Yanks Reach 3 Million in Attendance
NEW YORK (AP) _ The New York Yankees reached the 3 million mark in home attendance for the first time in franchise history Sunday, breaking the barrier with a sellout crowd against Boston.
The AL East leaders drew 56,028 to see Boston at Yankee Stadium, giving them a season total of 3,016,505 with seven home dates left.
``Drawing 3 million fans for the first time in the long history of the Yankees is a remarkable achievement,″ owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. ``It really shows that Yankee fans are the greatest in the world and the entire Yankee organization thanks them.″
In recent years, Steinbrenner used the fact the Yankees had never attracted 3 million as an argument that the club might need to move from Yankee Stadium. Public debate on the issue has quieted in recent months and no decision from Steinbrenner seems imminent.
New York has averaged 40,764 per home game a year after winning the World Series. A day earlier, the team broke its attendance record of 2,951,467 set last season.
The Yankees and Baltimore, which increased its total to 3,032,116 on Sunday, are the only teams in the majors over 3 million in home attendance.
Prior to playing Boston, the Yankees honored Declan Lowney, 9, of Nanuet, N.Y., as their ceremonial 3 millionth fan.
Lowney was presented with an oversized ticket by pitcher David Cone and given other souvenirs. The boy also threw out the first ball after shaking hands with Yankees starter Roger Clemens.
In the middle of the eighth inning of a 4-1 loss, Yankees manager Joe Torre delivered a taped message on the scoreboard and said, ``On behalf of the New York Yankees, we want to thank you for your attendance.″
Clemens was sorry the Yankees did not do better on the big day.
``You want to put on a good show for the fans,″ he said. ``I’m just sorry they didn’t see us win.″