Fun pregame activity for Florida Marlins players: Guess the attendance. Wednesday's opponent at Dolphins Stadium: Atlanta Braves. So Marlins reliever Joe Nelson does a head count and guesses, 418 fans. He was way off. The true count: 600. Each fan had his own personal usher. But was this a record for lowest attendance? Sorry, Marlins fans. You'll have to do a lot better to approach the modern Major League record of ... 23.
On September 8, 1916, the New York Yankees came to Philadelphia to play the hapless Athletics. The fans sitting in Shibe Park for the rain-delayed game were outnumbered by the men in uniform. In fact, when the Yankees were at bat, they had more players on the bench than fans in the seats. After an 8-2 win over the Yankees, for the only time in major league history, a team was two games back for every fan in attendance. 46 games back of the first place Red Sox and an announced attendance of 23. Post Script: The 23 brave fans saw another record that day. Philadelphia outfielder Wally Schang, a switch-hitter was the first major leaguer to hit home runs in consecutive at bats from different sides of the plate.
Actually, the Marlins claim that they sold 11,211 tickets for the game; it's just that most decided not to show up as game-time temperatures hit 90 degrees. "I got enough worries about 30 guys on the field,'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It doesn't seem to bother our guys. They go out and play hard.'' Hanley Ramirez homered and doubled to lead the Marlins past the Braves 5-3. Jeremy Hermida had two hits and an RBI. "The fans that did come out that's who we play for,'' Nelson said. "I know a lot of people watch us at home, and I do understand, it's hot out here. It's a difficult situation to sit for nine innings.'' Braves manager Bobby Cox extended his major league ejection record to 143, getting tossed in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Florida trails the first-place Mets in the East by eight games, a fact that their fan base obviously finds too depressing to face. Come on people, it's the Mets. Do you not remember last year? Marlins 5, Braves 3 [NBCSports]