APBA32: Ready to Roll

Brooklyn Democratic political boss John H. McCooey, flanked by Boston Braves' manager Bill McKechnie (left) and his Dodger counterpark, Max Carey on Opening Day at Ebbets Field in 1932. New York World-Telegram photo courtesy US Library of Congress.

Brooklyn Democratic political boss John H. McCooey, flanked by Boston Braves’ manager Bill McKechnie (left) and his Dodger counterpark, Max Carey on Opening Day at Ebbets Field in 1932. New York World-Telegram photo courtesy US Library of Congress.


After completing several World Series replay simulations with the APBA Baseball Game over the last several years, I’m embarking on a more ambitious project: a mini-replay of the 1932 American and National League seasons.

One thing I know for certain is that I’d never have the attention span to complete a full-season replay (1,232 games between the two leagues), so I’m limiting play to 42 games for each team, a total of just 336 games, which seems manageable. Instead of playing each opponent in its league 22 times (eleven each home and away), I’m going to have each team play each other team just six times (two three-game series, one home and one away). This way I can get a decent taste of each of these teams, not let cards go to waste, learn about an important period in baseball/American history and not have to roll 286 games involving the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, who were both terrible in 1932.

The 1932 season featured Jimmie Foxx’s assault on Babe Ruth‘s five-year-old single-season home run record, the Yankees and Cubs winning pennants and seven twenty-game winners between the leagues. It was also a year that saw a worsening of the Great Depression, with US unemployment reaching 24 percent. Before the year was out, Franklin Roosevelt would be elected president for the first of an unprecedented four times.

Over the course of this mini-replay, I’ll be posting game results, stats, stories and other ephemera, as well as historic flashbacks of what was happening in the country and the world throughout the spring, summer and fall of 1932.

Taking Attendance 12/15/2014: Brave New (Indoor) World

blog_wichita_crowd2014
Now that everyone in the new Major Arena Soccer League has played at least one home game, we can take a look at where the 23-team circuit’s teams stand in terms of announced attendance. Here are the numbers through last night:

Team G Total Average Median High Low
Rochester 2 14,033 7,017 7,017 8,214 5,819
Baltimore 5 29,971 5,994 5,516 7,812 4,911
St. Louis 4 22,091 5,523 5,603 6,679 4,207
Missouri 4 16,984 4,246 3,902 5,812 3,369
Monterrey 3 11,843 3,948 3,740 6,339 1,764
Dallas 5 18,548 3,710 3,768 4,008 3,209
Milwaukee 1 3,209 3,209 3,209 3,209 3,209
Syracuse 3 8,822 2,941 2,951 3,355 2,516
Harrisburg 3 8,617 2,872 2,518 4,126 1,973
San Diego 5 14,058 2,812 2,837 3,816 1,922
Chicago 4 7,903 1,976 2,084 2,483 1,253
Ontario 4 7,481 1,870 1,845 2,219 1,572
Las Vegas 4 5,332 1,333 1,251 1,970 860
Texas *3 3,710 1,237 1,243 1,388 1,079
Wichita 4 4,925 1,231 1,251 1,539 885
Hidalgo 2 1,718 859 859 1,468 250
Seattle 3 2,419 806 867 1,348 204
Brownsville 3 2,015 672 715 850 450
Saltillo 3 1,815 605 635 980 200
Detroit 4 2,393 598 552 756 534
Tulsa 4 2,055 514 516 562 461
Turlock 3 1,454 485 460 569 425
Sacramento 3 1,245 415 435 447 363
MASL TOTAL 79 192,641 2,438 1,764 8,214 200
*Missing one game


NOTES:

