“MLB sets new Interleague attendance records”
New York, NY (Major League Baseball) July 1, 2008 – Major League Baseball (MLB) has set new records for total and average attendance during Interleague Play (8,893,312 and 35,573, respectively), eclipsing the previous marks (8,795,939 and 34,905) set last season. It marks the third straight season that MLB has set new highs for attendance during Interleague Play and the fifth straight year that the total Interleague attendance has increased. One Interleague game still remains (the July 10th make-up of the June 26th NYY-PIT rainout).
The 2008 Interleague average of 35,573 per game is 15.9 percent higher than this season’s current intraleague average of 30,689 per game. Since its inception in 1997, Interleague Play has drawn 12.5 percent more fans than intraleague games; Interleague Play has averaged 33,250 fans per game, compared to the intraleague average of 29,563 fans per game during the same span.
Overall this season, MLB’s cumulative average attendance is 31,687 fans per game (38,784,809 fans over 1,224 dates), representing a 0.6 percent increase over the same date during the record-breaking 2007 season and currently putting MLB on track for a fifth consecutive year of record overall attendance.
Thus far, the American League has posted 149-102 record in Interleague Play, marking the fifth straight season in which the A.L. has won the season-series and extending its all-time Interleague lead to 1,536-1,419 (.520). Eleven of the A.L.’s 14 Clubs finished over .500. A.L. Clubs collected a .275 batting average with 1,247 runs scored, 276 home runs and a 3.69 ERA, compared to the N.L.’s .251 batting average, 1,010 runs scored, 251 home runs and 4.56 ERA.
With a 2.44 team ERA, the Minnesota Twins earned the top Interleague record with a 14-4 (.778) mark, followed by the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals, both of whom went 13-5 (.722). Overall, A.L. Central Clubs went 58-32 (.644) in Interleague Play, with four of its five Clubs going 12-6 or better. The New York Yankees, who were 10-7 in Interleague Play this year, have baseball’s best all-time Interleague record at 123-86 (.589), followed by the Oakland Athletics (10-8) at 123-89 (.580). The Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets tied for the N.L.’s best Interleague mark with 9-6 records. The Florida Marlins, who went 5-10 in Interleague Play this year, still have the National League’s best all-time Interleague record at 110-91 (.547).
Interleague Play’s all-time statistical leaders include Albert Pujols with a .350 batting average; Derek Jeter with 278 hits; Jim Thome with 55 home runs; Carlos Delgado with 153 RBI; Mike Mussina with 21 wins; Johan Santana with a 2.49 ERA; and Mariano Rivera with 55 saves.
The Interleague leaders in 2008 were Aaron Miles of the St. Louis Cardinals with a .463 batting average; Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox with 36 hits; Jermaine Dye of the Chicago White Sox with eight home runs and 23 RBI; Mark Buehrle (4-0) of the White Sox, Andy Sonnanstine (4-0) of the Tampa Bay Rays and A.J. Burnett (4-1) of the Toronto Blue Jays with four wins; Jair Jurrjens of the Atlanta Braves with 0.00 ERA (min.: 1.0 IP per team’s games played); and George Sherrill of the Baltimore Orioles and Joakim Soria of the Kansas City Royals with seven saves apiece.