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April 25, 2018

Japan: NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), 2018 – location map, with profile-boxes of the 12 teams, and NPB titles list (1950-2017).

Filed under: Baseball,Japan,Japan: Baseball — admin @ 12:07 pm

japan_npb-baseball_2018-location-map_with-titles-list_post_b_.gif"
Japan: NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), 2018 – location map, with profile-boxes of the 12 teams, and NPB titles list (1950-2017)


By Bill Turianski on 25 April 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Nippon Professional Baseball (en.wikipedia.org).
-reddit.com/r/NPB.
-Official website…npb.jp/eng/teams.
公式サイト…npb.jp.

The map-page…
The map-page features a location-map of the 12 NPB teams in Japan, with team profile-boxes overlaid. The main map is augmented by an inset-map of Greater Tokyo (at the lower-left of the map-page). At the upper-left of the map-page is a globe-map showing Japan’s location in East Asia. Below that, at the far left, is a small multi-color map of Japan, showing the country’s regions within the four primary islands (plus Okinawa) which comprise Japan, as well as NPB representation within those regions. At the upper-right of the map-page is a chart showing NPB titles by team (1950-2017), as well as Central League-/-Pacific League titles won by each team (see: Rules in NPB and league format section 4 paragraphs below for more on that). Below that is a small chart showing NPB representation in Japanese cities (the 8 cities in Japan with a population of more than 2 million in their metro-areas).

The team-profile-boxes feature basic info on the teams, including primary-cap-logo, location and venue, ownership, and titles, plus team mascots. Secondary logos are next to each team’s profile-box.

Demographics of Japan
The population of Japan is around 126.6 million {source: 2017 estimate, here at Japan en.wikipedia page}. This puts Japan as the 10th-most-populous nation on Earth. Japan is not very large in terms of land area, though: it is the 61st-largest country, at 377,972 km-squared (145,936 sq mi). That makes Japan slightly smaller than the US state of Montana, and slightly larger than the nation of Germany. The largest city in Japan (by far) is, of course, Tokyo…which is absolutely gigantic, and has a metro-area population that is the largest on the planet (at ~37.8 million). {Source.} Basically, 30% of the population of Japan resides in Tokyo’s metropolitan area. [Note: again, on the map-page, there is a list of the largest cities in Japan.] Japan has about the 28th-highest adjusted-GDP in the world {see this, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita).

Nippon Professional Baseball was formed in 1950.
The set-up consisted of 12 teams, with 6 teams in the Central League, and 6 teams in the Pacific League. Like Major League Baseball back then, the teams in one league did not play teams in the other league during the regular season. This 12 team / 2 league format remains to this day. The Japanese mimicry of Major League Baseball’s format continued, when, in 1975, one league – the Pacific League – adopted the Designated Hitter rule (this was 2 years after MLB’s American League instituted the DH rule, while the National League did not). Nippon Professional Baseball continued to take its cues from Major League Baseball when inter-league play between the Central League and the Pacific League was introduced in 2005 (8 years after inter-league play was intstituted in Major League Baseball).

Rules in NPB and league format:
The rules in NPB are the same as in MLB, except with tie games going into extra innings…after 12 innings, the game is declared a tie (a draw) in the standings, except in the post-season, when tied games after 15th innings are abandoned, and then later re-played.

The 2 leagues both play 144-game regular seasons. Unlike in MLB, in Japan, the pennant-winner is crowned before the playoffs begin… the teams with the best regular season records in the two leagues are the Central League Pennant winner and the Pacific League Pennant winner. (In other words, unlike in MLB’s World Series, in Japan, the teams that meet to decide the NPB title in the Japan Series are not necessarily pennant winners.) The top 3 teams in each league make the playoffs. The pennant-winners (again, first place team from the regular season), gets a bye to the second round; while the 2nd-place and 3rd-place finishers play in the First Stage (a 3-game-series). Then the First Stage winners play the Pennant winners in the Second Stage (a 5-game-series). Those two playoff-winners then play for the title, in the Japan Series (a 7-game-series).

Distribution of NPB teams throughout Japan…
While it is true that Japanese baseball franchises do sometimes move, that is part of a broader trend of teams simply going to areas that had been historically ignored by Nippon Professional Baseball. Because as recently as 1988, 30 years ago, 9 of the 12 NPB teams used to be located in just two regions – the Greater Tokyo Bay area [the Kanto region], which previously had 6 teams (5 teams are located there now), and the central Japan/Osaka/Kobe area, which previously had 3 teams (2 teams are located there now). Since then, franchises have moved to Kysuhu Island (where the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks [est. 1989] are located), and Hokkaido Island (where the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters [est. 2004] are located. The Osaka region lost its 3rd team when the Orix BlueWave merged with the Kintetsu Buffaloes. And then when the only-ever players’ strike in NPB (in the late summer of 2004) forced the league to reverse their decision to contract to 11 teams in 2005, the new franchise (the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles) was not re-placed in the Osaka region, but instead put in the Sendai region north of Tokyo. There is one area that has never had an NPB team, and that would probably support one pretty well – the NW Honshu Island (main island) city of Niigata, which is on the west coast on the Sea of Japan. Niigata (population of around .8 million) is home to one of the highest-drawing J-League soccer teams in Japan – Albirex Niigata, who became the first-ever J-League team to average over 40,000 per game, in 2005.

Foreign player restrictions:
4 foreign players on the 25-man active roster allowed, with no organizational limit.

Minor leagues in Japan:
Each NPB team has 1 minor league team in its organization, and most of the minor league teams use the name and uniforms of their parent-club, and the minor league team also plays in the same area as their parent-club (exception – in location: Hokkaido’s minor league team is still located in the Tokyo Bay area).

Japanese-born players in Major League Baseball
Up to the 2018 season, a total of 55 Japanese-born players have played at least 1 game in Major League Baseball. {Source: List of Major League Baseball players from Japan.} The biggest restriction is the 9-year rule, disallowing any NPB player without 9 years’ tenure with a NPB team’s organization, and along with that, another impediment is the ‘Posting’ system {see this: en.wikipedia.org/[Posting system]}.

Current [2018] Japanese-born players in MLB…

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Photo credits above – 1996 BBM Ichiro card, from ebay.com. 2001 [Mariners/Keebler stadium-giveaway-item] Ichiro card, from ebay.com. 2001 Topps Ichiro card, from topps.com.

Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners OF (age 44). Once he finally retires, Ichiro will become the first Japanese-born player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and he will probably be elected on the first ballot. After all, he is one of the 31 players in all of Major League Baseball history that is in The 3,000 hits club [and there has never been any allegations of doping/steroid abuse wrt Ichiro]. Ichiro, who prefers to be referred to by his first name, played in NPB for 9 seasons with the Orix Blue Wave (1992-2000), where he was a 7-time All-Star (1994–2000), a 3-time Pacific League MVP (1994–1996), and was part of the 1996 Orix Blue Wave team that were NPB champions (see 1996 trading card above). Ichiro was signed by the Seattle Mariners in Nov. 2000, becoming the first Japanese-born position player to sign for an MLB team. In the following year of 2001, amid heavy coverage by both Japanese and North American media, Ichiro was the first player to lead in Batting Average and Stolen Bases (.350/56), since Jackie Robinson did it in 1949. And he became only the second player to win the AL Rookie of the Year award and the AL MVP award (the first was Boston’s Fred Lynn in 1975). Ichiro played 11-and-a-half seasons for Seattle (2001-12), then played 2-and-a-half seasons for the New York Yankees (2012-14), then played 3 seasons for the Miami Marlins (2015-17). He returned to the Seattle Mariners in 2018, as a 44-year-old. Excerpts from the Ichiro Suzuki page at en.wikipedia.org…”Ichiro has established a number of batting records, including MLB’s single-season record for hits with 262. He achieved 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons, the longest streak by any player in history. Between his major league career in both Japan and the United States, Ichiro has the most hits by any player in top-tier professional leagues…In his combined playing time in NPB and MLB, Ichiro has received 17 consecutive selections both as an All-Star and Gold Glove winner, won nine league batting titles and been named MVP four times…He is also noted for his longevity, continuing to produce at a high level while approaching 43 years of age…In total he has over [4,450] hits in his career.”…{Excerpts from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichiro_Suzuki.}

Junichi Tazawa, Miami Marlins Relief Pitcher (RHP) (age 31). Tazawa never played in NPB. He was un-drafted out of high school, and so he played for the company team of Nippon Oil in the corporate league [unaffiliated with NPB], and was MVP in that company-league’s post-season in 2008. It was then, circa late-2008/early-2009 that Tazawa became the first amateur Japanese ballplayer to shun the NPB, and sign with an MLB team (the Boston Red Sox) {see this article from 2008 from ESPN.com, Amateur Tazawa bypassing Japan leagues for MLB}. Tazawa worked middle relief for the Red Sox for 7 seasons (2009; 2011-16), and was part of the Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series championship team, making 13 appearances in the 2013 post-season including 5 appearances in the World Series that year, with these post-season stats: 13 app/1-0/1.38 ERA/7.1 IP. Tazawa has been a middle reliever for the Marlins since 2017.

