Illustrative map of the USA showing MLB fan quality rankings

Please bear in mind that this list was first posted about 1999, but because it remains a popular link – we’ve kept it up. However the opinions expressed are purely anecdotal and intended as merely to provide entertainment. 

1 Chicago Cubs
There is a festive atmosphere surrounding Wrigley Field. Outside the ballpark, beyond the left-field fence, fans often gather to chase those home-run balls. There is plenty of room and the balls are likely to crash into objects, like cars, houses and windows of apartment buildings. There is an unwritten rule in this park that an opponent’s home run ball must be rejected immediately, as though a live hand grenade had been lobbed into the stands. In fact, even homers hit OUT of the stadium are rejected, often coming back INTO the stadium from the street. It is likely that fans bring old balls to the park and throw these back, while keeping the game-balls as souvenirs. For more on Cub fans, please see our Hall of Fame.

2 Boston
First the Good: No one knows baseball like fans from Beantown. Boston is apparently where the beachball craze started, and fans leaving early have sometimes been serenaded with “Good Night Ladies.” The Bad includes numerous battery throwing incidents, which puts them in the same league as Yankee and Cub fans. Outside the ballpark, beyond the left-field fence, fans gather for home run balls just like at Wrigley. However, too many baseballs get caught in the 23-foot high net that is attached to the Green Monster. When balls do make it over, there isn’t the mad scramble you find at Wrigley. With no cars to dent or windows to break, the ball often lands harmlessly on the roof of a nearby bar.

3 New York Yankees
Nowhere in baseball do the fans get as into the game as they do in the rightfield bleachers at a Yankees game. Fortunately much of the raucous behavior has been curbed by laws, however warnings are still posted all over the stadium and announcements are made throughout the game. Infamous fan/player incidents over the years include batteries being pelted at the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 1978 World Series, and a thrown knife once narrowly missed Wally Joyner as he walked back to the dugout.

4 New York Mets
The Shea Stadium audience during the return of Rocker proved that the actual fans are nowhere near as foul as the media perceives. They cheer for every strikeout, dance for every song and boo the fans that drop the foul balls. One of the favorite fan activities remains lining up to punch Mr. Met, the goofy baseball-headed mascot. Bat day had become ‘Hit Mr. Met In The Head Day,’ until management started handing out bats at the end of the game.

5 St. Louis
Supportive. Loyal. Passionate. Appreciative. And just plain happy. All dress in red. Hats, shirts, shorts, and whatever else. They genuinely applaud a sacrifice fly or ground ball that advances a runner from second base to third. They applaud an opposing pitcher who makes a nice play — even if it means the Cardinals’ rally is squashed.

6 Philadelphia
“In Philadelphia, you’d give them a baseball and they would leave you alone,” Angel Manager Mike Scioscia has said. “It was like their form of extortion.” These fans are known for their incessant booing, once even booing Santa Claus. A battery tossing display at J.D. Drew a couple of seasons back reeked of stupidity.

  • “Phillies fans would boo a wake”-Joe Dugan
  • “Some of these people would boo the crack in the Liberty Bell”-Pete Rose
  • “You know what they do when the game’s rained out? They go to the airport and boo landings”-Bob Uecker
Fans enjoying a baseball game from the bleachers, set in the early 1900s. The scene is styled like a black and white photo
7 Baltimore
Classy, loud, and proud of their ballpark and team. The wild fans that used to inhabit Memorial Stadium, were far more fun than those who sip wine and talk on cell phones inside the new park. Fans need a passport before entering some sections of the stadium, which are cordoned off like the Berlin Wall.

Fans’ response
This stereotype has probably been born out of some stinking columnist’ days work from years ago. I have yet to see anyone “sipping wine” at an Orioles game outside of luxury suites, and people use cell phones everywhere. If you’re talking about luxury box behavior, so what? Memorial stadium didn’t have any luxury boxes, or some people would probably have been living high on the hog there too, during ballgames. While Oriole Park is certainly lacking the rowdiness of a Section 34, this other cliche’ is way overdone. I had season tickets the final year at Memorial Stadium, and the “yuppies” who sat in front of me showed up in the third inning and left in the eighth every time, but I wouldn’t charge that Memorial Stadium was FULL of those types. – Submitted

8 Seattle
Very enthusiastic. At the Kingdome, there were times you couldn’t hear the stadium announcer. Sadly, no chants are as loud in the new park as they were in the Kingdome. In 2001, When A-Rod returned as a Ranger, these fans emptied fake dollar bills bearing Rodriguez’s likeness onto the field from the upper decks as he came to the plate for his first at-bat. One fan sat directly behind the Ranger on-deck circle and held out a fishing pole with a dollar bill attached to the end of it as Rodriguez took his warm-up cuts.

