A bitter division rivalry will be renewed Monday night as the Cardinals play host to the Reds at Busch Stadium. Adding to the luster of the game is the fact that it marks the home opener for Mike Matheny's crew.
Naturally, this presented St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Bernie Miklasz the opportunity to once again hail St. Louis as "The Best Baseball Town in America." I'm sure that doesn't exactly tickle the ears of fans in Reds Country, or nearly any other baseball city for that matter.
Here is an excerpt from that piece:
As we flock to Busch Stadium for the 2013 home opener, this is as good time as any to tell everyone that St. Louis is The Best Baseball Town in America.Now, I'm not refuting or supporting his stance, but I do believe it's worthy of sharing on the eve of another Reds-Cardinals series. And while it would be ignorant to suggest that the Cardinals don't have a strong following, it's unclear to me how they consistently hold this belief of having the best fans in baseball.
In case you didn’t know it, we’ll be happy to repeat it. If you didn’t hear us say it the first 100,000 times, no problem. We’ll brag on it again.
And again. …
And again. …
This boasting annoys other fan bases, especially in Cincinnati, Milwaukee and on the North Side of Chicago. I’m sure that Red Sox fans throughout New England would dispute the St. Louis claim. The New York Yankees’ faithful would likely offer a few choice, colorful words of dissent.
Except that deep down inside, they know it is true.
How do you even measure something like that? Do you base it solely off attendance? Do you base it off merchandise sales? Or do you just blindly look around and dub your fan base as the best in the industry?
It's definitely one of those things that is hard to objectively determine. I think it's safe to assume that all fans truly believe their team has the best of the best when it comes to supporters. Well, outside of the Miami Marlins at least. Even they could probably admit that they would rather soak up some rays on the beach than watch the product the Fish are putting on the diamond these days.
Anyways, it's important to note that St. Louis fans have enjoyed tremendous success throughout their history: 11 world championships, 18 pennants, and the fourth-highest winning percentage in MLB history (.518), trailing only the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees.Furthermore, Cardinals fans have endured just one losing season since 2000, and a fourth-place finish or worst in just three seasons since 1990.
All in all, St. Louis is accustomed to being on top in the baseball world. That is probably one of the reasons why the Cards have no troubling putting butts in seats at home games. People tend to flock toward things that they are good at. For example, take the state of Kentucky and basketball. Or even North Carolina and Indiana in regards to basketball. Exactly.
Again, I'm not saying that St. Louis isn't the best baseball town in America. Nor am I saying that it is. But I am saying to make such a claim with such certainty is foolish, as it is virtually impossible to measure. Yes, even for Reds fans.