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Fenway
11-06-2010, 05:30 PM
A look at MLB attendance figures from 1956-7 just before the Dodgers and Giants left for California show that fans were not flocking to parks.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1956-misc.shtml


http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1957-misc.shtml

Milwaukee was the gold standard by far but most teams hovered around 1,000,000 fans.

The NY Giants figures are simply awful and the reality is they only drew fans when they played Brooklyn.

Washington was the weakling, Wrigley was a nice quiet place to escape to.

The NY numbers were affected by all 3 teams televising every home game as each team had their own station. NYY was on 11, Dodgers on 9 and the Giants on 5.

Boston, Philadelphia and St Louis hD become 1 team cities but the surviving teams did not get a big boost.

In those days a ballgame was the same price or cheaper than a movie and everybody could afford to go unlike today.

From 1947-58 New York was the baseball Mecca as a city team was always in the World Series. Fans may have been following on radio and TV but they sure were not going to games.

Take that Ken Burns

LITTLE NELL
11-06-2010, 07:16 PM
A look at MLB attendance figures from 1956-7 just before the Dodgers and Giants left for California show that fans were not flocking to parks.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1956-misc.shtml


http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1957-misc.shtml

Milwaukee was the gold standard by far but most teams hovered around 1,000,000 fans.

The NY Giants figures are simply awful and the reality is they only drew fans when they played Brooklyn.

Washington was the weakling, Wrigley was a nice quiet place to escape to.

The NY numbers were affected by all 3 teams televising every home game as each team had their own station. NYY was on 11, Dodgers on 9 and the Giants on 5.

Boston, Philadelphia and St Louis hD become 1 team cities but the surviving teams did not get a big boost.

In those days a ballgame was the same price or cheaper than a movie and everybody could afford to go unlike today.

From 1947-58 New York was the baseball Mecca as a city team was always in the World Series. Fans may have been following on radio and TV but they sure were not going to games.

Take that Ken Burns

Everything is relative, my father made $150.00 a week in the late 50s and our rent was $125.00 a month. We had one car and it was a Chevy Bel-Air. My Mom shopped at the Jewel on Devon and the groceries were delivered.
Since Dad worked and had the car and if Mom and us kids had to go somewhere it was on the streetcar, bus or subway. I walked to school every day until 1964 when I was a senior in H.S.and I bought a used 61 Plymouth for $900 dollars.
The population of the US was 171,000,000 in 1957 compared to 309,000,000 this year, thats a 138,000,000 increase and that increase is mostly in the Metro areas of the large cities of the country which accounts for the over 2,000,000 average yearly team attendence in MLB parks.
Movies at the Granada and Nortown were 25 cents for kids and 90 cents for adults. General admission at Comiskey and Wrigley was $1.25, with Box seats a hefty $2.50 so movies were a little less than MLB games, unless you went to the loop and saw a 1st run movie. In those days a movie played downtown for a couple of weeks or even a month before they came to the neighborhood theatres.

Fenway
11-06-2010, 07:45 PM
Good points Nell

In the early 60's Boston usually only would draw 20,000 plus on Family Days or Nights where Dad paid full price and everybody else was half off.

Right field was always empty except for the gamblers who were there every game betting on everything possible.

Yawkey wanted a new stadium built for him and hinted he might move but 67 changed everything.

Back then season tickets were a very small part of the gate and walk up sales were the lifeblood of most clubs.

LITTLE NELL
11-06-2010, 08:01 PM
Good points Nell

In the early 60's Boston usually only would draw 20,000 plus on Family Days or Nights where Dad paid full price and everybody else was half off.

Right field was always empty except for the gamblers who were there every game betting on everything possible.

Yawkey wanted a new stadium built for him and hinted he might move but 67 changed everything.

Back then season tickets were a very small part of the gate and walk up sales were the lifeblood of most clubs.

