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Rays’ home playoff crowd is MLB’s smallest since 1919

The Tampa Bay Rays’ home playoff game against the Texas Rangers in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday attracted just 19,704 fans — the fewest for a major league postseason game since 1919 (excluding COVID-affected contests).

The Rays lost 4-0 in the opener of the American League wild-card series. It was their sixth straight playoff loss.

Tampa Bay played 33 more games this season that drew larger crowds than they attracted for the 3:08 p.m. ET playoff contest on Tuesday.

The teams will play Game 2 in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, when the Rays will hope to avoid making a second consecutive early playoff exit.

“The (fans) that were there made it pretty loud, I feel like,” Rays shortstop Taylor Walls said, per The Athletic. “It’s always nice when the seats are full, but at the same time, the people that did come showed up and showed out. Hopefully tomorrow we can pack it in a little bit more and the atmosphere will be what it was today or a little bit better.”

Game 7 of the 1919 World Series, a best-of-nine set featuring the Chicago White Sox and the Reds, was seen in person by just 13,923 people in Cincinnati. That series is infamous for the “Black Sox Scandal,” in which eight members of the White Sox team were banned from baseball for allegedly trying to throw games.

The Reds won that series in eight games.

–Field Level Media

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