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs Starting Pitcher (RHP) (age 31). Played in NPB for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2005–2011); posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and signed with the Texas Rangers in Jan. 2012. Yu Darvish is the son of an Iranian-born father and a Japanese mother. In NPB, Darvish was a two-time Pacific League MVP (2009, 2011), a 5-time NPB All-Star (2007–2011), and led the Pacific League in Strikeouts 3 times and in ERA twice. Darvish was a member of the 2006 NPB champions the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. In MLB, playing for the Texas Rangers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now the Chicago Cubs, Darvish has an overall 18.3 WAR, going 56-44 (3.50 ERA) [as of 24 April 2018]. Darvish’s best season in MLB was in 2013, when he went 13-9 (2.84 ERA) and led the majors in Strikeouts (277, with 80 Walks). Darvish has been a 4-time All-Star (2012–2014, 2017). But Darvish had a bad World Series with the LA Dodgers in 2017, getting bombed in both appearances, going 0-2 with a 21.60 ERA (when the Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros in 7 games). Darvish’s problems continued on into 2018, where he is [as of 24 April 2018] 0-2 (6.86 ERA) for the Cubs.

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees Starting Pitcher (RHP) (age 29). Played in NPB for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (2007–2013); posted by the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and signed with the New York Yankees in Jan. 2014. Was 6-time NPB All-Star (2007–2009, 2011–2013), and led NPB in ERA twice (2011, 2013); plus Tanaka was a member of the 2013 NPB champions (the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles). Tanaka has been a vital part of the Yankees’ rotation since 2014, with an overall 12.6 WAR, going 55-30 (3.63 ERA) [as of 24 April 2018]. In 2014, Tanaka went 13-5 (2.77 ERA) for the Yankees and was a 2014 All-Star, but injuries kept him from playing most of the second-half of 2014. In 2016, Tanaka went 14-4 (3.04 ERA), with the best WAR for the Yankees that year, at 5.2.

Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers. Starting Pitcher (RHP) (age 30). Played in NPB for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (2008–2015); posted by Hiroshima Toyo Carp and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Jan. 2016. Was a 5-time NPB All-Star (2010, 2012–2015). For the Dodgers, Maeda has been a solid starter, going 16-11 (3.48 ERA) in 2016, and 13-6 (4.22 ERA) in 2017.

Yoshahisa Hirano, Arizona Diamondbacks. Relief Pitcher (RHP) (age 34). Played in NPB for 11 seasons with the Orix Buffaloes (2006-07; 2009-17). Hirano had more than the requisite 9 years tenure in NPB, so he didn’t have to be posted. Hirano signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dec. 2017. Was the NPB Middle Reliever of the Year in 2011, and Saves leader in the 2014 Pacific League. So far, Hirano has fit in very well in MLB with Arizona, and [as of 24 April 2018] he has made 11 appearances in middle relief, with a 1-0 record and a 1.74 ERA for the division-leading D-backs.

Kazihisa Makita, San Diego Padres. Relief Pitcher (RHP) (age 33). Played in NPB for the Seibu Lions (2011-17); posted by Seibu Lions and signed by the San Diego Padres in Dec. 2017. Makita has a sidewinder (or submarine) delivery. Was Pacific League Rookie of the Year in 2011, and an NPB All-Star in 2011 and 2013. For the Padres, [as of 24 April 2018] he has 11 appearances in middle relief, with a 4.50 ERA.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels. Starting Pitcher (RHP) and DH/OF (Bats Left) (age 23). Played in NPB for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2013–17). Was posted by Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and was signed by the Los Angeles Angels in Dec. 2017. Ohtani is a dual-threat player who can pitch with speed and finesse AND who can hit for power and for average. Ohtani proved it in Japan, and right now, so far, he is proving he can do it in Major League Baseball. Ohtani was part of the 2016 NPB champions (the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters). As a starting pitcher in NPB, Ohtani had the Pacific League’s best ERA in 2015, and he was voted to the NPB Best Nine as a Pitcher in 2015 and 2016, as well as being voted to the NPB Best Nine as DH in 2016. Which is absolutely unprecedented. Ohtani recalls the pitching-and-slugging skills once displayed by no less than Babe Ruth himself, back in the 1910s and 1920s (Babe Ruth, for the Boston Red Sox in 1919, hit 20 HRs and pitched for a 9-5 record with an ERA of 2.97 in 133 IP). Ohtani’s current MLB numbers: [as of 24 April 2018] 3 HR, 1 Triple, 1 Double and 11 RBIs in 42 AB (a .333 BAvg and a .619 SPct) plus a 2-1 pitching record (4.46 ERA) in 4 GS and 20.1 IP. Ohtani appears to be the real deal, and along with Mike Trout, could very well lead the division-leading Angels to post-season glory soon. {From Deadspin, from the 25th of April, Shohei Ohtani Threw The Ball Hard As F*ck (by Tom Ley at deadspin.com).}
shohei-otani_hokkaido-nippon-ham-fighers_los-angeles-angels_d_.gif
Photo credits above – Ohtani as pitcher and as batter for Hokkaido, 2 photos by Kyodo News/Getty Images via si.com. Ohtani batting for LA Angels, and Ohtani pitching for LA Angels, 2 photos by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com.

    2017 Japan Series: Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat Yokohoma DeNa BayStars, 4 games to 2. (Fourth NPB title in 7 seasons for Fukuoka.)

2017-japan-series_npb_fukuoka-softbank-hawks_2017-champions_fukuoka-dome_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Dennis Sarfate, photo by Kyodo News via gettyimages.com. Keizo Kawashima, photo by Kyodo News via japantimes.co.jp. Nao Higashihama, photo by Kyodo News via gettyimages.com. Yuki Yanagita, photo by Kyodo News via gettyimages.com.
Alfredo Despaigne, photo by Gaffkey at File:Hawks54-Despaigne.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Fukuoka at twilight, photo by Alamy via theguardian.com/travel/flourishing-fukuoka…. Fukuoka Dome, photo unattributed at blog.gaijinpot.com/fukuokas-seaside-momochi. The Fukuoka Hawks’ balloon-release (a 7th inning tradition at Fukuoka Dome), photo by Brad Merrett at bradmerrett.com/blog/go-hawks. Mascots: photos from softbankhawks.co.jp.

___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Blank map of Japan, by Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) at File:Japan location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Globe-map of Japan, by Connormah at File:Japan (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Map of Japan’s regions, by Ken Nashi at start-point.net/maps.
-Map of Tokyo (Kantō MMA) metro-area, by Kzaral at File:Tokyo-Kanto definitions, Kanto MMA.png.
-worldatlas.com/articles/10-biggest-cities-in-japan.
-Seibu Lions mascot/photo from store.seibulions.jp.
-Chiba Lotte Marines new mascot (Mystery Fish), image from palusuke.com.
-Hiroshima Toyo Carp mascot (Slyly), illustration from seiga.nicovideo.jp.

-Thanks to MeGaNiNjA (スピードさん) @MegaNiNj4, for requesting this map (via twitter), and for helping me find mascot illustrations.

April 14, 2018

Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2018 location-map with 2017 attendances and KBO titles list./+ Illustration: 2017 Korean Series champions, the KIA Tigers.

Filed under: Baseball,Korea: baseball — admin @ 4:36 pm

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Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2018 location-map with 2017 attendances and KBO titles list


By Bill Turianski on 14 April 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO teams…KBO League/ Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO official site/schedule, scores, standings; About KBO, etc. (in English, with Korean option)…http://eng.koreabaseball.com/.
-KBO 리그의 공식 사이트http://www.koreabaseball.com/Default.aspx.

-KBO League bunt contest, http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2016/07/18/190349428/korean-baseball-organization-holds-bunt-derby-at-all-star-game.
-Bat flips ! (Bat flips rule. ) Best Bat Flips in KBO (3:16 video uploaded in Nov 2016 by Yoriel Lalane at youtube.com).

-My first post on KBO League (from Feb. 2010) has lots of info on the culture of Korean baseball,
Korea Baseball Organization: the 8 teams, with teams’ parent corporations listed, and baseball stadium photos (billsportsmaps.com/February 2010).

-From Deadspin.com…[warning: unfortunately, link is wonky] How To Get Into The KBO, The Wildest, Most Outlandish Baseball League In The World (by Sung Min Kim on March 28 2017 at deadspin.com).