Don't forget Ladies day and Double-headers.
Like you say, walk ups were the bread and butter as the Sox and Cubs always had over 22,000 seats available on game day.
You are right about 67, the BoSox had horrible attendence in the 60s, from 61 to 66 they never drew 1,000,000.
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/rsoxatte.shtml
Since then I would have to say they have done quite well.

TDog
11-06-2010, 08:34 PM
Attendance doesn't tell the entire story. My father alleged that he knew all the batting averages of the Brooklyn Dodgers every day when he went to school in Neptune City, N.J. He further alleged that such a thing was very common. If he ever went to Ebbets Field, he never talked about it. He did talk about listening to the games on the radio, however.

Phillip Roth said in an interview some 35 years ago that baseball was the language of his childhood, something that wasn't as common when he said it and is even less common now.

Fenway
11-06-2010, 08:54 PM
Certainly the radio announcers in many cities were as famous as the players.

New York had Allen, Barber, Hodges, Scully - Boston Gowdy - Chicago Ellston and Brickhouse etc

People listened.

I guess for many it was like a soap opera.

LITTLE NELL
11-06-2010, 08:57 PM
Attendance doesn't tell the entire story. My father alleged that he knew all the batting averages of the Brooklyn Dodgers every day when he went to school in Neptune City, N.J. He further alleged that such a thing was very common. If he ever went to Ebbets Field, he never talked about it. He did talk about listening to the games on the radio, however.

Phillip Roth said in an interview some 35 years ago that baseball was the language of his childhood, something that wasn't as common when he said it and is even less common now.

That is why it was the National Pastime.
I also knew the batting averages of our White Sox and knew every player on every team and their numbers and I could tell you the capacities of all the ballparks and their dimensions. I had a very close uncle that would brag to his friends about me that I knew this useless information. There were 2 bibles for me, the Holy one and "The Sporting News"
I will never forget when my uncle bought me my first "Sporting News".
I could not believe that there was a weekly paper just about baseball.

LITTLE NELL
11-06-2010, 08:59 PM
Certainly the radio announcers in many cities were as famous as the players.

New York had Allen, Barber, Hodges, Scully - Boston Gowdy - Chicago Ellston and Brickhouse etc

People listened.

I guess for many it was like a soap opera.

It was Bob Elson.

Fenway
11-06-2010, 10:22 PM
It was Bob Elson.

I knew that I just can't type on phone

Nellie_Fox
11-07-2010, 01:02 AM
That is why it was the National Pastime.
I also knew the batting averages of our White Sox...That's all the further I went on a daily basis, except I could also tell you the standings of both leagues. I kept my baseball cards separated by teams, and every day I'd check the standings and move the teams up or down in the pile of cards accordingly.

LITTLE NELL
11-07-2010, 06:22 AM
That's all the further I went on a daily basis, except I could also tell you the standings of both leagues. I kept my baseball cards separated by teams, and every day I'd check the standings and move the teams up or down in the pile of cards accordingly.

I seperated by teams also but I did not place them in a box by standings.
What I did do was when I bought a miniature set of pennants at Wrigley around 57 or 58 they were thumb tacked to my bedroom wall by standings.

I also had one of these and I kick my self in the rear end every day for getting rid of it. Had Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle also. The Hartland Company produced 18 figurines of 1950s MLB stars and E-Bay has the whole set for $4999.00.
http://www.huntauctions.com/liveimg30/780.jpg

SI1020
11-07-2010, 08:30 AM
If I'd kept all my baseball cards, magazines, and other assorted sports memorabilia, my financial situation would be much better than it is today. I would like to say that back in those times going to a baseball game was usually a family affair that occurred once or twice a baseball season. Doubleheaders were ever so popular back then and I really miss them. So once or twice a year with Dad, once with my Little League team and maybe once more if one of my uncles was in town. I didn't start going to more games than that until I was a teenager and able to earn a little money on my own. Bread and circuses of all types are more popular and prominent today, but believe me it was a golden age of baseball. I'm grateful I lived through it and the memories help sustain me as I'm now officially "old".

cards press box
11-07-2010, 10:24 AM
A look at MLB attendance figures from 1956-7 just before the Dodgers and Giants left for California show that fans were not flocking to parks.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1956-misc.shtml


http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1957-misc.shtml

Milwaukee was the gold standard by far but most teams hovered around 1,000,000 fans.

