To fans at many other college baseball powerhouses (Texas, Mississippi, and the like), today's home opener crowd would be very disappointing: only 696 in attendance.
But take a look at the average attendance figures for the past few seasons:
- 645 (not counting post-season)
696 fans showed up on an extremely cold Saturday afternoon in early March, the temperature at game time around 32-33 degrees and a high during the game of 35 (and we all know that it's consistently 5-10 degrees colder inside Taylor Stadium than anywhere else in Columbia).
That's more than the average attendance last season.
In the post-game interview on KTGR, Coach Tim Jamieson said he was pleased with the turnout.
"I'm not sure I would have come out to see us play today, " he said.
Ryan Lollis, the player of the game, echoed his coach's surprise and plesure at the size of the crowd. He said this early in the season, in this kind of weather, he'sc ome to expect a few parents and not much of anyone else else in the stands.
As a fan who has been to nearly every home game in the past 15 years, I would rank my pleasure and excitement at today's turnout as only the 2nd most exciting crowd I've ever seen at Simmons Field.
The best crowd experience ever, of course, was at last year's Regional, when over 3,000 showed up every night.
The crowd today was a good mix of parents/friends of the team, students and fans from the Columbia area.
Looks like this Tiger Baseball team is finally getting some attention. If this team can pull this kind of crowd on a day like today, this could be the year Columbia and the campus really discovers what many of us have known for years - Simmons Field is a great place to be!
Also, I'm uploading several good photos from opening day on SimmonsField.com, all taken by Larry "SuperFan" Wyatt: http://groups.msn.com/SimmonsField/2...