KBO League map-page…
The map-page features a location-map of the 10 KBO League teams, including an inset-map of Greater Seoul. Circular-cap-logos are sized to reflect 2017 average attendance…the larger the circular-cap-logo, the higher the team’s attendance. There are 3 charts to the right of the map/inset-map…one chart for 2017 KBO League Attendance Data, one chart for KBO League Titles List (1982-2017), and one chart that shows all the cities in South Korea with a population above 1 million and the KBO-League-representation there. Plus there is a section that shows KBO League teams’ mascots (via 2016 stamps that were issued by Korea Post). Mascots are big time in Korean baseball (as well as in Japanese baseball). And speaking of Japan, my next post [on the 25th of April] will be of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (2018 NPB location-map with NPB teams’ profile boxes, including mascots, etc./+ Illustration for: 2017 NPB champions, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks).


(Old-content-disclaimer: the next couple of paragraphs are almost verbatim from my last post on the KBO League {from 2015}.)

Demographics of South Korea
The population of South Korea is around 51.4 million {source: 2017 estimate, here at South Korea en.wikipedia page}. This puts South Korea as the 27th-most-populous nation on Earth. South Korea is very small, though: it is the 109th-largest country (at 100,210 km-sq or 66,690 mi-sq). That makes South Korea slightly smaller than Iceland, and slightly larger than Hungary. The largest city in South Korea (by far) is, of course, Seoul…which is absolutely gigantic, and has a metro-area population that is fifth-largest on the planet. Seoul has a special-city population of around 10.1 million, and metro-area population of around 25.6 million ! {2017 figures). Only Tokyo, Japan (at ~37.8 million), Shanghai, Jakarta, and Delhi have larger metro-area populations than does Seoul. {Source.} Basically, half of the population of South Korea resides in Seoul’s metropolitan area. South Korea has about the 30th-highest adjusted-GDP in the world {see this, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita).

KBO League est. 1982; 10 teams. Season: 144 games/5-team playoffs w/reg-season-winner getting bye to the 5-game Korean Series
Pro major-league baseball in South Korea began in 1982, with the institution of the KBO League as a 6-team league. A minor league was established eight years later in 1990 – the KBO Futures League. In 1986, the KBO League expanded to include a seventh team. In the first decade of its existence, the KBO League as a whole was only drawing in the 5 to 7 K range. By 1991, the KBO League had 8 teams. In 1995, cumulative attendance for the season finally topped 10 K per game, boosted by the exciting 1995 KBO season which saw three teams, the OB Bears, the LG Twins, and the Lotte Giants, go neck-to-neck for the pennant (the title in ’95 was won by the OB, now Doosan, Bears). However, this league attendance figure wasn’t surpassed for 14 years. After 1995, the KBO began to see dwindling fan interest that lasted for about a decade. What first helped reverse the gradual slide in attendances from 1996 to 2004 was the good showing that the South Korean national baseball team had in the first World Baseball Classic, in 2005, when they finished in third. Another boost to the game there came three years later, when South Korea narrowly lost to Japan in extra innings in the second World Baseball Classic, and then six months later, the South Korean baseball team won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. These results convinced many South Korean sports fans that KBO baseball was a product worth supporting. In 2008, league-wide attendance shot up 2.3 K per game to 10.4 K; the next year [2009] it was 11.1 K, and the KBO League has drawn above 11 K ever since. The health of Korean pro baseball these days can be seen in the fact that there has been recent expansion. The KBO League finally got to 10 teams with creation of a 9th team (the NC Dinos) in 2013, and a 10th team (the KT Wiz) in 2015.

And there is no doubt that the caliber of Korean baseball players has improved in the last 25 years or so. There is a large number of South Koreans playing in Japan, in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). And in the United States (and Canada), in Major League Baseball, there are currently 5 Korean-born players, of which I have brief profiles below.

List of Major League Baseball players from South Korea (en.wikipedia.org).
[Note on Korean nomenclature: first syllables are last-names in Korean (ie, Shin-soo Choo is Mr. Shin).]
Shin-soo Choo: (age 35) Texas Rangers OF, who also played for Mariners, Indians, and Reds (in MLB since 2005). Shin was born and raised in Busan, in southern South Korea. Shin-soo never played in the KBO League, because he was such a good prospect that he was signed out of high school by the Seattle Mariners, and went up through the MiLB farm system. He has hit over 20 HR five times (including 22 HR for the Rangers in 2017), and, as of 14 Apr 2018, has hit 177 HR and has a lifetime .277 BAvg.
Hyun-jin Ry: (age 31) Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Pitcher (LHP), since 2013. Hyun played for Hanwha Eagles in the KBO League (2006-12). He had two 14-win seasons for the LA Dodgers (in 2013 and ’14). Injuries held him back in 2015 and ’16, but this season, as of 14 Apr 2018, he is 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA.
Jung-ho Kang: (age 30) Pittsburgh Pirates 3B/SS. Jung played for the Hyundai Unicorns and the Nexen Heroes in the KBO League. He signed with Pittsburgh in 2015. (The Pirates have long had a vast overseas scouting network, and have a long history, goibng all the way back to the early 1960s, of unearthing and then utilizing talent from abroad.) As of 14 Apr 2018, Jung has amassed a 6.5 WAR, with a .273 BAvg.
Seung-hwan Oh: (age 35) Toronto Blue Jays Relief Pitcher (RHP) (in MLB since 2016). Seung played for the Samsung Lions in the KBO League (2005-13, with two KBO-title-wins in ’12 and ’13). Then he had a 2-year stint in Japan with the NPB team the Hanshin Tigers. Then after signing with St. Louis in 2015, Seung had 39 Saves in 2 seasons with the Cardinals, including a 2.26 ERA in 2016. He now works middle-relief for the Blue Jays.
Ji-man Choi: (age 26) Los Angeles Angels 1B/OF (in MLB since 2016), previously played for the NY Yankees and the Brewers. Ji-man Choi was born and raised in Incheon. Like Shin-soo Choo, Ji never played in the KBO League, because he was signed by an MLB club as a teenager. And also like Shin-soo Choo, Ji-man Choi signed with Seattle [in 2009]. (The Mariners have a pretty extensive scouting network in East Asia.)

Last season [2017], the KBO League averaged 11,668 per game (up 0.7% from 2016). Half the league (5 teams) averaged above 12-K-per-game last season.
Those five higher-drawing teams are listed below (all of whom were charter-members of the KBO League in 1982, except for the SK Wyverns)…
–The two big Seoul-base teams: the LG Twins (colors: Black-and-Magenta), and the Doosan Bears (Midnight-Blue-and-Red). The two have a stadium-share at the 25.5-K-capacity Jamsil Baseball Stadium. The LG Twins are classic under-achievers (with just 2 KBO titles, last in 1994), while the Doosan, and formerly OB, Bears are the third-most titled KBO club, with 5 titles (last in 2016).
-The southern-South-Korea-based Lotte Giants (of second-city Busan), who play in Korea’s largest ballpark, the 26.8-K-capacity Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium. The Lotte Giants are the oldest Korean ball club, formed as an amateur team in 1975. But, just like the LG Twins, they are a high-drawing club that can’t seem to win many titles…they also have only 2 KBO titles (last in 1992). The Lotte Giants used to wear black-and-orange like their namesakes from San Francisco, but switched this season to Navy-Blue-and-Red {see new logos on the map-page}.
-The reigning champs and all-time most-titled team, the Kia Tigers (of 6th-largest city Gwanju). The Bright-Red-and-Navy-clad Tigers have a relatively new ballpark, Gwangju-Kia Champions Field.
-And the SK Wyverns (est. 2000), of Incheon (which is on the north-west coast, about 18 miles west of Seoul, and is part of Greater Seoul, and is also the 3rd-largest city in the country). The Red-and-Orange-clad SK Wyverns have a pretty nice-looking ballpark, the 16-year-old/26-K-capacity Munhak Baseball Stadium. (Note: a wyvern is a half-dragon/-half-snake, as featured on Leyton Orient FC’s crest.) The SK Wyverns have won 3 KBO titles (last in 2010); 3 titles in 18 seasons is a decent trophy-haul.

The most successful ball club in Korea is the aforementioned Kia Tigers, who have won 10 of the 36 KBO titles, including the 2017 title (see illustration further below). Second-most successful club in the KBO is the Samsung Lions, another small-market team that over-achieves: the Lions, of fourth-city Daegu, have won 8 KBO titles (including 4 straight Korean Series titles from 2011-15). Like their Detroit-Michigan-based namesakes, the Samsung Lions wear Cornflower-Blue. Samsung Lions drew 9.7-K in 2017; they have a new ballpark, the 24-K-capacity Daegu Samsung Lions Park, which opened in 2016.

