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JUNE 20 (1948) - Crowd*
By Bill Grimes
Jun 20, 2007 - 10:17 AM

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A Lesson in Attendance

 

CLEVELAND, OHIO • JUNE 20, 1948 – Guess which major league team set the attendance record for a regular season game on this date in 1948 (the dateline kind of gives it away)? It wasn’t the New York Yankees? It was the Cleveland Indians. They drew 82,781 fans to Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium to watch the Indians sweep a doubleheader from the Philadelphia A’s. Cleveland drew exceptionally well that year which saw them win the American League Pennant and beat the Boston Braves in the World Series. The team of Lou Boudreau, et al. drew 2,620,627 fans in 1948.

cleveland-c57a.jpg
Cleveland Municipal Stadium -Google images

The attendance record for any major league game was set during the 1959 World Series when the Dodgers and White Soz drew 92,720 to the Los Angeles Coliseum for game 5.

 

Speaking of major league baseball attendance, it has been on pretty much an uphill slant since the late 1800’s, with some downturns for major catastrophes such as World Wars. For example, the average attendance dropped during the two World Wars, though more during World War I than II, and the “Great Depression.” Attendance spiked, however, when those events resolved:

 

World War I

Year     average

1916     5,215 – War goes on but United States not involved.

1917     4,186 – United States enters World War I

1918     3,032 – War still going during the season, ends in November.

1919     5,843 – 1st season after the Armistice

 

The Great Depression

1929     7,802 – Stock Market crash in October, but takes 2 to 3 years for depression to reach its worst

1930     8,211 – Record set for the highest average attendance up to that point. Economic downturn not fully felt yet

1931     6,850 – Depression sets in

1932     5,657 – Depression continues

1933     4,967 – Depression at its worst

1934     5,694 – Some recovery seen

1935     5,982 – More modest recovery

1936     6,529 – More modest recovery

1937     7,216 – Recession sets in last through most of ‘38

 

World War II

1941     7,789 – Pearl Harbor attacked in December

1942    6,988 – War continues

1943     6,031 – War continues

1944     7,063 – War continues, but attendance increases from previous year

1945    8,814 – Japan surrenders in August, war ends

1946     14,914 – Attendance boom in 1st full season after war ends

 

Read on:

http://bss.sfsu.edu/tygiel/hist490/mlbattendance.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball_attendance_records

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/yr1948ws.shtml

http://www.retrosheet.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761584403/Great_Depression_in_the_United_States.html

 

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