The Angels are No. 1 -- not only in baseball but in all of professional sports -- when it comes to giving fans what they want in a franchise, according to an ESPN the Magazine survey. The magazine's annual survey ranked the Angels as the top team in baseball a year ago and this year placed them at the top of all 122 pro sports teams studied in terms of "paying fans back for their investment of time, money and passion," as an ESPN release said. Last year's No. 1 overall was the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The survey noted the Angels' fan-friendly promotions and ticket prices, and their string of chart-topping years in attendance. But of course it also took into account that manager Mike Scioscia's group on the field has won more games since 2004 than any club in baseball other than the Red Sox, making the playoffs four of the past five years.
"This honor means a great deal to our organization because it was voted on by the fans," Angels owner Arte Moreno said in an ESPN statement. "I am extremely proud of our staff for working day in and day out to provide what we call the 'Baseball Experience.' Their focus is always on our fans, which would include providing courteous service, affordable pricing, and a clean environment. And, of course, the baseball people work hard to put a winning team on the field!" The survey, which the magazine says is driven by research and fan feedback, has been presented as "Ultimate Standings" since 2003. The conclusions are based on eight categories: Affordability, coaching, fan relations, ownership, players, stadium experience, "Title Track" (winning) and "Bang for the Buck" (winning during the previous three years). The Brewers are the only other MLB team in the top 10, ranking seventh. The Angels ranked first among all pro teams in promotions, followed at No. 2 by the Royals. The Rays, who took one of the larger leaps to No. 16 overall, were ranked No. 1 overall among the 122 teams in affordability. No MLB clubs are in the bottom 10 overall.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, The Grind. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.