The NY Giants figures are simply awful and the reality is they only drew fans when they played Brooklyn.

Washington was the weakling, Wrigley was a nice quiet place to escape to.

The NY numbers were affected by all 3 teams televising every home game as each team had their own station. NYY was on 11, Dodgers on 9 and the Giants on 5.

Boston, Philadelphia and St Louis hD become 1 team cities but the surviving teams did not get a big boost.

In those days a ballgame was the same price or cheaper than a movie and everybody could afford to go unlike today.

From 1947-58 New York was the baseball Mecca as a city team was always in the World Series. Fans may have been following on radio and TV but they sure were not going to games.

Take that Ken Burns

The failure to discuss what was actually happening to baseball teams in the 1950's (i.e., relocation of the Braves, Browns and A's, the interconnection between the rise of suburbia and the decline of baseball attendance, lack of parking at many of the old ballparks like Ebbets Field, changes in the cities where the old parks were, and the struggle to build new ballparks) was a big problem with Ken Burns' so-called documentary Baseball. Burns did nothing more than let some celebrities muse about their memories of 1950's baseball. That is not history. And as a history of the 1950's, Burns' work was poorly researched, misleading, uneven, weak, strangely selective in its scope and inaccurate.

SI1020
11-07-2010, 10:40 AM
The failure to discuss what was actually happening to baseball teams in the 1950's (i.e., relocation of the Braves, Browns and A's, the interconnection between the rise of suburbia and the decline of baseball attendance, lack of parking at many of the old ballparks like Ebbets Field, changes in the cities where the old parks were, and the struggle to build new ballparks) was a big problem with Ken Burns' so-called documentary Baseball. Burns did nothing more than let some celebrities muse about their memories of 1950's baseball. That is not history. And as a history of the 1950's, Burns' work was poorly researched, misleading, uneven, weak, strangely selective in its scope and inaccurate. Ken Burns is pathetic. He made a hash of both baseball and jazz, two of my greatest loves in life. Regarding the premise of your post, I would recommend New York City Baseball: The Last Golden Age, 1947-1957 by Harvey Frommer. It only deals with the 3 NYC teams of that era but goes in depth and detail concerning the issues you mention.

TDog
11-07-2010, 11:50 AM
The failure to discuss what was actually happening to baseball teams in the 1950's (i.e., relocation of the Braves, Browns and A's, the interconnection between the rise of suburbia and the decline of baseball attendance, lack of parking at many of the old ballparks like Ebbets Field, changes in the cities where the old parks were, and the struggle to build new ballparks) was a big problem with Ken Burns' so-called documentary Baseball. Burns did nothing more than let some celebrities muse about their memories of 1950's baseball. That is not history. And as a history of the 1950's, Burns' work was poorly researched, misleading, uneven, weak, strangely selective in its scope and inaccurate.

Burns was right that the history of America after the Civil War can be seen through baseball, but he did an especially poor job of showing this after World War II. Baseball teams started hitting the road, in a way, when many Americans were metaphorically following Jack Kerouac on the road. The Dodgers and Giants went to California for reasons not dissimilar for a large segment of America heading west. As Joan Didion wrote in the 1960s, people told themselves they make it work in California because they had run out of continent.

People blamed baseball for the 1994 baseball strike, but the strike was America at the time. Not long after, political stubbornness in Congress (not to discuss that politically, I only present it as fact) shut down the U.S. government. Then the American owners in the NHL ruined hockey and the NBA shut down. People care about steroids in baseball because baseball is America, even if they doing realize it. Most football fans don't care about steroids in football. You don't see America reflected in football. The NFL successfully broke the players' union in the 1980s and the relationship with labor became dictatorial rather than America-like.

