a Twins playoff series.

    But Minnesota sports fans certainly don't mind the snow. 

    The Twins are among the most successful smaller market franchises in sports. 

    Some of that comes from having a patient, but reliable fan base. 

30. Florida Marlins

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    MIAMI - APRIL 09:  Marlins' Mermaids pose for a photo while they greet fans before the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Florida Marlins during the Marlins home opening game at Sun Life Stadium on April 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    The mere fact that the Florida Marlins employ cheerleaders was reason enough to put them near the bottom of this list. 

    Baseball and cheerleaders have absolutely nothing to do with one another. 

    But poor attendance figures hasn't helped their cause too much either. The Marlins have finished 28th, 29th and 30th in total attendance over the past three seasons. 

    South Florida sports fans are self-proclaimed bandwagon jumpers.

    This is keeping with the Miami attitude of doing whatever is coolest at the time.

    When the Marlins aren't cool, their fans are especially horrible. 

29. Washington Nationals

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    ATLANTA - JUNE 28:  Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals checks the runner on first base in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Imag
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    In 2005 in their first year in Washington D.C. the Nationals averaged 33,728 fans per game, good for the 11th best total in the major leagues. 

    Following losing seasons, their rank dropped to 20th in 2006 and 28th in 2007.

    Despite the opening of a new ballpark in 2008, the Nationals still find themselves in the bottom third for attendance. 

    Last season, fans seemed to show up only when phenom Stephen Strasburg was supposed to start. For those games, Nationals fans were lively.

    With Strasburg shelved for most or all of the 2011 season, I'd be willing to bet that the organization's attendance continues to fall. 

28. Tampa Bay Rays

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 07:  A Tampa Bay Rays fan reads the paper before Game 2 of the ALDS between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field on October 7, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    It's not Evan Longoria's fault that his franchise has some of the worst fans in professional baseball.

    Tampa Bay is a football city first; the Buccaneers are the big ticket in town.

    The Rays are an afterthought in their own city. This shouldn't be a surprise since they recorded ten straight losing seasons to begin their history. 

    With two division titles in three years, the Rays future is bright. A fan base may develop over time, but it's not there yet.

    They need to come out for the regular season, not just the playoffs. 

27. Toronto Blue Jays

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    BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 13:  Blue Jays fans watch the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on September 13, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    As the only baseball team in Canada, one would think that the Blue Jays would be Canada's team. 

    Instead, Toronto finished dead last in attendance in 2010, despite winning 85 games and hitting more home runs than any other team in the league, by an incredible margin of 46. 

    They also finished 29th in 2009.

    Canadians just don't care about baseball; hockey is everything in Canada.

    But with successful major league players starting to emerge from our northern neighbor (Joey Votto, Jason Bay, Justin Morenau, John Axford) MLB needs to keep a presence there. 

    The Blue Jays need to find a way to get fans out to their games—it's becoming a problem. 

26. Oakland Athletics

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    OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 07:  Fans for the Oakland Athletics try to get a ball during their game against the Texas Rangers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 7, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    It has always amazed me that Billy Beane elected to stay with the Oakland A's. 

    It is revealed in the book Moneyball that Beane had the opportunity to become general manager of the Boston Red Sox, but ultimately declined the job. 

    Instead, he's rebuilt his team, once again, across the pond from the defending World Series champions. 

    During their peak years in the early 2000's, the A's never finished above 13th in attendance.

    With rumors that the team may eventually pack up and move south, the numbers have tumbled into the late 20's.

    The few who show up are dedicated, but the San Francisco area is already claimed territory as far as fans go. 

    Beane could have done incredible things with such an enormous payroll and a larger fan base that cares.

25. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26:  Arizona Diamondbacks fans get autographs from players before the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields on February 26, 2011in Scottsdale, Arizona..  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Get
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    The Arizona Diamondbacks are a young team on the rise in the NL West.

    They feature power in the middle infield, a crop of all-around outfielders and good young pitching. 

    2011 could be the organizations' best year since going 90-72 in 2007. Even then, the D'backs finished just 20th in attendance. 

    Normally the team hovers around the late 20's.

    With more organizations moving their spring training sites to Arizona, baseball could grow as a sport there.

    The All-Star game coming to town in 2011 could provide a boost as well.

    Arizona is still just 13 seasons old as a franchise.

    Fan bases take time to develop; this one very well could. 

24. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    1 Apr 2001:   Fans walk across a bridge toward PNC Park prior to an exhibition game between the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Digital Image. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squire/ALLSPORT
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Fans of Pittsburgh sports teams are spoiled. 

