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 the top ten.
10. Chicago White Sox
These guys would be way lower if not for their recent championship. Probably way lower.
The White Sox know what it’s like to be second-class citizens. The south side is always ruled inferior to the north side in each facet.
The Sox have a recent championship, and they also have a decently new stadium. It’s a shame the top level is too steep to safely sit in.
Anyway, there’s not that much for fans other than the occasional Ozzie Guillen rant.
9. Texas Rangers
They finally were able to get over the hump against the Yanks last year. They’ve finally got a competent manager and real pitching, not just the Kenny Rogers variety.
They’ve got fans now too, because they are worth watching. The stadium is great, and with the Mavs NBA championship, maybe some of that luck will rub off on the Rangers as well.
8. Cincinnati Reds
The Big Red Machine is not quite back, but they put on a show every game.
The new stadium is a definite upgrade, and they’ve got that something about them that makes them worth watching every single day.
7. Atlanta Braves
Bobby Cox was arguably the best manager of the past two decades. Although he’s moved on, the Braves have given their fans plenty to be proud of in recent times.
Although they probably deserve more than the one championship, year after year they compete no matter who is on the field. The talismanic Chipper Jones is nearing the end of his career, but his spirit will live on in one way or another.
6. Los Angeles Angels
No matter what city the Angels are located in, they give their fans more than enough to cheer about. Competent ownership is so important these days and surprisingly hard to come by.
Besides the rally monkey World Series in 2002, fans pay 50 percent less for beer than they do on average in other stadiums.
That’s something to be thankful for.
5. San Francisco Giants
Torture was and still is the mantra of the Giants. Maybe it’s modesty, maybe it’s hubris. Either way fans have had plenty to smile about.
The 90s were dark times, stuck in the cellar in the abominable Candlestick Park. Now at AT&T, the Giants and their fans are in for something special every trip to the yard.
Whether it’s the perpetual one-run games, the view of the bay or the haute cuisine, San Francisco is baseball’s town these days.
4. St. Louis Cardinals
I’ve heard from multiple sources that the Cardinals have the best fans in baseball. I can understand why.
New stadium, great talent and a world-class manager. A World Series despite having an 83-78 record. Sellouts nearly every single game. Yeah, those are lucky fans.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
Five years ago, this would be a different story. Now it’s good to be a Phillies fan. Domination of NL East. A ridiculous roster. Only injuries are going to keep this team down over the next few years.
You couldn’t be luckier to be a fan of an NL team.
But you still are behind…
2. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox and lucky, who would have thought it?
Two championships in four years tends to do that. Nearly unlimited monies allows the acquisition of practically any player imaginable.
Their farm system is top five nearly every year, and their prospects produce immediately. It’s tough to argue against their fans as the luckiest, but there is always one trump card.
1. New York Yankees
Yankees fans are the luckiest most fortunate. The past 15 years, the Yanks have seen so much prosperity, it’s kinda embarrassing for a Yankees fan to ever complain about anything–though they still do for some reason.
Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. Pennants in 2001 and 2003. A $200 million annual payroll.
Three surefire Hall of Famers on their roster. A brand new stadium and the largest media market in the country. Spoiled only begins to describe it.
For Fan Bases 30-21
For Fan Bases 20-11