The baseball amateur draft, which gave its biggest losers first crack at the best talent, coincided with LBJ's Great Society and civil rights legislation. And, of course, Burns totally missed the point of Latin American talent becoming a dominant force in baseball. I found Ken Burns' Baseball frustrating for all the stuff that was obvious that wasn't there.

When I was a kid, I saw Jack Brickhouse do a half-hour special talking to Ernie Banks about his quest for his 500th home run. Brickhouse showed clips of hitters in the 500 club, and Banks said he first heard of Babe Ruth at his first spring with the Cubs. Of course, he came from the Negro League tradition, but I didn't understand that at the time. A couple of years ago, I saw an interview with Banks in which he said he grew up wanting to break Ruth's record as Aaron did. Sometimes I see Burns' history similarly sterilized while throwing us a few bones here and there to make us feel we're getting it right.

Lowell80
11-07-2010, 02:28 PM
The 50's--that's when baseball was a game--not a corporation running the team--trying to squeeze every last dollar out of the fans

doublem23
11-07-2010, 03:21 PM
The 50's--that's when baseball was a game--not a corporation running the team--trying to squeeze every last dollar out of the fans

:rolleyes:

Noneck
11-07-2010, 04:54 PM
I also knew the batting averages of our White Sox

I not only knew that but also what my favorite players average would be after the next game depending on how many hits they would get. Honestly, I think I learned basic arithmetic because of baseball.

slavko
11-07-2010, 06:40 PM
What I glean from your posts, and I'm in the same age category, is that those years were baseball's Golden Age. But for the fans, not between the foul lines. So the premise is true.

The same can be said for pro golf and football.

I agree with the thinking about Ken Burns. His work is so slow-moving it kills the spirit of the material.

ewokpelts
11-08-2010, 11:18 AM
I still say the 70's were baseball's golden age.

Black players were fully integrated. Latin players were on the rise. The LCS was a hit.

You had SEVERAL dynasties/superpowers(big red machine, yankees, a's,) yet no one team was truly the team of the decade. Hell, the expansion royals were perennial contenders, finally making the WS in 1980.

TDog
11-08-2010, 12:30 PM
I still say the 70's were baseball's golden age.

Black players were fully integrated. Latin players were on the rise. The LCS was a hit.

You had SEVERAL dynasties/superpowers(big red machine, yankees, a's,) yet no one team was truly the team of the decade. Hell, the expansion royals were perennial contenders, finally making the WS in 1980.

The decade between about 1965 and 1975 was the best from a competitive balance standpoint. The Yankees' dynasty ended in losing the 1964 World Series. The Twins, Orioles, Red Sox and Tigers won in the American League in the next four years after the Yankees had won the pennant every year since 1949 with the exceptions of 1954 to the Indians and 1959 to the White Sox.

The amateur draft started in 1965, and for the next decade you had the draft and the reserve clause binding players to teams forever at the discretion of the team. As a result, expansion teams (the Mets and to a lesser degree the Royals) were able to build strong teams. The small-market doormat A's were able to build a dynasty on a budget through Charlie Finley's eye for talent. With the abolition of the reserve clause in the mid-1970s, teams had to spend more on talent. With arbitration, teams had to spend more on mediocre talent. The Yankees resurged again in post-reserve clause baseball. In the 1980s, there was collusion that set up a de facto reserve-clause system for some of the top players, but that was rooted out and baseball was punished.

Under the pre-draft system, the star prospects generally went to the teams that offered the biggest bonuses. Sometimes players weren't born great but achieved greatness in a non-competitive organization. In order to stay in business, those teams (the A's provided the best examples, particularly with what the team accomplished after the establishment of a draft) sold players to the top teams.