Park management seems to discourage much of the fun. For example, fans wearing “Yankees Suck” T-shirts during a series against New York were once told to turn their shirts inside out, take them off or leave.

9 Cleveland
Rated high by players.

10 Cincinnati
All seem interested enough, and quite a few keep the official score.

11 Los Angeles
The notoriously late arriving crowds don’t take their seats until the middle of the fifth inning. That means if there is a give-away for the first 20,000 fans you can be assured of showing up in the first two innings and still get your free Dodgers cooler bag. Everyone seems to understand the game — not screaming for every pop-up and ground ball as at other ballparks. Most are quietly listening to game on a radio. The cell phone has replaced the wave as the biggest baseball annoyance and Dodgers fans must top the majors in cell phone usage.

12 Detroit
Fans are generally friendly and supportive and involved in the game, cheering the few highlights and booing the poor calls and visiting players.

13 Pittsburgh
Enthusiastic, and knowledgeable but appropriately cynical. PNC Park’s chief attraction is that, by bringing fans closer to the field, it allows them to heckle to a degree unimaginable at Three Rivers. All the beloved traditions from Three Rivers from the pierogie races to the rally train, are still on hand in PNC Park . The Rally Train is a stadium graphic that goes up on the video board. When the Pirates start a rally, a video plays of a train. It starts out slowly and the fans start clapping. Baseballs are shoveled into the boiler, and as the train starts going faster, the fans start clapping faster. Just as the clapping reaches its climax, the whistle sounds “wwwwooooo wwwoooooooooooo” drawing “wwwwwwoooooo wwwwoooooo”‘s from the crowd. A trail of “Let’s Go Bucs!” is left in smoke. By the way, PNC Park has the best view in the majors. You really want to sit in the upper deck to enjoy this one.

An old-time, vintage style image of fans enjoying a baseball game from the bleachers
14 Oakland
Drummers, flag-wavers, and horn-blowers thrive in the left field bleachers. George Steinbrenner, on several occasions the 2001 playoffs, telephoned officials in the commissioner’s office complaining about the group of fans who play drums in the left-field stands during every game. The return of Jason in April brought out the boo-birds and made for some genuinely funny moments. A chant of “M-V-P” broke out when Carlos Pena, Giambi’s replacement at first base, came to bat his first time, and from behind the Yankees dugout you could hear “Replaced by a rookie” when Giambi came out for the Yankees’ pregame stretch.

15 San Diego
While generally considered laid-back, these fans have shown a nasty side toward three stars who left as free agents after helping the Padres reach the 1998 World Series. Kevin Brown, Steve Finley and, surprisingly, Ken Caminiti, one of the most popular Padres ever, have all been booed on their returns to San Diego.

16 Chicago White Sox
If Wrigley is festive, then Comiskey is gritty and raw. There are no beer gardens surrounding this Park. It’s located amid the bumper-to-bumper traffic of the Dan Ryan Expressway, and surrounded by parking lots on three sides. It’s a labor of love, being a Sox fan and when these fans are loud, you can feel the stadium shake.

17 Arizona
During the 2001 WS, starter Brian Anderson was asked about the Diamondbacks’ fan traditions. “What would our traditions be?” he said. “Let’s see. Cell phones in the stands, maybe. “Oh yeah, and the tradition of no cheering until the scoreboard tells you to.”
Fans’ response
I went to 4 playoff games this year, including games 1 and 7 of the series, and I was very proud of the fans. Against St. Louis our fans had the guts to boo Matt Williams in his 0-15 playoff slump. Against Atlanta we had “LAR-RY” chants going whenever Chipper got up, every out was cheered, every sacrifice bunt was appreciated, and most importantly, we had a YANKEES SUCK chant going on for over 3 minutes at one point. Fans were wearing Yankees Suck shirts, players were heckled, and we had over 10,000 fans outside of the ballpark watching the series on jumbotrons. 2 hours after game 7 ended there were more fans coming in to downtown Phoenix than there were leaving. Over 300,000 fans showed up for a 45 inute victory parade, in the middle of the day, on a Wednesday. – Submitted

18 Milwaukee
The highlight of any game in Milwaukee has got to be the after the 6th inning when the Great Milwaukee Sausage Race occurs. This event has quickly re-invigorated these traditionally quiet crowds. The race consists of four sausages, the Bratwurst, the Polish Sausage, the Hot Dog and the Italian Sausage, who start out in left field on the warning track, work their way down the third base line, and then finish behind home plate.