    For a small city, they have one of the NFL's most historic franchises, four Stanley Cups in the last 25 years and successful college basketball and football programs at Pitt. 

    The Pittsburgh Pirates haven't been relevant since 1992; the last time they had a winning season.

    The last time the team won a playoff series was when they captured the 1979 World Series.

    This 31-year drought has created an attitude of negativity around the team. 

    The Pirates are consistently draw among the fewest fans in baseball. 

    They need to bring back the attitude of the 1970's "We Are Family" Pirates and unite the city of Pittsburgh around their organization.

    Andrew McCutchen can't wait to show some new fans what he's capable of doing. 

23. Kansas City Royals

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 05: Fans of the Kansas City Royals watch the fountains as the Detroit Tigers take batting practice prior to the season-opener against the Kansas City Royals on April 5, 2010 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by G
    G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

    The Royals are a lot like the Pirates in that they haven't been relevant in a long time. 

    The club's last two winning seasons came in 2003 and 1993.

    The last time they appeared in the playoffs was 1985, when they defeated the Cardinals in an exciting seven game World Series. 

    Over the past decade, the Royals have continuously ranked among the bottom five teams in attendance. 

    Kansas residents care about the Chiefs and KU basketball. 

    They feel no loyalty for a losing team with a crazed, selfish owner.

    Those outfield fountains are pretty sweet, however. 

22. Cleveland Indians

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    ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 26:  Fans in support of Shin-Soo Choo #17 Korean right fielder of the Cleveland Indians hold up signs during batting practice before the start of the baseball game against Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 26, 2010 at Angel Stadiu
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    These days, most of the Indians fans belong to the Shin-Soo Choo fan club.

    The Korean outfielder has a large following, but Cleveland still finished 28th in attendance in 2010. 

    After management traded away various parts of a contending team (C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, etc.) the Indians fan base appeared to turn on ownership and stopped coming to games. 

    With Grady Sizemore out injured, Shin-Soo Choo has been the lone star in northern Ohio.

    But even he can't rile up the fan base of this mediocre AL Central team.

    Even when this team was winning 90 games and making the playoffs, they still finished middle of the pack in attendance numbers. 

21. Texas Rangers

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  A fan of the Texas Rangers looks on during batting practice against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronal
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Even during a season in which they reached the World Series, winning the AL West and AL Pennant, the Texas Rangers finished just 16th in attendance (14th in total).

    Depending on the success of the team, the Rangers usually finish in or around the late teens. 

    When the team went 79-83 in 2008, they finished 27th. 

    Texas is a football state and the Cowboys are the Holy Grail in the Dallas area.

    When the Cowboys are good, there's no need to care about the Rangers. 

    They're missing out, because this Texas team has a much brighter future than their football counterpart. 

20. Seattle Mariners

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    SEATTLE - APRIL 22:  Members of the Seattle Mariners' bullpen, armed with squirt guns, fire upon the team mascot 'Mariner Moose' as he makes his traditional lap around the field during the seventh inning stretch against the Oakland Athletics on April 22,
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Maybe the weather in Seattle is just too cold to go to baseball games.

    Either that, or all of Seattle's inhabitants are just busy programming the future of the internet. 

    The Seattle Mariners are known for having dedicated fans, but a rough patch this past decade has really hurt their attendance numbers.

    Seattle drew extremely well in the early part of the 2000's, en route to winning 116, 93 and 93 games from 2001-2003. (The Mariners finished in the top four of attendance all three seasons.) 

    Those years were the last time Seattle would make the playoffs.

    Their attendance fell into the bottom half of the league the past five years and into the bottom third of the league the past three years. 

    When they win, the fans come. When they don't, fans stay away. 

    Even Mariner Moose and some squirt guns can't help that. 

19. Cincinnati Reds

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    CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Cincinnati Reds fans look on before the game against the Houston Astros at Great American Ball Park on September 28, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 3-2 to clinch the NL Central Division title. (Photo by Joe Robbins/G
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    It's often said that the Cincinnati Reds have among the most dedicated and loyal fans in baseball.

    Even despite a 91-71 record and an NL Central championship in 2010, the club still finished 19th in attendance. 

    The Reds are poised to become one of the most dominant teams in the National League for the next few years.

    Jay Bruce and Joey Votto are already All-Stars and will continue to improve.

    Homer Bailey, Aroldis Chapman, Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto should form a nice quartet as part of a reliable rotation.