If you are looking for a golden age, it depends on what you are looking for. If you really like home runs, the golden age was the steroids age. If you want competitive baseball with a somewhat level playing field, you have your decade. If you want integration and sacrifice bunts, you have another decade. If you want attendance (numbers inflated by increased corporate spending, but numbers nonetheless) you have to look farther into the future.

SI1020
11-08-2010, 01:52 PM
I still say the 70's were baseball's golden age.

Black players were fully integrated. Latin players were on the rise. The LCS was a hit.

You had SEVERAL dynasties/superpowers(big red machine, yankees, a's,) yet no one team was truly the team of the decade. Hell, the expansion royals were perennial contenders, finally making the WS in 1980. We discussed this previously and as I posted then I thought baseball's golden era was longer than most and lasted about up until the ill fated strike year of 1981. The 50's and 60's might be my favorite decades for nostalgic reasons but I agree with you that the 70's produced some great teams and great players, with good competitive balance as TDog points out.

gogosox675
11-08-2010, 11:31 PM
The eighties had the Dodgers winning the World Series twice but other than that there was a different champion every year. It's cool for me to look back at that decade and not only see all the different teams that won, but also how they won. The stories behind the champions are very interesting.

Hitmen77
11-09-2010, 09:57 AM
I still say the 70's were baseball's golden age.

Black players were fully integrated. Latin players were on the rise. The LCS was a hit.

You had SEVERAL dynasties/superpowers(big red machine, yankees, a's,) yet no one team was truly the team of the decade. Hell, the expansion royals were perennial contenders, finally making the WS in 1980.

The eighties had the Dodgers winning the World Series twice but other than that there was a different champion every year. It's cool for me to look back at that decade and not only see all the different teams that won, but also how they won. The stories behind the champions are very interesting.

The one thing wrong with that era was the plethora of multipurpose stadiums and places that used astroturf. But, otherwise I agree. That was a good time for MLB in general. Sure, there were dominant teams back then too, but not like today when the Yankees and Red Sox have been in 10 of the last 13 ALCSs - and when we get stats about "nobody cares!" every year that they don't make it to the World Series.

Also, back then Pittsburgh and Kansas City were great teams and 1) they didn't have to automatically lose any good player the instant they hit free agency and 2) the media didn't moan about how people don't care about the playoffs when teams like the Pirates and Royals are in it.

Some good points have been brought up in this thread. Obviously MLB is doing well today with attendance records and fan-friendly ballparks throughout the league. But, in the 50s it sounds like there where so much more of the general public who lived and breathed baseball - even if they didn't go to as many games.

gogosox675
11-09-2010, 10:06 AM
The one thing wrong with that era was the plethora of multipurpose stadiums and places that used astroturf. But, otherwise I agree. That was a good time for MLB in general. Sure, there were dominant teams back then too, but not like today when the Yankees and Red Sox have been in 10 of the last 13 ALCSs.

Also, back then Pittsburgh and Kansas City were great teams and 1) they didn't have to automatically lose any good player the instant they hit free agency and 2) the media didn't moan about how people don't care about the playoffs when teams like the Pirates and Royals are in it.

Some good points have been brought up in this thread. Obviously MLB is doing well today with attendance records and fan-friendly ballparks throughout the league. But, in the 50s it sounds like there where so much more of the general public who lived and breathed baseball - even if they didn't go to as many games.

I don't think the eighties was the best era necessarily, I just think that it was a great decade for the World Series. It seems like every year had interesting teams, a closely-matched series, or both. I would settle just to see one good series at this point.

downstairs
11-10-2010, 02:28 PM
Attendence figures are facinating. How was baseball "America's Game" in the middle of the 20th century, and teams were drawing squat relative to today- where baseball is no longer the most popular sport.

Serious question. Did people just not get out as much?

I was born in 1975, so I have no personal experience. Over my lifetime, I've only seen a *decrease* in the typical American's leisure time. I remember my dad worked a straight 9-5 job, and was home immediately after. He didn't take calls, emails, demands all through the night and weekend. Now that's fairly typical of everyone.