I will round out the rest of the KBO League teams not mentioned above [ie, the 4 lowest-drawing teams], via the bracketed parts within the full list of KBO League teams below…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBO_League#Teams
The KBO League is, in 2018, comprised of the following…
5 teams from Greater Seoul/Incheon/Suwon (metropolitan-area Greater Seoul)
3 teams from Seoul’s core-city-region: the Doosan Bears, the LG Twins, and the Nexen Heroes.
[Nexen Heroes, est. 2008, wear Maroon; they have won no titles (see note on map-page titles list for franchise-change-history of Unicorns/Heroes).]
2 teams from Greater Seoul, with one team in South Korea’s third-largest city of Incheon, the SK Wyverns, and
1 team located about 19 miles south of Seoul-city-center in Suwon [the Black-clad KT Wiz, est. 2015].
5 KBO teams from the rest of South Korea
The other 5 teams in the KBO League are comprised as follows [clockwise on the map]…
1 team from the fifth-largest city, Daejon [the Black-and-Orange-clad Hanwah Eagles, est. 1985, who won the 1999 title];
1 team from the the fourth-largest city, Daegu, the Samsung Lions;
1 team from the second-largest city, Busan, the Lotte Giants;
1 team from the 8th-largest city, Changwon [the Dark-Blue/Light-Blue-and-Gold-clad NC Dinos, est. 2013]; and
1 team from the sixth-largest city, Gwanju, the KIA Tigers [see illustration below]).

Kia Tigers, 2017 Korean Series champions (their 11th KBO League title; most in league)
2017-korea-series_kbo-league_kia-tigers_2017-champions_gwangju-kia-champions-field_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Yang Hyeon-jong (LHP), photo by Yonhap at english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Roger Bernadina (OF), photo by Yonhap at english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Choi Hyoung-woo (OF), photo by Yonhap at english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Kia Tigers players celebrate, photo by Yonhap via koreatimes.co.kr. Kia Tigers cap, photo from vjkorea.com. Gwangju-Kia Champions Field, aerial photo unattributed at dutchbaseballhangout.wordpress.com. Screenshot of Kia Tigers cheerleaders & mascot on dugout roof, image from video uploaded by K.L. Jin at youtube.com. Kia Tigers fans with flags and banners, photo by Yonhap via shinailbo.co.kr. Kia Tigers players [and mascot] bow to their fans, photo by hgryu77@newsis.com at isplus.live.joins.com.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of South Korea, by Ksiom at File:South Korea (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank map of South Korea, by NordNordWest at :FileSouth Korea location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Attendance…koreabaseball.com/Record/Crowd/History (koreabaseball.com).
-Lotte Giants’ official shop, lottegiantsshop.com/[new 2018 cap], thanks for photo of the brand-new Lotte Giants’ deep-navy-blue-and-wine-red ball cap logo.
-KBO teams’ K-stamps (2016) [KBO-team-cap-with-mascot], by Shin Jaeyong/Korea Post stampworld.com/stamps/South-Korea/Postage-stamps/g3144/.
-Thanks to Dan @MyKBO, for the re-tweet.

March 31, 2018

MLB: Paid-Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2017 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2016 and percent-capacity figures./+ Illustration: The Houston Astros – 2017 World Series champions.

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball >paid-attendance — admin @ 7:01 pm

mlb_2017-attendance_tickets-sold_map_w-percent-cap_change-from-2016_post_b_.gif
MLB: Paid-Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2017 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2016 and percent-capacity figures


By Bill Turianski on 31 March 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Official site…mlb.com.
-Teams, etc…Major League Baseball (en.wikipedia.org).
-[Current] MLB attendance at ESPN…MLB Attendance Report [also with team attendance figures for past 17 seasons] (espn.go.com).

-2018 Team-by-Team MLB Logo and Uniform Preview (by Chris Creamer at news.sportslogos.net).

-MLB attendance dropped off slightly in 2017, going below 73 million for the first time in 14 seasons. A lack of pennant-races in September 2017 was one of the reasons cited for the 0.67% drop-off in tickets sold…{Another fall puts MLB attendance below 73M (by Eric Fisher on Oct 9 2017 at sportsbusinessdaily.com).}

-In April 2017, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, the Oakland Athletics reduced their tarp-covered upper-deck seats by 12,000; there are now about 8,000 seats at the stadium which are still covered by tarps, primarily in the egregious and looming “Mount Davis” stand behind centerfield (which was built to accommodate the NFL’s Raiders…who will soon be leaving Oakland [again])…{A’s take tarps off; upper-deck tickets $15 (by Susan Slusser on April 11 2017 at sfchronicle.com).}

-Thanks to their new suburban-Atlanta-based ballpark (the 41.5-K-capacity SunTrust Park, which is located 10 miles NW of central Atlanta), the Atlanta Braves increased their average paid-attendance in 2017 by an MLB-best 5,980 per game. (The Braves’ crowd-size improved from 24.9 K in 2016, to 30.9 K in 2017.)…{Braves attendance jumps 28% in 2017 (Video) (bizjournals.com/atlanta).}

-The Cleveland Indians had the second-best paid-attendance increase in 2017, up 5.3 K per game (to a league-22nd-best 25.2 K-per-game). Located in an economically wracked and shrinking city, and one year after winning the 2016 AL pennant and taking the Cubs to the 7th game of the World Series, the Cleveland Indians have finally seen an attendance increase…{Cleveland Indians reach 2 million in tickets sold for first time since 2008 (from Sep. 20 2017 at cleveland.com).}

The map…
The circular-cap-logos on the map page are all each MLB teams’ 2017 home cap logo. That is, except with respect to Baltimore’s circular-cap-logo, which is of their all-black road cap, because the Orioles wear their white-paneled cap at home, and I wanted to maintain a uniformity to all 30 of the circular-cap-logos on the map. The circular-cap-logos were then sized to reflect crowd size, utilizing a constant gradient (the larger the team’s average paid-attendance, the larger their circular-cap-logo is on the map). If you are unsure about the term “paid-attendance”, my post on MLB paid-attendance from 2015 can clear that up for you {here, 2014 MLB paid-attendance map}. The chart at the right-hand-side of the map page shows 5 things: Attendance-Rank, Average Paid-Attendance, Venue Capacity, Percent-Capacity, and Numerical Change in Average Paid-Attendance from Previous Season [2016].

(Note: in late-May 2018, I will post a chart showing MLB teams within the context of the largest metro-areas in the USA and Canada, entitled Baseball: MLB representation in the largest metropolitan statistical areas (USA & Canada). As a teaser of sorts, here are the primary lists I used for that, List of metropolitan statistical area [in the USA]; List of census metropolitan areas and agglomerations in Canada.

I will just leave you with this…the seven largest major cities (in USA and Canada) without MLB teams are:
Montreal, QC, Canada (16th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Charlotte, NC (24th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Vancouver, BC, Canada (25th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Orlando, FL (26th-largest city in USA/Canada);
San Antonio, TX (27th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Portland, OR (28th-largest city in USA/Canada);
San Juan, Puerto Rico, [unincorporated territory of the USA] (29th-largest city in USA/Canada).

…And there are 5 MLB teams that are located in cities smaller than those listed above…Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Milwaukee.)

    The Houston Astros: 2017 World Series champions – the Astros’ first MLB title (which took 56 years) (and which occurred just 5 weeks after Hurricane Harvey)…

-The Unprecedented Flooding in Houston, in Photos (by Alan Taylor on 28 Aug. 2017 at theatlantic.com).
-How the Houston Astros Finally Hit on a Formula That Worked for Them (by Tyler Kepner on 3 Nov. 2017 at nytimes.com/baseball).
houston-astros_2017-w-s-champions_harvey_a-j-hinch_jose-altuve_carlos-correa_george-springer_dallas-keuchel_justin-verlander_charlie-morton_brian-mccann_f.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Is Hurricane Harvey a harbinger for Houston’s future?“, photo by Richard Carson/Reuters via theconversation.com. Rte. #45 road-sign, illustration from redbubble.com. Houston skyline with Minute Maid Park in foreground, photo by Jackson Myers at flickr.com/j-a-x. Aerial shot of Minute Maid park at dusk, photo by Jim Olive via cdn.c.photoshelter.com; photoshelter.com. View from upper-deck stands, game 3 of 2017 WS at Minute Maid Park, photo by Tim Donnelly/AP via [Orange County Register] ocregister.com. Dallas Keuchel, photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via fanragsports.com. Justin Verlander, photo by Tony Gutierrez/AP via al.com. Houston manager AJ Hinch at the mound with Justin Verlander and the Astros’ infield [2017 ALDS v Red Sox], photo unattributed at mlb.com. Correa and Altuve with celebratory handshake (ALCS game 7 following Altuve’s solo HR), photo by Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle at houstonchronicle.com/sports. 2017 WS MVP George Springer rounds the bases (after hitting his 5th HR of the series), as LA’s YU Darvish looks away (2017 WS, game 7), photo by David J. Phillip/AP via businessinsider.com. 2017 WS, game 7, journeyman Pitcher Charlie Morton, who pitched 4 scoreless innings in relief, is hugged by Catcher Brian McCann, after making the final out; Astros beat the LA Dodgers 5-1, and 4 games-to-3, to win their first World Series title; photo by Getty Images via sportsonearth.com. Celebrating fans at watch-party in Minute Maid Park in Houston later that evening, photo by Reuters via dailymail.co.uk. Astros fans watch as players roll by during the World Series Victory parade (Friday, Nov. 3, 2017), in downtown Houston, photo by Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle at “Editor’s choice: Photos from the Astros championship parade” (houstonchronicle.com/[Gallery]). 1975 Houston Astros jersey logo via sportslogos.net/Houston Astros].