  • The six teams that left the moribund MISL III behind over the summer are all in the top eight, which is not a surprise given their budgets, infrastructure and history. Monterrey (where indoor has been pretty popular, off and on, going back to 1993) and Dallas (where they have approached things in a very professional manner since their re-boot) are the party-crashers there, as one might have figured. San Diego is probably underachieving a bit.
  • The PASL averaged 1,349 last year, and the former PASL teams in the MASL are at 1,669 at the moment. The former MISL teams are averaging a collective 5,006.
  • The pro-multi-point-scoring people (who I’ve written about before) will probably look at the fact that games with multi-point are averaging 4,726 in announced attendance and single-point games are averaging 1,988 and say “Ah-HA! Told you!” That’s the level of analysis they’re at, unfortunately. It will be far more telling to see what happens in Milwaukee, Missouri and St. Louis (where they had multi-point last year but now are single-point) and in Harrisburg (the opposite) to see if there’s an actual impact on how many people show up. (It would be far better to have a similar number of teams on each side, but we’ll do what we can.) If SPS really depresses crowds, then the Wave, Comets and Ambush should see diminished crowds this season. (Right now, Missouri is basically unchanged, St. Louis is down slightly and Milwaukee has only had the one home game, so it’s too early to tell.)
  • The best-drawing teams in the PASL last year were Monterrey (5,858 per game), San Diego (4,272) and Dallas (4,003). The best drawing teams among the former PASL clubs this year are Monterrey, Dallas and Harrisburg (where a large home opener was apparently the result of a youth ticket giveaway promotion).
  • The PASL’s worst-drawing teams last year were Tijuana (2,101 per game), Illinois (2,394), Sacramento (313) and Texas (322). Tijuana and Illinois aren’t in the league this year, Texas is up considerably (though their carpet needs some work) and Sacramento is at the bottom.

Pardon Our Dust (UPDATED)

You’ll notice some things changing, format-wise around here for the next few days while I play around with a new theme. Bear with us.

UPDATE: There were some things about that theme I liked, but a bunch of things I didn’t like, so now I’m trying this one.

Babe Ruth Really Liked Talking About His Penis

While doing some research on baseball in the early part of the 20th century, I came across a story about Babe Ruth that I thought might have been apocryphal (as many probably are). The story checked out, but in searching for proof, I found this, even better story, as told by Fred Lieb in his 1977 memoir, Baseball As I Have Known It.


blog_babe_ruth_penis

Blankety-Blank (UPDATED)

The Baltimore Blast shut out the Detroit Waza last night, 26-0, in a Major Arena Soccer League game. (Detroit was delayed getting to the arena, as their bus broke down, which can happen when you leave the day of the game and try to drive 500+ miles.) In the high-scoring world of indoor/arena soccer, shutouts aren’t common, as you might expect. In fact, last night’s game was only the 110th 118th shutout in more than 9,300 9,600 regular-season games across 36 years and 10 different leagues. UPDATE: I have found eight more regular-season shutouts and have added all the playoff shutouts I could find that weren’t in a mini-game or golden goal situation. Here’s the list, for you history buffs (* denotes overtime periods):