Hitmen77
11-10-2010, 02:43 PM
Attendence figures are facinating. How was baseball "America's Game" in the middle of the 20th century, and teams were drawing squat relative to today- where baseball is no longer the most popular sport.

Serious question. Did people just not get out as much?

I was born in 1975, so I have no personal experience. Over my lifetime, I've only seen a *decrease* in the typical American's leisure time. I remember my dad worked a straight 9-5 job, and was home immediately after. He didn't take calls, emails, demands all through the night and weekend. Now that's fairly typical of everyone.

Good question. It is sort of a fascinating subject. It's hard to tell because of inflation as a whole (tickets are more expensive now, but salaries are higher too), but I would guess that is was "cheaper" to take a family out to a game in the 50s and 60s than today.

I'd guess it's be more of a reflection on society as a whole instead of just baseball's popularity. People do tend to work more hours today (and are tied to work even when they're not in the office), but maybe they tend to go out more to things like sporting events, restaurants, etc. than in the past. Maybe people saved more back and didn't feel that they had to constantly go out as opposed to today when the average savings rate for Americans is about zero.

I think Americans are much more obsessed with sports today than in the past. Of course, there were a lot of people that lived and breathed baseball stats back in the old days, but I think our society is just nuts about sports in general today. Years ago, you didn't see grown men and women walking around wearing baseball and football jerseys.

Noneck
11-10-2010, 02:43 PM
I remember my dad worked a straight 9-5 job, and was home immediately after. He didn't take calls, emails, demands all through the night and weekend. Now that's fairly typical of everyone.

And if one worked late it was usually their choice with PAID overtime. Not all Moms worked either and some only part time. There was more free time in the olden days for family activities.

Nellie_Fox
11-10-2010, 02:46 PM
Attendence figures are facinating. How was baseball "America's Game" in the middle of the 20th century, and teams were drawing squat relative to today- where baseball is no longer the most popular sport.

Serious question. Did people just not get out as much?

I was born in 1975, so I have no personal experience. Over my lifetime, I've only seen a *decrease* in the typical American's leisure time. I remember my dad worked a straight 9-5 job, and was home immediately after. He didn't take calls, emails, demands all through the night and weekend. Now that's fairly typical of everyone.One thing that has been pointed out is that the population of the US has grown significantly since the 50's, so attendance would go up on account of that.

People didn't take kids to games as much. My dad took me to only one ballgame that I can remember. Adults just didn't spend much time hanging around with kids back then. Also, my dad pretty much always had two jobs going, so he didn't have a lot of free time. The standard of living was much lower. Many things we consider necessities today were luxuries in the fifties, so there wasn't much money for entertaining the entire family. It's not like people were spending their entertainment dollars elsewhere.

downstairs
11-10-2010, 02:51 PM
Good question. It is sort of a fascinating subject. It's hard to tell because of inflation as a whole (tickets are more expensive now, but salaries are higher too), but I would guess that is was "cheaper" to take a family out to a game in the 50s and 60s than today.

I'd guess it's be more of a reflection on society as a whole instead of just baseball's popularity. People do tend to work more hours today (and are tied to work even when they're not in the office), but maybe they tend to go out more to things like sporting events, restaurants, etc. than in the past. Maybe people saved more back and didn't feel that they had to constantly go out as opposed to today when the average savings rate for Americans is about zero.

I think Americans are much more obsessed with sports today than in the past. Of course, there were a lot of people that lived and breathed baseball stats back in the old days, but I think our society is just nuts about sports in general today. Years ago, you didn't see grown men and women walking around wearing baseball and football jerseys.

All good points, but I don't think it gets to the bottom of it. Of course, like I said, I was not alive in the 50s or 60s, and my dad never really told me much about it.