___
Thanks to NuclearVacuum for the blank map, File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to ESPN for attendances, espn.go.com/mlb/attendance.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net, for several (~17) of the cap logos, sportslogos.net.
Thanks to Baseball-reference.com, for stats.
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball#Current_teams.

March 21, 2018

2018 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament: the 16 teams that qualified. With 2017-18 attendance data, and all-time Titles-&-Frozen-Four-appearances list./ +Update: the teams that qualified for the 2018 Frozen Four: Notre Dame, Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan, Ohio State.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA, ice hockey — admin @ 12:46 pm

ncaa_mens-ice-hockey_tournament_2018_16-teams_w-2017-18-attendance_all-time-D1-titles-and-frozen-four-list_post_b_.gif
2018 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament: the 16 teams that qualified. With 2017-18 attendance data. + All-time D1 Titles-and-Frozen-Four list



By Bill Turianski on 21 March 2018. twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (en.wikipedia.org).
-Here is the bracket with game times (uscho.com).
-Live scores…ncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1 .
-USCHO.com.
-D1 Hockey attendance [2017-18 regular season/all 60 teams] (uscho.com).
-Top ten Frozen Four moments from the past 25 years {twitter.com/NCAAIceHockey/status/978270577860411393}.

    Update: the teams that qualified for the 2018 Frozen Four (shown alphabetically)…
    Michigan, Minnesota-Duluth, Notre Dame, Ohio State

Michigan Wolverines (their 25th Frozen Four appearance [all-time most]) (and first since 2011)…
michigan-wolverines_2018-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Michigan players celebrate first goal of the game (5 minutes in), photo by Michael Dwyer/AP via mlive.com/wolverines. Brendan Warren celebrates after scoring, photo by Associated Press via toledoblade.com. Michigan players celebrate the victory, photo by Michael Dwyer/AP via freep.com. Michigan Flying-wing hockey helmet, image by billsportsmaps via photo of Bauer helmet at hockeyworld.com.

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (back-to-back Frozen Four appearances)…
minnesota-duluth-bulldogs_2018-frozen-four_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Freshman Joey Anderson celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring against Air Force (1st Period/9:03), photo unattributed at twincities.com. Defenseman Nick Wolff scores with wrist-shot from top of left face-off circle, screenshot from video at ncaa.com/video. Players celebrating with traveling fans after victory, photo by Jim Rosvold at uscho.com. Jersey logo, photo by totalhockey.com/product/Minnesota-Duluth_Bulldogs_Jersey. Jersey shoulder-patch-logo (Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge shoulder patch.), image from theumdstatesman.com/blog.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (back-to-back Frozen Four appearances)…
notre-dame-fighting-irish_2018-frozen-four_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Andrew Ogelvie celebrates ND’s equalizing 1st goal with teammates, photo by Matt Dewkett at uscho.com. Dylan Malmquist scores winning goal with 0:27 left in game, photo by Jessica Hill/AP via ndinsider.com/hockey. Notre Dame Main Building’s golden dome, which is symbolized by the blank-gold Notre Dame Fighting Irish football helmet [and the blank-gold Notre Dame Fighting Irish ice hockey helmet], photo by Know1one1 at File:The Golden Dome.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org), via collegemagazine.com/cms-guide-university-notre-dame. Notre Dame shamrock-on-hockey-pants-logo (2017-18 gear), drawn from template at licensing.nd.edu. Notre Dame teams’ colors: drawn from template from licensing.nd.edu.

Ohio State Buckeyes (their 2nd Frozen Four appearance, and their first one in 20 years)…
ohio-state-buckeyes_2018-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Kevin Miller scoring the first of his two goals, photo by Rich Schultz/AP via denverpost.com. Goalie Sean Romeo made 30 saves for the Buckeyes, photo by Omar Phillips at uscho.com. Players celebrate win, photo unattributed at twitter.com/Bucknuts247. Buckeyes hockey helmet, photo from ohiostatebuckeyes.cbsi-auctions.com. 2017-18 jersey, photo from shop.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

The map…The map page shows the 16 D1 hockey teams that qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament. Each team is placed on the map in their venue-location, with a circular device which shows the teams average attendance in graphic form (the larger the circle, the higher the attendance). Alongside the team’s school-name is their attendance-rank within the 60-team D1 level. The 16 teams’ 2017-18 attendance data (listed by attendance-rank), can be seen at the top-right of the map page. The attendance-data-list includes: average attendance, venue-capacity, percent-capacity, and numerical-change-in-average-attendance from the previous season. (The highest-drawing team in D1 hockey is North Dakota; you can see the whole attendance list at USCHO.com, here: Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2017-2018.) At the lower-left of the map page is the complete list of NCAA D1 hockey titles & Frozen Four appearances (1948-2017). And at the top-center of the map is a banner showing, in alphabetical order, alternate logos of the 16 teams. (Note: In case you’re wondering, I made that Michigan Wolverines hockey-helmet-logo. No one online, to my knowledge, has ever tried out that sort of an illustration for any of the D1 hockey teams that sport helmet-logos which are the same design as their schools’ football-helmet-logos [ie, Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Penn State Nittany Lions]. Which is a mystery to me, because those schools’ hockey-helmet-logos are awesome, and deserve more recognition. Heck, for that matter, why don’t NHL teams sport football-helmet-style hockey-helmet-logos? Like this. I think it is a marketing opportunity that has gone wasted all these years. But I digress.)


The tournament…{Tournament Watch (collegehockeynews.com).} The first two rounds of the tournament will be played on the weekend of Fri-Sun March 23-25, in four locations (Sioux Falls, SD; Allentown, PA; Bridgeport, CT; Worcester, MA). The winners of each sub-bracket will comprise the Frozen Four, who will reconvene two weeks later on the weekend of Fri-Sun April 6-8, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, at the 17,950-capacity Xcel Energy Center (which is the home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild).

#1-seeds: St. Cloud State Huskies (1), Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2), Cornell Big Red (3), Ohio State Buckeyes (4).
There were a few unheralded teams winning the five conference tournaments, most notably the Princeton Tigers, who won the ECAC for only the 3rd time (in 67 seasons). Four of the six teams that won their conference tournaments were so low-ranked in the polls that, for the first time ever (since 1983), all four of the #4-seeds were conference-tournament champions (Princeton, Air Force, Michigan Tech, Boston U). Those four teams would not have qualified for the D1 tournament had they not won their conferences. {See this, 2018 NCAA Tournament: First Look (collegehockeynews.com).} So that threw a wrench into the post-season plans of some big programs, including Minnesota and Boston College, and, most notably, North Dakota…North Dakota were shut out of the D1 tournament for the first time in 15 years (North Dakota had qualified for the D1 tournament every season from 2003 to 2017).


In 2018, Big Ten-hockey has supplanted Hockey East, as the conference with the most teams into the D1 tournament…
Ever since the re-organization of D1 hockey of 2013/14, which saw the demise of the CCHA, and the creation of two new D1 conferences (the NCHC and the Big Ten D1-hockey-conference), the D1 conference with the most teams in the D1 tournament was Hockey East (in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) as well as the relatively-brand-new NCHC (which also had 4 teams into the tournament in 2017). But this season, the 5-year-old Big Ten D1-hockey conference has the most qualified teams (four: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State). And two of them are #1-seeds (Notre Dame & Ohio State).

So the 7-team Big Ten D1 hockey conference has just placed more than half its members into the D1 hockey tournament…
-Notre Dame: who were in the CCHA, but then jumped that sinking ship with a temporary move over to Hockey East (for four seasons), and are now in their first season of Big Ten D1-hockey. [Notre Dame has won zero D1 hockey titles/3 Frozen Four appearances (last in 2017).]
-Ohio State: [Ohio State has won zero D1 hockey titles/1 Frozen Four appearance (in 1998).]
-Michigan: [Michigan are winners of the all-time-best 10 D1 hockey titles (last in 1998)/all-time-best 24 Frozen Four appearances (last in 2012).]
-Penn State: who are a long-time Big Ten school in other sports, and who are in only their 6th season of D1-hockey. [Zero D1 hockey titles/zero Frozen Four appearances.].

