This list comes from an argument I had with a friend of mine, who was bemoaning something about his favorite team that may have just won the World Series last season.
It got me thinking.
Which fan groups have had it the toughest and the easiest? Which fans have been most fortunate to be fans of their teams? Which fans get the best experience, and the best performance from their respective clubs from year to year?
For arguments sake, I decided to look at teams success and stadiums from the last 20 years. Which fans must be forced to watch poor games in great stadiums, and which must watch great teams play in barely inhabited monoliths?
Here are fan bases 30-21
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates and their fans haven’t had too much to cheer about the last few decades. When every player with a shred of talent is shipped off at a moments notice, fans really don’t have too much to cheer for.
PNC park is nice, but there’s sadly no reason for anyone to fill it.
29. Kansas City Royals
The Royals recently got a new renovation and Kaufman Stadium looks shiny and polished.
Royals fans haven’t had it easy since the eighties, and it looks like it might be two or three more years before they are in a position to make an impact in September and beyond.
28. Washington Nationals
The last time the Nationals/Expos were in contention was 1994.
If you don’t recall, there was a strike that year. The Expos were in first place when the season prematurely ended and the franchise hasn’t looked competitive since.
At least they finally got to leave Olympic Stadium in Montreal. RFK wasn’t much better, but now things have got to get better, right? I mean the only way it could get worse for Nats fans would be if Bryce Harper suddenly decided to join the clergy. Right?
27. Baltimore Orioles
Camden Yards was the first of this new generation of classic styled stadia.
Orioles fans should be proud of that. What’s not to be proud of? Not being competitive practically at all over the past two decades.
26. Milwaukee Brewers
Miller Park is a welcome upgrade from Milwaukee County Stadium. The sausage races are second to none. As for the ball playing, it’s coming along.
It’s not there yet, but fans are ready and deserving of something better in the coming years.
25. Florida Marlins
Sun Life Stadium is a beautiful place to watch a game. The crowds are always massive and the games exciting to the last second. Okay, it’s true if you are at a Dolphins game.
The Marlins have two championships in the past 14 years, something most fans would be proud of. The problem is that those two teams no longer exist. Both were dismantled the year after winning and any hopes of a repeat were quickly dashed.
Fans can take solace in the fact they have more World Series titles than the Indians, Cubs and Giants combined over fifty years. Unfortunately, the stadium in baseball configuration leaves much to be desired and corresponding low attendance seems to support that.
24. San Diego Padres
San Diego is a beautiful city, and Petco Park is a beautiful ball yard.
The Padres are still trying to live up to their surroundings. Fans haven’t had too much to celebrate since their 1998 pennant-winning season. We’ll ignore Ken Caminiti’s 1996 MVP due to performance enhancing reasons.
Trevor Hoffman used to be fun to watch, and so it was to watch Adrian Gonzalez. Is Edgar Gonzalez still around?
23. Oakland Athletics
In what use to be a passable stadium, Al Davis graced the A’s with the mountain that is center field in Oakland.
The A’s haven’t sniffed the World Series since 1990 and the playoffs since 2006. The team is in a downward spiral, and fans aren’t likely to be showing up in droves until they are granted a new stadium or find a way to win.
I’m not sure how long it will take for either of those to happen.
22. Houston Astros
It’s ironic that the Astros needed to rename their stadium after that whole Enron thing. Minute Maid just doesn’t have that ring to it. The Astros are also still without a ring, and despite the heat they’ve only had one really good postseason.
Too bad all it did was net Carlos Beltran an undeserved mega contract, while Astros fans are stuck with that weird hill in center field.
21. Toronto Blue Jays
The Sky Dome, or rather Rogers Centre, used to be cutting edge. Now it’s kinda floundering, just like the Jays.
It’s not their fault. Being stuck behind the financial behemoths of the Yankees and Red Sox can’t be fun for the players or the fans.
For Fan Bases 20-11
For Top 10 Fan Bases