The Cleveland Indians have the lowest average attendance in baseball. Lower, even, than the Miami Marlins, who most people would assume own that dishonor. In fact, Miami is only fifth worst.
Cleveland's average of 14,205 makes places like Miami, Tampa Bay and Kansas City look somewhat decent. The Royals, in fact, are second worst in baseball and average 4,000 more per game than the Indians.
On Monday and Tuesday, the Indians drew 9,514 and 9,474 with the Oakland Athletics in town. This was part of the Indians' current hot streak, in which they've won 10 out of 11 games. And relief pitcher Frank Herrmann's frustration made him try something. Herrmann, who is out for the season after Tommy John surgery, took to Twitter:
I would never tell people how to spend their hard earned disposable income but sub 10,000 fans back to back nights to see the hottest team in baseball is not getting it done. I am going to provide my own little stimulus package and give out two tickets to tomorrow nights game.
Herrmann (pictured) told fans to submit nicknames for Indians players and he'd pick the best one and give away a pair of tickets.
Teammate Josh Tomlinsaw this and jumped on board, saying he'd do the same thing. They told people to use the hashtag #TribeNames. Fans did and the players gave away tickets. Nice gesture and nice use of social media, right?
This story doesn't end there, though. Team president Mark Shapiro took notice and started a nickname contest of his own. Only he offered a pair of tickets to the Indians' social suite for Thursday's game.
— Mark Shapiro (@MarkShapiro) May 9, 2013
Is giving out a few free tickets on Twitter going to help the Indians attendance woes? Probably not. Attendance jumped up a little bit for the past two games: 11,125 and 12,477, but you can't really attribute that to Twittering.
Still, it's cool to see a pitcher on the disabled list try something and the team president take notice and join in. I checked with the Indians, this truly was organic — not a cleverly disguised marketing department initiative.
Which inspires this idea: Maybe the Indians should give Herrmann a marketing gig while he's doing his Tommy John rehab.