Here is the breakdown of the 16 teams that qualified for the 2018 D1 Hockey Tournament, by conference…
Big Ten – 4 teams…conference-winner (Notre Dame/#1-seed, + 3 at-large bids (Ohio State/#1-seed), (Michigan/#2-seed), (Penn State/#3-seed).
NCHC – 3 teams…conference-winner (Denver/#1-seed) + 2 at-large bids (St. Cloud State/#1-seed), (Western Michigan/#2-seed).
Hockey East – 3 teams…conference-winner (Boston University/#4-seed) + 2 at-large bids (Providence/#2-seed), (Northeastern/#3-seed).
ECAC – 3 teams…conference-winner (Princeton/#4-seed), + 2 at-large bids (Cornell/#1-seed, (Clarkson/#3-seed).
WCHA – 2 teams…conference-winner (Michigan Tech/#1-seed), + 1 at-large-bid (Minnesota State/#2-seed).
Atlantic – 1 team…conference-winner (Air Force/#4-seed).

___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia.org/[each teams' page at Wikipedia], for small segments of jersey illustrations of some teams (Minnesota-Duluth, Cornell, Boston U), such as at File:ECAC-Uniform-Cornell.png.
-Thanks to hockeyworld.com, for image of hockey helmet used to make the Michigan Wolverines banner logo (of Michigan’s sublime flying-wing hockey helmet).
-Thanks to WCHA online shop, for photo of Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks banner logo, unrl.co/collections/mankato/products/mavericks-hockey-basefit-hat-white.
-Thanks to USCHO site for attendance data, Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2016-2017 (uscho.com).
-Thanks to CollegeHockeyNews.com, for articles and info.

March 11, 2018

2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) – the 68 teams: map, with team locations & 2016-17 average attendances listed.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 9:01 pm

2018_ncaa-bk-tournament_march-madness_68-teams_map_post_d_.gif
2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) – the 68 teams: map, with team locations & 2016-17 average attendances listed



By Bill Turianski on 11 March 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams, etc…2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.
-Scores…Div I college bk scores (espn.go.com).

The 68 Teams which qualified for the 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament [aka March Madness]
Listed by: Name. Conference. Location of arena(s)…
Alabama Crimson Tide. SEC. Tuscaloosa, AL.
Arizona Wildcats. Pac-12. Tucson, AZ.
Arizona State Sun Devils. Pac-12. Tempe, AZ.
Arkansas Razorbacks. SEC. Fayetteville, AR.
Auburn Tigers. SEC. Auburn, AL.
Bucknell Bison. Liberty. Lewisburg, PA.
Buffalo Bisons. Mid-American. Amherst, NY.
Butler Bulldogs. Big East. Indianapolis, IN.
Cal State Fullerton Titans. Big West. Fullerton, CA.
Charleston Cougars, Colonial. Charleston, SC.
Cincinnati Bearcats. American Athletic. Cincinnati, OH.
Clemson Tigers. ACC. Clemson, SC.
Creighton Bluejays. Big East. Omaha, NE.
Davidson Wildcats. Atlantic-10. Davidson, NC.
Duke Blue Devils. ACC. Durham, NC.
Florida Gators. SEC. Gainesville, FL.
Florida State Seminoles. ACC. Tallahassee, FL.
Georgia State Panthers. Sun Belt. Atlanta, GA.
Gonzaga Bulldogs. West Coast. Spokane, WA.
Houston Cougars. American Athletic. Houston, TX.
Iona Gaels. Metro Atlantic [MAAC]. New Rochelle, NY.
Kansas Jayhawks. Big 12. Lawrence, KS.
Kansas State Wildcats. Big 12. Manhattan, KS.
Kentucky Wildcats. SEC. Lexington, KY.
Lipscomb Bisons. Atlantic Sun. Nashville, TN.
LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds. Northeast. Brookly, NY.
Loyola-Chicago Wolves. Missouri Valley. Chicago, IL.
Marshall Thundering Herd. Conf-USA. Huntington, WV.
Miami Hurricanes. ACC. Coral Gables, FL.
Michigan Wolverines. Big Ten. Ann Arbor, MI.
Michigan State Spartans. Big Ten. East Lansing, MI.
Missouri Tigers. SEC. Columbia, MD.
Montana Grizzlies. Big Sky. Missoula, MT.
Murray State Racers. Ohio Valley. Murray, KY.
New Mexico State Aggies. M Las Cruces, NM.
Nevada Wolf Pack. Mountain West. Reno, NV.
North Carolina Tar Heels. ACC. Chapel Hill, NC.
North Carolina Central Eagles. Mid-Eastern [MEAC]. Durham, NC.
North Carolina State Wolfpacks. ACC. Raleigh, NC.
Ohio State Buckeyes. Big Ten. Columbus, OH.
Oklahoma Sooners. Big 12. Norman, OK.
Penn Quakers. Ivy League. Philadelphia, PA.
Providence Friars. Big East. Providence, RI.
Purdue Boilermakers. Big Ten. West Lafayette, IN.
Radford Highlanders. Big South. Radford, VA.
Rhode Island Rams. Atlantic-10. Kingston, RI.
Saint Bonaventure Bonnies. Atlantic-10. St. Bonaventure [Olean], NY.
San Diego State Aztecs. Mountain West. San Diego, CA.
Seton Hall Pirates. Big East. East Orange, NJ/Newark, NJ.
South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Summit. Brookings, SD.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. Southland. Nacogdoches, TX.
Syracuse Orange. ACC. Syracuse, NY.
TCU Horned Frogs. Big 12. Fort Worth, TX.
Tennessee Volunteers. SEC. Knoxville, TN.
Texas Longhorns. Big 12. Austin, TX.
Texas A&M Aggies. SEC. College Station, TX.
Texas Southern Tigers. SWAC. Houston, TX.
Texas Tech Red Raiders. Big 12. Lubbock, TX.
UCLA Bruins. Pac-12. Los Angeles, CA.
UMBC Retrievers. America East. Catonsville, MD.
UNC-Greensboro Spartans. Southern. Greensboro, NC.
USC Trojans. Pac-12. Los Angeles, CA.
Villanova Wildcats. Big East. Villanova, PA / Philadelphia, PA.
Virginia Cavaliers. ACC. Charlottesville, VA.
Virginia Tech Hokies. ACC. Blacksburg, VA.
West Virginia Mountaineers. Big 12. Morgantown, WV.
Wichita State Shockers. Missouri Valley. Wichita, KS.
Wright State Raiders. Horizon. Fairborn, OH.
Xavier Musketeers. Big East. Cincinnati, OH.

___
-Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament’.
-Thanks to CBS Sports.com, for several of the logos-with-transparent-backgrounds (which are hard to find wrt smaller schools); cbssports.com/college-basketball.
-Thanks to CBS Sports.com for actually listing the qualified teams in alphabetical order: cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/ncaa-bracket-2018-printable-march-madness-tournament-bracket-seeds-games/
-Thanks to NCAA for attendance figures, from 2017 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ATTENDANCE (For All NCAA Men’s Varsity Teams) [pdf].
-And Thank You, CBS/TBS, for finally announcing all the qualified teams at the START of the Selection-Sunday broadcast.

March 4, 2018

2017-18 FA Cup 6th Round (Quarterfinals), map and attendance list with fixtures./+ illustration: each team’s manager & their top scorer (goals from all competitions in 2017-18, up to 5 March 2018).

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 6:08 pm

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2017-18 FA Cup 6th Round (Quarterfinals), map and attendance data, with expanded fixtures list




Links…
-The competition…FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
Fixtures, results, etc…FA CUP: 6th Round: [fixtures/teams/etc] (us.soccerway.com/national/england/fa-cup).
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

By Bill Turianski on 4 March 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

    2016-17 FA Cup 6th Round (Quarterfinals)/8 teams…
    Below: each team’s manager and their top scorer (goals scored, from all competitions in 2017-18, up to 5 March 2018)

2017-18_fa-cup_6th-round_8-teams_managers-and-top-scorers_brighton_chelsea_leicester_manchester-utd_southampton_swansea_tottenham_wigan_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
-Brighton: manager Chris Hughton, photo by Reuters via hitc.com.
-Brighton: top scorer, Glenn Murray (11 league goals [13 goals, total]), photo by Paul Hazlewood via brightonandhovealbion.com.
-Chelsea: manager, Antonio Conte, photo unattributed at premierleague.com/match/22585.
-Chelsea: top scorer, Edin Hazard (11 league goals [15 goals, total]), photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Leicester City: manager, Claude Puel, photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Leicester City: top scorer, Jamie Vardy (13 league goals [15 goals, total], photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Manchester United: manager, José Mourinho, photo by AFP viafoxsports.com.au/football.
-Manchester United: top scorer, Romelu Lukaku (14 league goals [23 goals, total], photo unattributed at premierleague.com/news.
-Southampton: former manager, Mauricio Pellegrino, photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Southampton: top scorer, Charlie Austin (6 league goals [6 goals, total]), photo unattributed at si.com/soccer.
-Swansea City: manager, Carlos Carvalhal, photo by Getty Images via thenational.ae.
-Swansea City: top scorer, Jordan Ayew (6 league goals [10 goals, total]), photo unattributed at myjoyonline.com.
-Tottenham: manager, Mauricio Pochettino, photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Tottenham: top scorer, Harry Kane (24 league goals [35 goals, total]), photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Wigan: manager, Paul Cook, photo by PA via telegraph.co.uk/football.
-Wigan: top scorer, Will Grigg (9 league goals [16 goals, total]), photo by Martin Rickett/PA via telegraph.co.uk/football.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg;
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg;
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.
-List of Greater Manchester settlements by population (en.wikipedia.org).
-Top scorers (goals from all competitions), stats from sportsmole.co.uk, sportsmole.co.uk/football/premier-league/2017-18.

