What’s more impressive…Snagging four balls at a sold out Yankee Stadium or getting seven balls at a half-empty Shea?
Earlier this season, a fellow baseball collector named Nick created a statistic called “fans per ball.” After several of his games at RFK Stadium, he divided the attendance by the number of balls he caught. He was onto something. I’d been keeping track of attendance since 2001, but never knew what to do with it (other than complain).
But now, thanks to Nick, I’ve come up with a new statistic: Competition Factor.
Instead of dividing by the number of fans, this stat will be calculated by multiplying…so the higher the number, the better. If you catch five balls at a game with 10,000 fans, the Competition Factor is 50,000. Two balls at Fenway? The Competition Factor will be about 73,000.
At my last game at Shea, I snagged seven balls, and the attendance was 49,758. Competition Factor: 348,306.
On September 6, 2005, I got 17 balls at Camden Yards, but the attendance was just 20,729. As a result, my Competition Factor was only slightly better at 352,393.
My best performance ever took place on September 18, 1999 at Turner Field. (Yes, I’m such a dweeb that I once spent a whole day looking up old attendances.) With a crowd of 47,576, I caught 12 balls for a Competition Factor of 570,912.
It’s tough to break half a million. The only other times I did it were:
Other than the few times I got shut out in the early 1990s, my worst Competition Factor was 12,838. That was on May 6, 1996 at Yankee Stadium. One ball. No BP. Bleh.
What do YOU think about this new stat?
Are you now tempted to attend crowded games?
What’s your best/worst Competition Factor ever?
Do you think it’s possible to reach 1 million?
New Competition Factor record:
• 899,955 on 9/19/07 at Chase Field (21 balls, 42,855 fans)