Regular Season (118)
Date Lg Winner Sc Loser Sc
3/7/1979 MISL1 Houston Summit 9 Cleveland Force 0
12/14/1979 NASL Memphis Rogues 8 Tulsa Roughnecks 0
2/20/1980 MISL1 New York Arrows 7 Cleveland Force 0
3/9/1980 MISL1 Houston Summit 4 Cleveland Force 0
12/16/1980 MISL1 Philadelphia Fever 3 Wichita Wings 0
12/28/1980 MISL1 Wichita Wings 8 San Francisco Fog 0
1/2/1981 MISL1 Wichita Wings 10 Cleveland Force 0
1/8/1981 NASL Atlanta Chiefs 6 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0
1/24/1981 MISL1 Buffalo Stallions 5 Philadelphia Fever 0
12/10/1981 NASL Portland Timbers 5 San Jose Earthquakes 0
12/13/1981 MISL1 Wichita Wings 1 Denver Avalanche 0
1/31/1982 MISL1 Pittsburgh Spirit 11 Philadelphia Fever 0
2/7/1982 MISL1 St. Louis Steamers 7 Kansas City Comets 0
3/27/1982 MISL1 Phoenix Inferno 3 Denver Avalanche 0
1/12/1983 MISL1 New York Arrows 5 Memphis Americans 0
1/14/1983 MISL1 St. Louis Steamers 6 Chicago Sting 0
3/31/1983 MISL1 Pittsburgh Spirit 6 Cleveland Force 0
4/10/1983 MISL1 St. Louis Steamers 2 Kansas City Comets 0
12/20/1983 MISL1 Tacoma Stars 3 Pittsburgh Spirit 0
1/4/1984 MISL1 Kansas City Comets 4 Memphis Americans 0
3/2/1984 MISL1 St. Louis Steamers 3 Wichita Wings 0
11/2/1984 MISL1 St. Louis Steamers 2 Chicago Sting 0
12/4/1984 MISL1 Tacoma Stars 3 Dallas Sidekicks 0
12/4/1984 MISL1 Wichita Wings 1 Kansas City Comets 0
12/9/1984 AISA Canton Invaders 5 Louisville Thunder 0
1/18/1985 AISA Columbus Capitals 8 Chicago Vultures 0
1/27/1985 MISL1 Chicago Sting 3 Kansas City Comets 0
2/3/1985 MISL1 Las Vegas Americans 7 Tacoma Stars 0
3/3/1985 MISL1 Las Vegas Americans 5 Minnesota Strikers 0
3/16/1985 MISL1 Los Angeles Lazers 3 Tacoma Stars 0
3/17/1985 MISL1 Minnesota Strikers 3 Kansas City Comets 0
3/23/1985 MISL1 Las Vegas Americans 4 Chicago Sting 0
4/5/1985 MISL1 Chicago Sting 2 Las Vegas Americans 0
12/14/1985 MISL1 Wichita Wings 1 Tacoma Stars *0
1/3/1986 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 9 Wichita Wings 0
1/9/1986 MISL1 Pittsburgh Spirit 2 Kansas City Comets 0
1/10/1986 AISA Louisville Thunder 5 Kalamazoo Kangaroos 0
1/11/1986 AISA Canton Invaders 7 Chicago Shoccers 0
1/12/1986 MISL1 Baltimore Blast 3 Chicago Sting 0
1/17/1986 MISL1 Pittsburgh Spirit 1 Chicago Sting **0
1/18/1986 AISA Milwaukee Wave 2 Chicago Shoccers 0
2/8/1986 AISA Kalamazoo Kangaroos 7 Chicago Shoccers 0
3/14/1986 MISL1 St. Louis Steamers 1 Baltimore Blast 0
10/31/1986 AISA Fort Wayne Flames 3 Toledo Pride 0
11/30/1986 MISL1 Baltimore Blast 2 Dallas Sidekicks 0
12/5/1986 AISA Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 Toledo Pride 0
12/13/1986 AISA Chicago Shoccers 3 Fort Wayne Flames 0
1/23/1987 MISL1 Dallas Sidekicks 2 Los Angeles Lazers 0
2/6/1987 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 8 Los Angeles Lazers 0
3/15/1987 AISA Canton Invaders 10 Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
3/18/1987 MISL1 Minnesota Strikers 7 Cleveland Force 0
3/21/1987 AISA Toledo Pride 2 Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
3/24/1987 MISL1 Minnesota Strikers 8 Dallas Sidekicks 0
4/10/1987 MISL1 Wichita Wings 8 Los Angeles Lazers 0
4/26/1987 MISL1 Tacoma Stars 6 St. Louis Steamers 0
4/30/1987 MISL1 Minnesota Strikers 0 Baltimore Blast 3
12/9/1987 MISL1 Minnesota Strikers 2 St. Louis Steamers 0
12/12/1987 MISL1 Dallas Sidekicks 3 San Diego Sockers 0
12/13/1987 AISA Canton Invaders 3 Milwaukee Wave 0
12/19/1987 MISL1 Dallas Sidekicks 2 Wichita Wings 0
12/2/1988 AISA Canton Invaders 13 Memphis Storm 0
2/8/1989 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 4 Dallas Sidekicks 0
4/6/1989 MISL1 Tacoma Stars 1 Dallas Sidekicks 0
4/7/1989 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 4 Tacoma Stars 0
11/10/1989 MISL1 Cleveland Crunch 5 Tacoma Stars 0