February 20, 2018

2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list & seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig./Plus, top three scorers in Süper Lig, and the player with the most assists (after 22 weeks of the 2017-18 season).

Filed under: Turkey — admin @ 4:10 pm

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2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list, seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig



By Bill Turianski on 20 February 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Turkish SüperLig – fixtures, results, table (soccerway.com).
-turkish-football.com
-Hakan Sukur – Turkey’s fallen hero who can never return home (by Bob Lewis at The Observer on 18 Feb. 2018 via theguardian.com/football).
-{Note: you can see 17/18 Turkish 1st division attendances here, but attendance figures in Turkey are spotty and incomplete. Attendance from past years is also incomplete; the following link is the best that one can find this subject, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm}

I decided to post a map of the Turkish Süper Lig this late in the season, because unlike in England, Germany, Spain, and France, there is an actual title-race going on in the Turkish 1st division right now. Not only is there a title race in Turkey, there is a chance that an untitled club can claim the Turkish title. That club is İstanbul Başakşehir FK. As of 20 February 2018, Başakşehir are currently in 1st place in Süper Lig, ahead of both Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, by 2 points.

İstanbul Başakşehir.
Başakşehir, est. 1990, are a relatively new, municipally-supported team. They are located in the western outer-suburbs of Istanbul, in a district (also called Başakşehir), that has only existed, on paper, for about a decade. Başakşehir play at the 17-K-capacity Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium, a municipal stadium which is 25 km (15 mi) northwest of central Istanbul, and which opened in 2014. {Photos of Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium (arimamimarlik.com).}

In their three previous seasons, İstanbul Başakşehir had back-to-back 4th place finishes, before a 2nd-place finish in 2016-17. Başakşehir have a very small fan-base, drawing only around 4-to-5-K-per-game these days. But, in fact, the team was only drawing about 100 or so before they first joined the top flight in 2006. And, after a relegation, and then a promotion back to Süper Lig in 2014, Başakşehir were only drawing 2.6 K per game. But that was before their recent success in the last couple of seasons, and before a sub-culture of fans latched onto them…students protesting fan-violence in Turkish football.

A very large share of Başakşehir’s new fans are students who support the club out of protest…”The fact that the majority of their supporters, known as the Grey Owls, are mostly university students is an interesting story in itself. Rather than fiercely passionate and loyal fans of the club, they actually began following it simply as a means to protest against the violence that had become the norm among Turkish football fans in the years prior.” {-Quote from The Turkish Leicester City? A look at Istanbul Basaksehir’s rise by Mark Molyneux on 20 Jan 2017 at theroar.com.au.}…”We started to support the club to show that there is another way,” said Basaksehir supporter Alperen. “We wanted to show it’s possible to follow football without conflict.” {-Quote from Istanbul Basaksehir: From crowds of 100 to top of the Turkish league by Steve Crossmann on 25 Nov 2016 at bbc.com/football.}

Başakşehir’s lack of a large and vociferous fan-base has actually helped it attract on-field talent, because many players find the atmosphere so stress-free that they can thrive there. And there are some well-known, if a little bit past-their-prime, players wearing the Basaksehir orange these days…former internationals such as GK Volkan Babacan, DF Gaël Clichy, Winger Eljero Elia, AMF Arda Turan, FW Mevlüt Erdinç, and FW Emmanuel Adebayor. There is also a not-as-well-known, but very crucial player, on Başakşehir right now. That is the Bosnian MF/Winger/playmaker Edin Višća, age 28. Višća was selected by one media outlet as the 3rd-best player in Super Lig in 2016-17, and he currently leads the league in assists (see his photo and caption further below). Başakşehir’s manager, the former Turkish national team coach Abdullah Avcı, has been accused of playing hyper-defensive anti-football. But lack of funds has forced him, through canny transfers on a minuscule budget, to field a defensive-minded counter-attacking side. (Başakşehir, along with Beşiktaş, have the stingiest defenses in Süper Lig, currently, with an average of 0.95-goals-allowed-per-game.) Again, look at the 54-year-old Abdullah Avcı’s results since he took over at Başakşehir (for his second spell there in charge there) in June 2014: 4th place in 2014-15, 4th place in 2015-16, 2nd place in 2016-17, and now 1st place currently [20 Feb 2018].

There is one problem with this quasi-fairy-tale story…İstanbul Başakşehir are funded by the types of anti-democratic reactionaries who are running the Turkish government these days: politicians with close ties to the authoritarian President Erdogan, as well as Erdogan family members. (And Erdogan was at the opening of the club’s new stadium in 2014 to “bless” the whole IBFK project.) So, when all things are truly parsed, Başakşehir are really not so much the well-meaning neutral’s favorite. As this thread on Reddit/soccer attests.

The map page…
The map shows the stadium-locations of the 18 Süper Lig clubs of 2017-18 (also see two paragraphs below for more on that). Alongside the club’s crests are their 17/18 home kits. At the right-hand-side of the map page is the Turkish 1st division (Süper Lig) titles list (1959-2017). I would have shown attendances but you cannot rely on attendance figures from Turkish football; some seasons there are no attendance figures to be found anywhere, and even when there are attendances reported, many games’ crowd figures go unreported {like here}.

At the lower-right of the map-page is a list of the cities of Turkey (with metro-area population estimates from 2015; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Turkey”>source). The 15 largest cities in Turkey are listed, then the rest of the list comprises the other cities in the country which currently have Süper Lig representation. As you can see by the lower portion of that list, the Turkish football pyramid is competitive enough that clubs from rather small cities are able to punch above their weight, and find a way into Süper Lig. Currently, one third of the teams that comprise the Turkish 1st division are from cities whose metro-areas have less than 400,000 inhabitants. And three of those clubs are from cities that have a metro-area population of less than 150,00, including the club from Akhisar (see next paragraph).

There has been quite a lot of new football stadia built in Turkey in the last few years, like 30 new venues, and one venue just opened in late January. Akhisar Belediyespor, of Akhisar, in west-central Anatolia, opened their new 11.4-K-capacity Spor Toto Akhisar Belediye Stadı. Ever since Akhisar won their first-ever promotion to Süper Lig in 2012, the club had been forced to play 50 km (30 mi) away, in Manisa. Despite this, and despite the fact that locally-based Akhisar supporters had to round-trip-travel around 100 km per home game, Akhisar have been able to consolidate their postion in the Turkish top flight. (With finishes of 14th, 10th, 12th, 8th, and 7th place last season [they currently sit 12th].) {Here is an aerial shot of the stadium (haberturk.com).} In case you’re wondering, the green designs on the roof depict olive leaves, which are also seen on Akhisar’s crest, and are a symbol of the city of Akhisar, which is the largest producer of olive oil in the country.

Top three scorers in Süper Lig, plus the player with the most assists (after 22 weeks of the 2017-18 season)…
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Photo credits above – Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor), photo unattributed at apasport.az. Bafétimbi Gomis (Galatasaray), photo by Eskim/Icon Sport via lequipe.fr. Adis Jahović (Göztepe/Konyaspor), photo from twitter.com/konyaspor. Edin Višća (Başakşehir), photo by Andy Astfalck/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

___
Thanks to all at the following…
-Blank map of Turkey by NordNordWest at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Turkey_location_map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Turkey.
-Süper Lig (en.wikipedia.org).
-Süper Lig (tr.wikipedia.org).
-Transfermkt.com, for stats.

February 15, 2018

2017-18 FA Cup 5th Round Proper – map with current league attendances & fixture list./+ Update: the 5th Round’s biggest Cup-upset-win and Cup-upset-draw (Wigan 1-0 Manchester City; Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham).

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 1:43 pm

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2017-18 FA Cup 5th Round Proper- map with current league attendances & fixture list



By Bill Turianski on 15 February 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…FA Cup .
-2017-18 FA Cup 5th Round (us.soccerway.com).
-BBC.com/fa-cup.