    The Reds deserve more than 60 percent capacity from their fans. 

    As one of the few winning teams in Ohio, they'll likely see more support. 

18. Baltimore Orioles

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    BALTIMORE - APRIL 09:  Fans walk down Eutaw Street before the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays on Opening Day at Camden Yards on April 9, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    It's tough to be a fan of the worst team in the toughest division in Major League Baseball. 

    The Baltimore Orioles are one of the American League's eight original charter franchises.

    As a result, baseball is a little better when they're good.

    Jeffry Maier's fan interference in 1996, which allowed a series changing Derek Jeter home run, sent the Orioles into a tailspin that has resulted in 13 straight losing seasons. 

    They finished with the seventh-worst home attendance in the league in 2010 (21,662 per game) despite their beautiful modern retro ballpark. 

    If the Orioles return to prominence, they do have a rowdy fanbase that is ready to show up for their team again. 

17. Atlanta Braves

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 7:  Fans of the Atlanta Braves do the tomahawk chop during game five of the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants on October 7, 2002  at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Giants won 3-1.  (Photo by Jamie S
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Pro: The chop, when done correctly, is awesome.

    Con: It's stolen from other places; most notably from Florida State when Deion Sanders came to the Braves. 

    Con: The fans also don't care about baseball; Georgia is a football state. 

    Pro: They have Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman; the fans might care more as this team matures and gets better. 

    Con: They had Chipper Jones and won 11 straight division titles from 1995-2005 yet the fans didn't care until the playoffs.

    Verdict: The Braves have a spoiled fan base; they've seen a lot of consistent success, yet they don't show the same steady support for their team

16. San Diego Padres

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the San Diego Padres looks on against the San Francisco Giants during their MLB game on September 10, 2010 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    It will be interesting to see what kind of an impact the loss of Adrian Gonzalez has not only on the Padres lineup, but also on their attendance. 

    San Diego relied heavily on marketing their Mexican American star to the Southern California population. 

    Even still, the Padres can't seem to make it out of the mid to late teens when it comes to ticket sales.

    They have continued to put a good product on the field, but fans still aren't showing up to the games.

    Their one saving grace is that they continue coming even when the team is bad; the Padres finished 14th in attendance in 2008 despite losing 99 games.  

15. Chicago White Sox

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    CHICAGO - OCTOBER 05:  Fans of the Chicago White Sox support their team as starting pitcher Matt Garza #22 (foreground) of  the Tampa Bay Rays stands on the mound in Game Three of the ALDS during the 2008 MLB Playoffs at U.S. Cellular Field on October 5,
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    The White Sox have good fans, but they will always be compared unfavorably to their counterparts on the north side of Chicago. 

    Perhaps it's the fact that they're not lovable losers. Or it could be their blue collar reputation.

    Due to low attendance numbers, White Sox fans probably aren't given the credit that they deserve.

    Even in their World Series winning year of 2005, the White Sox still finished just 12th in average percentage of seats filled.

    Chicago Sports fans are still very good fans in general, but the town doesn't have enough room for two major baseball teams.

    The die-hards will continue to stay loyal.

    Their overall numbers, however, will stay in the middle of the pack. 

14. Colorado Rockies

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 11:  Fans of the Colorado Rockies cheer for their team and hold up a sign which reads 'I Love Rocktober' against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Three of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Coors Field on October 11, 2009 in Denver
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Rockies have only been around for eighteen seasons. As they mature into their first true period of success, they are building their fan base. 

    While toiling below .500 for the early part of the 2000's, the Rockies were consistently in the bottom 10 in the attendance standings. 

    With stars like Troy Tulowitzki, Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez now carrying the team, it's clear that the people of Denver are excited about their baseball. 

    Colorado climbed to 13th in the attendance rankings last year. 

    Denver is a great sports city. As expectations are raised, fans will continue to come to games; win or lose.

    The Rockies fans will only continue to improve. 

13. Detroit Tigers

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    DETROIT - JULY 25: Brennan Boesch #26 of the Detroit Tigers bats in the eighth inning during the game on July 25, 2010 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Blue Jays defeated the Tigers 5-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    It probably is already enough that in the past three years the Tigers have placed 11th, 10th and third in overall attendance.

    But Tigers fans also have the reputation of being some of the most respectful and polite fans in all of baseball.

    The day after umpire Jim Joyce blew Armando Galarraga's perfect game, Tiger fans applauded him as he entered the field.