Maybe there's something to the "obsession" angle. I remember my dad (a RABID White Sox fan) telling me he could have easily gone to the 1959 World Series, but just didn't care to. I should have had him elaborate.

This was when I scored 2005 game one and two tickets, and it was one of the greatest moments in my life in terms of "getting stuff." I was in absolute awe that I actually was holding World Series tickets, and my father- who is even more of a fan than I am- wasn't all that excited. In fact, he declined my invite to go because he didn't like crowds.

Of course he watched every game, cheered at home... but going to the game was like "meh, no thanks".

downstairs
11-10-2010, 02:54 PM
One thing that has been pointed out is that the population of the US has grown significantly since the 50's, so attendance would go up on account of that.

People didn't take kids to games as much. My dad took me to only one ballgame that I can remember. Adults just didn't spend much time hanging around with kids back then. Also, my dad pretty much always had two jobs going, so he didn't have a lot of free time. The standard of living was much lower. Many things we consider necessities today were luxuries in the fifties, so there wasn't much money for entertaining the entire family. It's not like people were spending their entertainment dollars elsewhere.

Thanks Nellie for the insight.

And maybe there's another angle- maybe I'm wrong about leisure time. While we work more hours nowadays, so much of our lives are automated. Washing the dishes was a 1 hour a night chore for my mom or dad. For me in 2010, its 3 minutes and a push of a button.

SI1020
11-10-2010, 02:55 PM
Attendence figures are facinating. How was baseball "America's Game" in the middle of the 20th century, and teams were drawing squat relative to today- where baseball is no longer the most popular sport.

Serious question. Did people just not get out as much?

I was born in 1975, so I have no personal experience. Over my lifetime, I've only seen a *decrease* in the typical American's leisure time. I remember my dad worked a straight 9-5 job, and was home immediately after. He didn't take calls, emails, demands all through the night and weekend. Now that's fairly typical of everyone. Let me try, and my answer will by no means be comprehensive or complete. First of all you have population, which doubled between 1900-50, and again from 1950 to the middle of the last decade. You also have to take into consideration that until the 1920's the country was primarily rural. Suburbs, as we know them and define them are a post WWII creation. The effect of TV, which became near universal by the end of the 50's can't be underestimated IMHO. Of course it made it easy to sit in your easy chair, crack open a beer and watch the game, but it also greatly stimulated interest. Between 1946-73 there was a pronounced economic boom. There were 5 or 6 recessions in that time period but real incomes even when taking into consideration for inflation more than doubled. People developed a hunger for entertainment of all types that remains unsatiated to this day. Also, in the 50's and 60's, as I remember them people went to a baseball game mostly because they wanted to see a baseball game. Not to indulge themselves before during and after the game, or to hook up with someone. Sports of all types are now all day spectables. I didn't even know what a tailgate was until the 1970's. It's just an altogether different time today with a rhythm and vibe in many ways unlike life from my childhood to early adulthood.

Ex-Chicagoan
11-10-2010, 03:02 PM
and 2) the media didn't moan about how people don't care about the playoffs when teams like the Pirates and Royals are in it.



Probably because of 2a) there was less media trying to fill time. We weren't subjected to 24-hour sports radio, ESPN, bloggers etc. seeking desperately to deliver some sort of content, useful or not.

Noneck
11-10-2010, 03:22 PM
I didn't even know what a tailgate was until the 1970's.

A picnic basket full of food and eaten in the picnic area was tailgating in the days of yore.

downstairs
11-10-2010, 03:23 PM
Probably because of 2a) there was less media trying to fill time. We weren't subjected to 24-hour sports radio, ESPN, bloggers etc. seeking desperately to deliver some sort of content, useful or not.

Also, there was very, very little sports opinion. It was merely reporting- and like 5 minutes a night was most of America's exposure to sports reporting.

Sports "opinion" has exploded since the 1980s.

RedHeadPaleHoser
11-10-2010, 04:31 PM
:threadrules: