McNear: Remembering the worst-attended baseball game since 1979

From Claire McNear at VICE Sports on April 16, 2015:

Thirty-six years ago this Friday, the Oakland Athletics played the Seattle Mariners, and only 250 people showed up.

It was the worst-attended game in Oakland A’s history, and one of the smallest crowds in the history of Major League Baseball—the smallest since 1979, according to the league, and possibly the smallest of all time.

When third baseman Wayne Gross walked onto the field that night at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, he knew that it was bad. There were so few people you could count them, which first baseman Dave Revering attempted to do. It was a weeknight, a bleak, gray Tuesday beset by unseasonable—and un-Californian—cold. Steve Vucinich, then the visiting clubhouse manager, arrived at the park at noon, and it was raining so hard he thought they’d call it. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the temperature slipped into the 40s, wind sweeping in from across the San Francisco Bay. It was no night for baseball.

By then, the once-triumphant A’s were a shadow of the team they had been earlier that decade. The club had stopped winning. The fans had stopped coming.

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Originally published: April 16, 2015. Last Updated: April 16, 2015.