The Diamondbacks averaged 23,301 fans through 28 home dates after April and May. Only four other teams in the National League have attracted fewer fans on average.
That might sound normal for Chase Field, except that the D-backs are a first-place team. One would think that the crowds would be larger especially after a 19-10 month of May that included a 10-3 mark at home. Wednesday's attendance for a 4:40 p.m. start: 16,169, the second-smallest crowd of the season.
I asked manager Kirk Gibson if baseball is still a tough sell in the Valley despite the club's winning ways.
"I don't really pay attention to that. I think we just come out, we have an obligation. The fans are fine. We certainly have a core group of people that are very, very supportive of us," Gibson said.
"I think just about in any city, you have that, and then you have people who come out in different segments," Gibson added. "School's probably getting out, maybe you're going to get some more people coming out. Some people in the city I think exit because of the heat. There's really no control over that. And then... those people that are going to jump on at the end. That's fine."
Gibson was then asked what he hears from fans when out and about in town.
"I don't go out in public, " he said. "I go the park, home, back to the park. You think I'm kidding?" Gibson said with a grin.
He does trek up and down Camelback Mountain for exercise.
"They don't really recognize me at Camelback Mountain," he said.
"I think there's positive feedback. Seriously, pretty much I'm consumed by here to home, get some rest and getting back here (to Chase Field), Gibson said.
Perhaps that's a big reason the Diamondbacks are winning and were in first place as of Wednesday morning. Gibson is putting in a lot of time at the office.