Major League Baseball to celebrate its 200,000th regular season game on September 24th

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Determining the number of major league games which have occurred in history is something of an inexact science. Record keeping was a bit spotty once upon a time. There’s the political question of whether you count the random upstart leagues that merged into or at least greatly influenced the National and then the American Leagues.  And of course you have to ask yourself why we don’t count playoff games given that they’re, you know, way more important.

But let’s save all of that and just go with it, shall we? Here’s the press release from MLB:

Major League Baseball will celebrate the 200,000th regular season game in its history during the last weekend of the 2011 regular season, as confirmed by the Elias Sports Bureau, MLB’s official statistician.  It is estimated that the milestone game will occur during the full slate of games on Saturday, September 24th.  Because of considerations like rainouts and other potential circumstances, the precise game will be identified as the occasion approaches.

“We are proud of this achievement,” said Commissioner Alan H. (Bud) Selig. “And now that we have determined that we will not count any Cleveland Indians games which took place between 1969 and 1994 as ‘Major League’ games, determining our final count was made considerably easier.”

I may have taken that last quote out of context. I accidentally deleted the press release and wrote it from memory.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.