Folks apparently are skipping that traditional run to the lake and are instead taking in games at Minor League Baseball and independent baseball ballparks, as several attendance records have already fallen to the wayside.
- The Reading Fightin Phils (Class AA; Eastern League) set a franchise attendance record Sunday night, when 9,976 fans were on hand for the game against the Harrisburg Senators. The crowd eclipses the previous top crowd of 9,970 on August 22, 2015. The sell-out crowd was due in large part to the 4th of July MEGA Fireworks Show, the Largest Fireworks Show in FirstEnergy Stadium history, thanks to the Pennsylvania Lottery. The night was also Military Appreciation Night where all active military and veterans were recognized and received a free ticket, hot dog, and soda. The Fightins currently sit atop the Eastern League this season in both total attendance with 242,836 fans and average attendance with 5,922 fans per game.
- The Long Island Ducks (independent; Atlantic League) finished the first half of the 2016 season by breaking the team’s all-time attendance record in a 5-2 win over the Sugar Land Skeeters as 7,602 fans packed the club’s 6,002-seat Bethpage Ballpark. The Ducks, attendance leaders in 13 of their 16 seasons of play, also added to the team’s league-record all-time sellout count, which now stands at 656.
- The Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) set a new Sunday attendance record at Regions Field, drawing 7,703 fans to what ended up being a 4-1 loss to the Biloxi Shuckers. That surpassed the mark set May 22 against Montgomery.
- The Jacksonville Suns (Class AA; Southern League) put up some impressive numbers at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville this Independence Day Weekend. From Wednesday through Sunday, the five-day total attendance of 31,194 was the highest of the Jacksonville Suns’ first season under new ownership and best since 2013. Sunday’s crowd of 10,238 was the largest at any home game for the team since July 3, 2012. It capped a five-game home series that was the club’s best since the final series of 2013. The season total attendance is 156,840 through 37 openings, for an average of 4,239 – currently 2.7 percent above the average for the entire 2015 season.
- The South Bend Cubs (Low A; Midwest League) drew 8,016 fans last night to Four Winds Field, the second-largest crowd in team history. The series against Lansing drew 23,442 fans, the largest three-game series attendance in the ballpark’s history.
And there were some big numbers that were impressive, even if they weren’t records:
- The State College Spikes (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) drew 5,687 fans last night, the largest attendance of the 2016 season, to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The big attraction: David “The Bullet” Smith.
- The Jackson Generals (Class AA; Southern League) drew 4,588 fans last night, marking the third time in five games this series that more than 3,000 came to The Ballpark at Jackson.
- The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) fell to the New Orleans Zephyrs 12-8 in front of a sellout crowd of 8,753 at Security Service Field on Sunday night.
- The Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League) hosted a season-best 8,235 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Sunday night.
- The Laredo Lemurs (independent; American Association) drew an overcapacity crowd of 6,160 at Uni-Trade Stadium, who enjoyed a 12-0 victory over the Texas AirHogs.
We expect to be discussing more records tomorrow; for instance, tonight’s Indianapolis Indians (Class AAA; International League) game at Victory Field is a virtual sellout, with only SRO tickets remaining.