    This was a wonderful moment not only for Joyce, but for sports fans everywhere who have ever made a mistake in their own lives.  

    Detroit may be "Hockey Town", but they certainly care about their Tigers as well. 

12. Houston Astros

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 06:  Fans watch the Opening Day game against the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros on April 6, 2009 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Unlike their Texas counterpart in Dallas, fans of the Houston Astros are among the most loyal and passionate in baseball.

    Attendance for the Astros is consistently around the top ten in the league. They finished 14th in 2010 and 12th in 2009 despite having losing records.

    When the Astros went to two straight NLCS trips and lost a World Series to the White Sox in 2004-2005, they finished fifth in attendance in 2004, and seventh in 2005. 

    This current crop of Astros is rebuilding, but when the team finally matures, a hungry fan base will be waiting. 

11. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 06:  Fans applaud starting pitcher John Ely #48 of the Los Angeles Dodgers as he comes out of the game in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium on May 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff G
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Dodgers are the trendy, and more historic team in Los Angeles.

    But the reputation for their fans to come early and leave late is a major detriment to their rank on this list.

    The Dodgers certainly have knowledgeable and passionate fans; this is an organization with a rich history dating back to its days in Brooklyn.

    But good fans need to be there from the start of the game until the end; the volume of empty seats is noticeable sometimes, even on T.V.

    The Dodgers have good fans, but not the best fans in their own town. 

10. Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06:  Fans cheer on pitcher Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies as he prepares to pitch during his no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsy
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    With their recent success, it's easy to forget that Phillies fans used to be much more indifferent about their baseball team. 

    The additions of players such as Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee to a World Series contending team put the Phillies as the No. 1 attended team for each of the past two seasons.

    But during a period from 1994-2002 that saw just one winning season, the Phillies consistently hovered in the bottom third for attendance.

    As I've said before, good fans show up even when the team isn't.

    Phillies fans care, but they care a whole lot less when they don't have a true contender to follow. 

9. Milwaukee Brewers

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    MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 05: The Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers line up on the base lines after introductions during the National Anthem prior to the game between the Colorado Rockies against the Milwaukee Brewers at the Miller Park on April 05, 2010
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Wisconsin is known for its football when it comes to the Packers and the Badgers. 

    But Wisconsinites also care very deeply about the Brewers and baseball.

    Sausage races and Bernie Brewer's slide are among the best traditions in the sport.

    With their attendance figures consistently inside of the top ten, the fans are coming to the games as well.

    With the additions of Zack Greinke and Shawn Marcum, the Brewers are expected to seriously compete in 2011. They should generate even more ticket sales this season.

    Hopefully they can make enough money back to re-sign Prince Fielder, and remain a contender for their loyal supporters. 

8. Los Angeles Angels

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 23:  A fan holds up his rally monkeys in support of  the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the sixth inning of the baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on July 23, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Imag
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    If not for the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Angels would have the best fans in California.

    The inventors of the rally monkey have tormented opponents over the last decade, especially in the late innings of games at home. 

    The Angels have finished in the top six of attendance figures each of the past three seasons. They even bested the Yankees in 2010.

    Angels fans are among the loudest and most passionate fans in baseball. 

    They annoyed all of America with their use of thunder sticks during their playoff runs in the early 2000's.

    The Los Angeles Angels have perhaps the most underrated fans in baseball. 

    Since the sport is a hotbed in southern california, baseball struck gold with their Anaheim franchise. 

7. Minnesota Twins

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 07:  Fans enter the stadium before the game between the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees for game two of the ALDS on October 7, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The opening of Target field had a dramatic impact on the Twins attendance figures in 2010. 

    The organization that finished 23rd in 2008 and 15th in 2009 sold out for the season this past year. 

    All told, they sold 3,223,640 tickets in 2010, an average of 39,798 per game (100.7 percent attendance).

    This is a dramatic increase, especially considering the fact that the team moved from the climate controlled indoors of the Metrodome's to the sometimes frigid environment (at the beginning and end of the season) of Minnesota's outdoors. 

    Eventually, heavy snow fall will disrupt a Twins playoff series.

    But Minnesota sports fans certainly don't mind the snow. 

    The Twins are among the most successful smaller market franchises in sports. 

    Some of that comes from having a patient, but reliable fan base. 

6. New York Mets

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 05:  Fans outside the stadium prior to the Opening Day Game between the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins at Citi Field on April 5, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Win or lose, rain or shine, Mets fans always believe.