11/17/1989 MISL1 Dallas Sidekicks 3 Wichita Wings 0
11/21/1989 AISA Canton Invaders 8 Atlanta Attack 0
12/1/1989 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 4 St. Louis Storm 0
12/8/1989 AISA Canton Invaders 11 Hershey Impact 0
2/18/1990 MISL1 Dallas Sidekicks 8 Cleveland Crunch 0
3/11/1990 AISA Dayton Dynamo 8 Indiana Kick 0
3/24/1990 MISL1 Baltimore Blast 6 Tacoma Stars 0
1/6/1991 NPSL Atlanta Attack 14 Milwaukee Wave 0
1/12/1991 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 7 Dallas Sidekicks 0
2/3/1991 NPSL Atlanta Attack 11 Hershey Impact 0
2/18/1991 MISL1 Baltimore Blast 6 Tacoma Stars 0
3/3/1991 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 4 Cleveland Crunch 0
1/24/1993 NPSL Harrisburg Heat 13 Wichita Wings 0
2/5/1993 NPSL Chicago Power 17 Milwaukee Wave 0
3/6/1993 NPSL Milwaukee Wave 14 Denver Thunder 0
1/20/1995 NPSL Cleveland Crunch 20 Canton Invaders 0
1/28/1995 NPSL Milwaukee Wave 16 Chicago Power 0
1/28/1995 NPSL Buffalo Blizzard 23 Dayton Dynamo 0
8/25/1995 CISL Portland Pride 10 Pittsburgh Stingers 0
12/8/1996 NPSL St. Louis Ambush 13 Toronto Shooting Stars 0
8/17/1997 CISL Seattle Seadogs 6 Sacramento Knights 0
11/30/1997 NPSL St. Louis Ambush 17 Kansas City Attack 0
2/8/1998 NPSL St. Louis Ambush 13 Edmonton Drillers 0
2/28/1999 NPSL Montreal Impact 14 Florida Thundercats 0
3/27/1999 NPSL Philadelphia Kixx 16 Florida Thundercats 0
3/28/1999 NPSL Kansas City Attack 21 Florida Thundercats 0
4/2/1999 NPSL Philadelphia Kixx 12 Florida Thundercats 0
9/2/2000 WISL Arizona Thunder 6 St. Louis Steamers 0
9/16/2000 WISL Arizona Thunder 3 Houston Hotshots 0
10/30/2000 WISL Utah Freezz 6 Monterrey La Raza 0
9/8/2001 WISL Utah Freezz 3 St. Louis Steamers 0
10/7/2001 WISL Dallas Sidekicks 3 St. Louis Steamers 0
11/23/2001 WISL Dallas Sidekicks 6 Sacramento Knights 0
12/2/2001 WISL San Diego Sockers 5 Dallas Sidekicks 0
1/17/2004 MISL2 Philadelphia Kixx 5 San Diego Sockers 0
1/25/2004 MISL2 Dallas Sidekicks 1 Philadelphia Kixx 0
3/14/2004 MISL2 Cleveland Force 4 Dallas Sidekicks 0
4/2/2004 MISL2 Monterrey Fury 3 San Diego Sockers 0
2/19/2005 MISL2 Kansas City Comets 4 Philadelphia Kixx 0
2/4/2006 MISL2 St. Louis Steamers 4 Chicago Storm 0
1/5/2008 MISL2 Philadelphia Kixx 4 Baltimore Blast 0
3/22/2008 MISL2 Baltimore Blast 13 Chicago Storm 0
12/27/2008 NISL Rockford Rampage 43 Mass. Twisters 0
11/22/2009 MISL3 Milwaukee Wave 15 Monterrey La Raza 0
2/21/2010 MISL3 Baltimore Blast 9 Rockford Rampage 0
3/4/2011 MISL3 Milwaukee Wave 21 Omaha Vipers 0
1/4/2013 MISL3 Chicago Soul 11 Syracuse Silver Knights 0
11/23/2013 MISL3 Milwaukee Wave 8 Baltimore Blast 0
12/13/2013 MISL3 Baltimore Blast 12 Rochester Lancers 0
12/21/2013 MISL3 Baltimore Blast 29 Pennsylvania Roar 0
12/31/2013 MISL3 Baltimore Blast 24 Pennsylvania Roar 0
1/19/2014 MISL3 Pennsylvania Roar 16 St. Louis Ambush 0
11/14/2014 MASL Baltimore Blast 26 Detroit Waza 0
Playoffs (14)
2/18/1981 NASL California Surf 3 Vancouver Whitecaps 0
5/13/1983 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 6 Baltimore Blast 0
5/15/1983 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 7 Baltimore Blast 0
4/5/1985 AISA Louisville Thunder 11 Columbus Capitals 0
5/14/1985 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 7 Minnesota Strikers 0
5/8/1988 MISL1 Minnesota Strikers 7 Cleveland Force 0
4/9/1989 AISA Canton Invaders 5 Hershey Impact 0
5/19/1989 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 1 Dallas Sidekicks 0
6/8/1989 MISL1 Baltimore Blast 7 San Diego Sockers 0
5/22/1990 MISL1 San Diego Sockers 4 Dallas Sidekicks 0
4/17/1991 NPSL Chicago Power 12 Dayton Dynamo 0
10/8/1995 CISL Sacramento Knights 4 San Jose Grizzlies 0
4/24/1999 NPSL Cleveland Crunch 15 Philadelphia KiXX 0
12/7/2001 WISL St. Louis Steamers 1 San Diego Sockers 0