19 Texas
In Arlington, the fans are placid, the ambiance touristy, and it is too hot to drink a lot of beer and get belligerent anyway.

20 Atlanta
If you looked up the definition of a “bandwagon fan” in the dictionary, you’d get a picture of a Braves fan doing the Tomahawk Chop. Similar to the fans at many of the other new ballparks, there is a definite “upper crust” quality to them.

21 Kansas City
A demanding scoreboard operator, a lame mascot named Slugerrrrrrrr, and back to back seasons of dancing women in blue sequins during the 7th inning stretch are more management mistakes than strikes against the fans. A typical cell-phone crowd fills the expensive seats at the “K”, while cheaper seats are full of Brett for President signs.

22 Houston
Traditionally quiet fans.

23 San Francisco
Disinterested. Some bring books and catalogs to read during the game — and obviously don’t fit into the baseball park scene. It is awfully hard to hear any excitement. The intimacy of the park, the biggest part of Pac Bell’s charm, allows fans to interfere with balls in play far too easily.

Fans’ response
How completely inane and obtuse can you possibly be? I guess that this is the kind of dreck that passes for objectiveness these days. Please explain to me though how LEADING THE NATIONAL LEAGUE IN ATTENDANCE for two years going on three makes for the worst(?!) fans in all of America? And these are the same terrible fans who have proven time and again to have far more baseball knowledge than many, including the drum beating fair weather bozos across the bay who are so good that they rank 14 spots higher? Maybe you could get over your envy of those with good seats and actually shell out for some for once so that you can get closer to the real action and not have to bash the vast majority who do come to watch the game and make the place electric game after sold out game. Perhaps you could also get beyond your blatant hatred of San Francisco some day so that you might actually be able to post an objective piece. Imbecile. – Submitted

24 Tampa Bay
It’s tough to get good crowds when game time is in direct conflict with bed time. Fans block views because they have no clue where to sit. When they sit, they have no idea how to watch the game, and when something happens in the game, they listen to make sure someone else is cheering first, and then join them. No one thinks to heckle the fans of the away team. You would think that after 75 years of spring training, they’d know better.

A sepia-toned, vintage style image capturing a unique moment at an early 20th century baseball game. The scene shows a fan in the bleachers

25 Anaheim
During a telecast in 2001, two fans in the dugout suite behind home plate were frantically waving their arms at a critical moment in the game. Pitcher Pat Rapp was trying to snuff out an Indians rally and keep the score close at 3-2 Cleveland. Were they exhorting Rapp to get the out? No. They were on cell phones, waving at someone watching the game on television. “About the worst thing that happens (in Anaheim) is some kid will demand a baseball,” says reliever Buddy Groom.

Something Anaheim does have going for it though is the Rally Monkey. He lives on the scoreboard video screen of Edison Field and appears at just the right moments, jumping up and down. The phenomenon has grown so huge that the Angels held a spectacular Rally Monkey first-anniversary bash, complete with clips of Great Moments in Rally Monkey History.
See the monkey in action

26 Florida
See Tampa Bay

27 Colorado
For these fans it’s not about the game, it’s a social event. They arrive late, make cell-phone calls, and leave early.

28 Minnesota
Fair-weather fans in a climate-controlled environment.

29 Toronto
Spectators, not participants. The loudest noises come off the brilliant plays by the fans when catching foul balls. Overly zealous ushers often ask loud fans to keep quiet or leave. The fans in this cement toilet bowl only get excited and loud when the wave, that annoying fad of the ’80s, starts and doesn’t stop

30 Montreal
The few fans that do show up are knowledgeable, however they are too few in number to create any atmosphere at the Big Oh-Oh. When the team was winning in the early 80’s and the mid 90’s the crowds were huge and the atmosphere electric.