    It's the main factor that drives this fan base, which has seen two improbable World Series victories in 1969 and 1986. 

    It's also what gets them through the tough times, such as their two massive late season collapses to the rival Phillies in the past four years. 

    The Mets may have obnoxious fans, but they have good fans. 

    They are consistently around the top ten for attendance. In 2009, their first year in Citi Field, the Mets finished as the No. 4 team. 

    But with the club in major financial trouble, the Wilpons may increase ticket prices to offset some costs.

    Ticket increases for a bad product might price out even the most die-hard of Mets fans. 

5. San Francisco Giants

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30:  Fans celebrate as closing pitcher Neftali Feliz #30 of the Texas Rangers records the final out of their 4-2 win against the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Oc
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Giants are consistently one of baseball's top six most highly attended teams.

    Coming off of a World Series victory in 2010, an increase in season ticket sales should push that number higher.

    Of the five baseball teams in California, the Giants have the best fans. They show up win or lose, stay throughout the game and are loud for the whole game. 

    Giants fans truly love their team; orange and black are the only colors seen inside AT&T park on gamedays. 

    With their World Series drought finally over, the Giants will gain an even bigger following.

    This is already one of the best fan bases in baseball, and it's about to get bigger. 

4. Chicago Cubs

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    CHICAGO - MAY 30:  Fans arrive for the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs on May 30, 2010 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Ah, the tortured fan base of Chicago's north side.

    What else is there to say about the Cubs? They have high expectations going into every season, and every year they disappoint. 

    But if they ever do win a title, the value of their franchise will probably decrease, since America doesn't care about the Cubs winning twice.

    The club has an expansive fan base. 

    For combined home and road attendance, they consistently place in the top three with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

    Cubs fans are better among the two Chicago teams, but they fall short to those of a rival organization in their own division. 

3. New York Yankees

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    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18:  Fans walks outside of Yankee Stadium before Game Three of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 18, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Andrew Burto
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Yankees fans are among the most passionate in baseball.

    They are also considered among the meanest and most obnoxious as well.

    The Yankee empire extends far and wide. Forbes has placed a value on the organization (the team, YES Network, Yankee Stadium) of around $3.5 billion.

    With fans all around the world, the Yankees have enough revenue streams to support the highest payroll in baseball.

    Their total salaries exceeded $200 million each of the past few years, nearly $70 million more per season than any other team.

    But the Yankees are expected to win, every season; their last losing year came in 1992.

    Even astronomical ticket prices couldn't keep the Yankees from having the third best attendance in 2010.

    The Yankees are the biggest brand in Major League Baseball because of the sheer number of their fans. 

2. Boston Red Sox

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    BOSTON - APRIL 04: Fans enter Yawkey Way before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on Opening Night at Fenway Park on April 4, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The atmosphere outside of Fenway Park before Red Sox games is unlike anything else seen in Major League Baseball.

    Fans mill outside of the stadium for hours leading up to the game; shopping at stores, drinking at bars and grabbing good food from concessions.

    Once the game starts, Fenway is always a packed house.

    The Red Sox crowd has declined in overall quality since winning their two World Series in 2004 and 2007.

    Higher expectations have led to an increase in ticket prices, forcing out the die-hards and replacing them with more indifferent business folk.

    But Red Sox fans still care about their team more than any other fans in baseball.

    Players have gone so far as to request to leave Boston because they constantly felt hounded by inhabitants of the city.

    Perhaps Boston fans are too passionate.

    The Celtics are one of the NBA's elite franchises, and the Patriots are currently among the kings of the NFL.

    But when the Red Sox are good, Boston is first and foremost a Baseball town.

    The Red Sox have sold out every year since 2005. 

1. St. Louis Cardinals

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    ST. LOUIS - APRIL 06:  Fans line outside the third base gate before the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates during Opening Day on April 6, 2009  at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Not only are Cardinals fans among the most knowledgeable and passionate in the sport of baseball, they are also, by all accounts, the most polite. 

    Even Cubs fans have said that it's really, really tough to hate Cardinals fans.

    They are extremely respectful not only to their players and the game of baseball, but also to great players on other teams.

    When Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 500th career home run, on Father's Day, in St. Louis, the fans not only didn't boo him but gave him an extended standing ovation.

    Perhaps Cardinals fans learned about respecting the game from their rich history that included players like Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean and Lou Brock.

    With 10 World Series titles, they certainly act like they've been there before.

    In terms of everything: respect for the game, knowledge of the game and showing up win or lose, Cardinals fans have it all.