The Blast’s margin of victory last night was the third-highest in the sport’s history for a shutout game. Rockford defeated Massachusetts 43-0 on December 27, 2008 (the Twisters went on to finish 1-17), and Baltimore beat Pennsylvania 29-0 last December 21. Obviously, those were under multi-point scoring. The largest single-point scoring shutout I see is Pittsburgh over Philadelphia 11-0 on January 31, 1982.

Baltimore (in its two iterations) has 10 lifetime shutouts to lead everybody, while the Dallas Sidekicks were shut out the most times (eight).

I’d have to dig deeper to create a list of goalkeepers who have pitched shutouts, but that will have to wait for another day. If you have additions or corrections to the above list, send them my way.

Because The Great Depression Wasn’t All That Great

An incredibly dumb zealot

Only A Matter Of Time

blog_az_fall_league_time_clock

For many years, baseball’s only clock was the sun, and that worked pretty well. But with average game times in the major leagues creeping ever upward, there’s a move afoot to try and rein in how much time passes in the National Pastime. But the major culprit contributing to the length of baseball games doesn’t appear to have anything to do with anything the players do.

The Arizona Fall League has instituted a number of game pace initiatives, including installing clocks like the one you see above at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (the spring home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks and fall home of the Salt River Rafters). Pitchers have 20 seconds to deliver the ball to the batter, who is supposed to keep one foot in the box most of the time. The changeover between half-innings has been limited to 2:05 (and often takes even less time than that) and pitching changes are limited to 2:30. (As Keith Olbermann rightly pointed out when this plan was announced, baseball has tried this before – in the AFL, even – and nothing has really changed.)

While there are many factors contributing to the increased length of games, I decided, just for comparison’s sake, to look at one set of data points from two World Series twenty-two years apart. The results are after the jump.
(more…)

To Die And Live In L.A.

blog_die_live_la

The ten year experiment that was Chivas USA is no more, and a new Los Angeles franchise in Major League Soccer will replace the erstwhile Goats in 2017.

Failure or not, depending on who’s doing the remembering, Chivas USA wasn’t going to be a help to anyone going forward, and with a well-financed ownership group with plans for its own stadium, the switch makes sense for all concerned. Original co-owners Antonio Cue and Jorge Vergara got out with more than they paid (though probably not more than they lost), MLS made money on the flip and there’s no more attendance-dragging stepchild club at the soon-to-be-renovated StubHub Center.

A couple of things I’m skeptical about, though, include the idea that a new stadium somewhere in Greater Los Angeles will be ready by spring 2017 and this whole “LAFC” nonsense. While I’m not as curmudgeonly about it as Paul Gardner, I’m on record as being against “FC” as a sole team name (only partially because of its Europosing-ness, mostly because it’s lazy). The new owners have hinted that might not be the final name when the club kicks off (somewhere) in 2017, but I remain unconvinced.

I’m also skeptical about MLS’ insistence on second teams in New York and Los Angeles in general. I know the other sports leagues have multiple teams in those markets, but MLS’ addition of them (especially in New York) just smacks of desperation and overreach. Don Garber has done a lot of good in his 15+ years as MLS commissioner (much more than some thought when he was appointed back in 1999), but the ramrodding of a team into New York City, co-owned by the Yankees (of all people) that will have to play its first three years (at least) in Yankee Stadium when its current New York-area team has had a checkered past, at best seems silly and counterproductive.

Television (as it almost always does) likely factored into this. The league has new TV deals about to kick in that will pay it more than ever before, and the idea of more potential eyeballs in the two biggest markets may have helped grease the skids for that.

I understood the Chivas USA experiment at the time: an all-in effort to try to attract a demographic that had largely ignored MLS for much of its first nine years, at a time when talk of expansion was met with laughter and rolled eyes. And I understand why the time had come to pull the plug. I hope the “new strategy for the Los Angeles market” is successful. Because for all of its recent wins, MLS can’t afford these two high-profile additions to fail.

Taking Attendance 11/3/2014: NASL Sets New Division II Record

We are truly living in a golden age for professional outdoor soccer in this country. All three men’s professional levels of the game set new average attendance records this season, with Major League Soccer drawing 19,149 a game, USL Pro breaking the 3,000-a-game mark and now, the North American Soccer League setting a new record for Division II attendance in the modern era. The fourth-year NASL broke the former record of 5,164 per game set by the USL First Division in 2008 by averaging 5,521¬†a game.

