*sort of. Not an all-inclusive list, just a few of the best, then and now.
This is a list of a few of the most loyal, most interesting fans in the
Majors. It covers over 100 years of history, betrayal, and rivalries
that make baseball the dramatic, interesting sport that it is off the
field. Since today kicks off the first official game of Spring training
(yay!) it’s time we salute you, the fans, for being there every season.
The Royal Rooters
The Royal Rooters, led by Third Base Saloon owner Mike “Nuf Ced” McGreevey, were a rowdy group of Irish fans who cheered on the Red Sox from 1903, where they were instrumental in distracting the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series, until 1918. They would clank glasses and sing songs, most notably “Tessie”, and change the words to further torment opposing teams and inspire the Red Sox to victory.
The Rooters are a fascinating bunch, check them out if you get a chance.
Known for their “Roll-call” after the first pitch and their always amusing “(enter name here) sucks” chants, the Bleacher Creatures of Yankee stadium exemplify the essence of being a fan no matter how where your seats are.
They are loyal Yankees fans, and they will let you know it. The Bleacher Creatures are also master hecklers, and a staple at Yankees games for years.
In the Old Yankee Stadium, they occupied sections 39 & 37, and will move to their new home in section 203 when the new Yankee Stadium opens in April.
Now disbanded, Damon’s Disciples formed in 2004 when Johnny Damon, then a member of the Boston Red Sox, made the descision to not cut his hair or shave until the Red Sox had won it all. The leader of the “Idiots” of 2004, Damon’s antics kept the clubhouse loose and his teammates laughing. It also endeared him to the Red Sox rabid fan-base, and created a fan group known as Damon’s Disciples. Because the hair and beard made him look like Jesus, his followers donned wigs and beards and called themselves “disciples”.
While Red Sox Nation will always realize that Damon was a huge reason for ending the championship drought, he will unfortunately also be remembered like this: “looked like Jesus, threw like Mary, betrayed like Judas”.
While this isn’t a specific “group” like the previous three, we take a moment to salute baseballs most loveable losers. Most teams fans would jump ship after a century of no rings. Or at least after their team has lost 9 straight post-season games, most likely due to the pressure of said 100-year drought. Now, whether you believe in the curse of the goat or not, you have to respect the fans who come out, year after year, disappointment after dissapointment, and cheer on their team.
Since we just talked about the Cubbies, might as well mention their arch-rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. Cards fans are present and loud, St. Louis, like Boston, is a baseball town. Even when the Rams were the “Greatest Show on Turf”, St. Louis maintained their love for the Cardinals.
So Cards fans, we salute you.
Giants fans make this list because of their loyalty. As a Giants fan about Barry Bonds and you would get a defense better than the one at OJ Simpson’s trial. These guys are fiercely loyal, and really into their team. I have to respect that, and admire them for sticking by their guys no matter what.
The Phils Phans make the list because of the sheer meaness and rowdiness of the fan base. I mean, their old stadium had a prison in it just for disorderly conduct arrests.
We give them props for have the guts to boo Santa, and generally make life miserable for visiting fans and teams.
Red Sox Nation
We end our show with one of the most knowledgeable, and one of the best traveling fan bases in all of baseball: Red Sox Nation. The Nation is massive, though many are bandwagon fans who jumped on in 2004 or 2007. However, much of Red Sox Nation is made up of true fans. Even when the Patriots were having their dynastic run, they couldn’t replace the Sox in the hearts of Boston fans everywhere. There is no doubt about it, Boston is, and always has been, a baseball town.
Red Sox Nation gets props here because of their loyalty and their presence at away games. Its actually cheaper for most fans to fly somewhere and see the Red Sox then take in a game at Fenway, though those tickets are always coveted. When the Sox play the Orioles at Camden, I go, and Red Sox Nation far out numbers the birds fans there. They are always vocal, and always supportive of the team, no matter what.
That’s All Folks!
Like I said, this was not an inclusive list, and I’m sure I missed quite a few great fans, and I’d love to hear about them. Fans are the lifeblood of baseball, and the crazier they are, the more I love them. So to all the baseball fans out there who are counting down the days until April, I salute you. 🙂