Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Cubs had a massive fan turnout during the World Series parade on Friday. Approximately five million people showed up for the celebration, which now ranks as the seventh-highest attendance figure in all of human history.
According to FOX 32 News’ Nic Flosi, the largest gathering in history was recorded in 2013, when approximately 30 million people visited the Allahabad Kumbh Mela in India. Other notable events that drew over five million people: Iraq’s Arba’een pilgrimages in 2015 and 2014 (26 and 22 million, respectively), C.N. Annadurai’s funeral in 1969 (15 million), Ayatollah Khomeini’s funeral in 1989 (10 million), the 2015 papal gathering to see Pope Francis (6 million), and World Youth Day in 1995 (5 million).
Other sporting celebrations don’t even come close. These are the estimated attendance figures for the last five World Series parades:
- 2015, Kansas City Royals: 800,000
- 2014, San Francisco Giants: 1 million
- 2013, Boston Red Sox: 2 million
- 2012, San Francisco Giants: 1 million
- 2011, St. Louis Cardinals*: 100,000+
*Close estimates could not be found, but news outlets put crowd numbers in the “hundreds of thousands.”
Oh, and in case you were wondering about the White Sox’ victory parade back in 2005? Approximately 1.75 million fans showed up, eclipsed in 2013 and 2015 by the two million that celebrated with the Chicago Blackhawks following each of their two most recent Stanley Cup championships.
Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.
Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.
During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).
2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.
Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.