First, the numbers:

Team G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Indy Eleven 14 146,512 10,465 10,285 11,048 10,285
Minnesota United 13 105,149 8,088 5,817 34,047 4,913
San Antonio Scorpions 14 94,562 6,754 6,721 8,313 5,594
New York Cosmos 14 69,469 4,962 4,457 8,565 3,091
Carolina Railhawks 13 59,167 4,551 4,179 7,856 3,080
Tampa Bay Rowdies 14 63,700 4,550 4,322 7,003 2,565
Ottawa Fury 14 62,883 4,492 4,054 14,593 2,158
Atlanta Silverbacks 13 52,684 4,053 3,922 5,000 2,905
Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 13 47,138 3,626 3,109 5,756 2,409
FC Edmonton 13 44,004 3,385 3,152 4,399 2,796
NASL TOTAL 135 745,268 5,521 4,666 34,047 2,158

Now, some context: A large part of this gain is from the expansion club in Indianapolis, which became only the fifth lower-division organization in modern history to average more than 10,000 fans per game. Selling out every home game, Indy Eleven averaged 10,465, the highest Division II average since Montreal’s swan song in the second flight in 2011. Without Indianapolis, the NASL average was 4,948 – still an improvement over last year’s 4,670 average, but not a record. Still, there is cause for optimism in the second division, as, outside of Edmonton and the nascent Oklahoma City and Virginia clubs, there don’t appear to be a lot of organizations teetering on the brink of disappearing.

Compared to last year’s numbers, Minnesota was way up (82%, thanks in part to a big doubleheader, but they did draw consistently well all year for their other games as well), Edmonton had the benefit of its expanded stadium for the full year and was up 39% (still not good enough) and Tampa Bay was up 12.5%. That’s the good news. San Antonio and Carolina dropped slightly (2.6% and 3.3%, respectively), but Atlanta (where the Silverbacks may be on their way out) was off 13% and Ft. Lauderdale (despite making it to the league semifinals) was off 15%.

And then there’s the vaunted New York Cosmos. Drawing a season-high 8,565 to their home finale on October 25 helped keep their second-year drop from being worse, but their average announced attendance was off an alarming 28% from their maiden season. They may be counting on 2015 signing Raul to boost the numbers next season, but he turns 38 next June and will be playing a lot of games on turf before and after that. We’ll see.

The split-season format (in which teams played 1/3 of their games before the World Cup and 2/3 after) saw six of the ten teams draw worse in the Fall Championship than they had in the Spring, with only Indy (identical averages), San Antonio (up 7%), Minnesota (up 65%) and Ottawa (up 105%) seeing gains in the second stanza. Southeastern teams Carolina (-22%), Atlanta (-21%), Tampa Bay (-14%) and Fort Lauderdale (-8%) all dropped in the fall. Overall, the league averaged 5,346 in the spring (4,913 median) and 5,608 in the fall (4,513 median).

There was a bit of a World Cup bump (the league averaged 5,346 before Brazil and 5,732 after it), but the two major events in the fall accounted for a lot of that.

Besides November’s small sample of five games, the best month for average attendance was August (6,153, thanks to Man City and Olympiakos), while the rest of the months were pretty steady (June’s 5,150 was the lowest).

With the league scheduling the vast majority of its matches on weekends (127 of the 134 matches were on Saturday or Sunday), days of the week comparisons are hard to make, but Saturday games averaged 5,620 and Sunday matches 4,831.

Jacksonville (which¬†recently finalized its lease at the local baseball stadium) will join the ranks in 2015, with Oklahoma City’s final disposition still up in the air. Assuming Edmonton sticks around (and they appear to be), there will be either 11 or 12 clubs in the NASL next season. Still to be determined is how a split season format would work and what playoff format they will choose this time.

But the overall takeaway from the 2014 season at all three levels of the pro game should be an optimistic one. Never have so many enjoyed so much for so long.

1981 World Series Replay Game 5

1981 World Series programThe 1981 World Series is memorable for coming at the end of a season interrupted by a 59-day players’ strike, George Steinbrenner‘s bizarre maybe-it-happened-maybe-it-didn’t encounter with Dodger fans in an elevator and Dave Winfield’s 1-for-22 performance that set the stage for his owner later calling him “Mr. March.” My APBA replay of the 1981 World Series has been a memorable one, too. You can catch up on Games One, Two, Three and Four before you read all about how it wraps up after the jump.
(more…)