Update: the 5th Round’s biggest Cup-upset-win and Cup-upset-draw (Wigan 1-0 Manchester City; Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham).
2017-18_fa-cup_map_4th-round_upset-win-_upset-draw_feb-16-19-2018_b_.gif

Schedule for upcoming maps-and-charts…
I usually don’t publish my schedule for posts, mainly because I so often change plans at the last minute. But due to conflicting dates for two competitions (FA Cup 6th Round and NCAA March Madness), both of which will be commencing simultaneously (week of March 11-17), I thought it would be good to spell it out. The further down the list, the more tentative the posting dates are. But I definitely will be posting all of these.
(If you have any comments, tips, requests, or suggestions, or if you notice any errors, etc, you can reach me at twitter.com/billsportsmaps.)
-20 February: 2017-18 Süper Lig (Turkey/1st division): Map, with titles list and seasons-in-1st-division; with list of largest cities in Turkey and their representation in Süper Lig.
-4 March: FA Cup 6th Round – map with current league attendances and fixture list/plus photos of teams’ manager and top scorer(s).
-11 March: 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) – the 68 teams: map, with team locations and with 2016-17 average attendances listed.
-21 March: NCAA ice hockey tournament.
-1 April: MLB: Paid-Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2017 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2016 and percent-capacity figures.
-21 April: Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2018 location-map with 2017 attendances and KBO titles list (1982-2017); with list of largest cities in South Korea and their representation in KBO League.
-3 May: Japan: NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), 2018 location-map, with profile-boxes of the 12 teams, and NPB titles list (1950-2017); with list of largest cities in Japan and their representation in NPB.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg -Attendances from us.soccerway.com.
-2017-18 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.com).

January 30, 2018

NFL 1958 season, map with helmets & final standings; champions: Baltimore Colts./+ 1958 NFL attendance data & info on 1958 NFL teams’ uniforms.

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NFL 1958 season, map with helmets and final standings; champions: Baltimore Colts./+ 1958 NFL attendance data



By Bill Turianski on 30 January, 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-1958 NFL season
-1958 NFL Championship Game (en.wikipedia.org).
-1958 NFL season (pro-football-reference.com).
-1958 NFL Teams [illustrations of uniforms of the 12 NFL teams of 1958] (gridiron-uniforms.com).

The map… The map, done in the style of 1950s newspaper graphics, shows the primary helmets and jerseys worn by the 12 NFL teams of 1958. Final standings for the 1958 NFL season, along with team-colors worn that season, can be seen at the lower-right of the map page. Home helmets and jerseys are shown alongside the standings. At the lower-right-corner of the map page there is a small section devoted to 1958 NFL attendance data (also see attendance section further below). At the top-right of the map page is a section devoted to the 1958 NFL champions, the Baltimore Colts (also see next 12 paragraphs and the illustration below). And at the far-right-hand-center of the map page, are 1958 Offensive leaders in the following categories: QB Rating and TD Passes: Johnny Unitas, Colts. Passing Yards: Billy Wade, Rams. Rushing Yards and Rushing TDs and Total Yards from Scrimmage and Total TDs: Jim Brown, Browns. Receiving Yards: Del Shofner, Rams.

    Johnny Unitas led the 6-year-old Colts to the 1958 NFL title, over the NY Giants 23-17 (first-ever OT game)

Johnny Unitas, the son of Lithuanian immigrants, was a Pittsburgh-born graduate of Louisville University. At college, he played the dual role of QB and Safety for the Redbirds. Unitas had been a 9th round selection by his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 1955. But Unitas was cut by the Steelers in the ’55 preseason, with Steelers coach Walt Kiesling under the impression that Unitas was not smart enough to run an NFL offense, even though Kiesling (duh) never even let Unitas take one snap during the entire preseason. So Unitas worked in construction jobs in Pittsburgh in the latter half of 1955, to support his family, and he played semi-pro football for 6 bucks a game.

In the following year of 1956, Unitas got a second chance, when, after a successful tryout, Weeb Ewbank and the then-4-year old Baltimore Colts signed him. A few games into the ’56 season, backup-QB Unitas got his shot, when starting QB George Shaw was injured in the 4th game; and in 1956 the Colts finished 5-7. The next year, 1957, with Unitas now the starting QB, the Colts went 7-5…this was the team’s first winning season. And 1957 was also the first time the Colts drew above 40 K per game (attendance in ’57 for the Colts increased by 6.9 K, to 46 thousand per game). In the following season of 1958, the Colts shot out of the gate, winning their first 4, and the fans continued to flock to Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. The Colts saw an eye-popping 16.9-K-increase in crowd-size, to 53.6 K (which was an impressive 93 percent-capacity), at the 57.5-K-venue [which they shared with MLB's Baltimore Orioles]. The Baltimore Colts (a small-market team) had the third-best attendance in the NFL in 1958 (see attendance section on the map-page, as well as the league-attendance section further below).

So in 1958, the Colts won the Western Conference, going 9-3. The Colts had the league’s most potent offense, averaging 31.75 points per game. Unitas led the league in passing yardage and passing TDs (2,007 yards and 19 TDs). Unitas’ three main targets in ’58 were Hall Of Famers Lenny Moore (HB) and Raymond Berry (End/WR), as well as Jim Mutschellar (TE). Lenny Moore, who was a running back and not a wide receiver, gained a league-second-best 938 yards receiving, while Raymond Berry gained 724 yards receiving (which was the 4th-best that season), and TE Jim Mutschellar gained 504 yards receiving. The Colts ground game was spearheaded by FB Alan Ameche and HB Lenny Moore: Ameche gained a league-2nd-best 791 yards (second only to MVP Jim Brown of the Browns), while Moore ran for 598 yards. And Lenny Moore also had a league-best 1,536 yards from scrimmage. So, the Colts offense was dominant in ’58, and the Colts defense was second-best in that year (behind only the Giants). The Colts’ front four featured two future Hall of Famers: DE Gino Marchetti, and DT Art Donovan. And the Colts had the most prolific secondary that season, with 35 interceptions (including 8 pick-offs by both Ray Brown and Andy Nelson, and 7 by Carl Taseff). The dominance that the Colts had in the NFL Western Conference in 1958 can be seen in the fact that the Colts had the league’s best point-differential by far: +178 pd (which was almost triple the Giants’ pd, of +63).

The Colts had clinched the NFL Western Conference title in the 10th week, and thus, crucially, were able to keep key players rested on the bench for their last 2 regular-season games (which they lost). The Colts won the West by a game, over the 8-4 Chicago Bears and the 8-4 LA Rams. That meant the Colts would face the Eastern Conference champs, the 9-3 New York Giants, who featured a tough defense led by DE Andy Robustelli and LB Sam Huff, and a potent offense featuring the wily 37-year-old-veteran QB Charlie Conerly, star Halfback/End Frank Gifford (the 1956 league MVP), and Flanker Kyle Rote.

But, to get to the 1958 title game, the Giants had to play an extra game – an Eastern Conference tiebreaker – versus the Cleveland Browns, and New York had beaten Cleveland 10-0, a week before the Championship game. So the Colts players were much more rested than the Giants players. The Giants had won the title 2 seasons before (in 1956), 47-7 over the Bears, on a frozen surface at Yankee Stadium. Two years later, for this Giants versus Colts title game of 1958, game-time conditions were much better: 44ºF (7ºC) and dry, with virtually no wind. About 20,000 Colts fans from the Baltimore-area had made the trip up to Yankee Stadium for the game, by car, bus, and specially organized trains. There was a full-capacity crowd of 64,185 on hand at Yankee Stadium. The Colts were 3.5 point favorites (probably due to both the Colts’ offensive capabilities, as well as the Colts being the more rested squad).

Because of the sheer excitement that the closely-fought game caused, and because it was the first NFL championship game to be broadcast nationally on television (on NBC, to an estimated audience of 10.8 million homes), and because of its pivotal timing in the late 1950s (just as the medium of television had begun to broadcast pro sports nation-wide), the Colts versus the Giants in the 1958 NFL title game came to be known as The Greatest Game Ever Played. From youtube.com, ‘The Greatest Game Ever: 1958 NFL Championship‘ (5:33 video uploaded by vslice02 at youtube.com).

The 1958 NFL title game was the first NFL game, play-off or otherwise, that went to sudden-death overtime. It featured two hard-nosed teams with offenses that had the capability to move the ball down the field with lightning-quick efficiency. The Giants were coached by Arkansas graduate Jim Lee Howell, who coached the Giants from 1954 to 1960. Howell’s two main assistant coaches are both in the Pro Footballl Hall of Fame – the Giants’ defensive coach in 1958 was future Cowboys’ head coach Tom Landry (whom Howell had converted from a Giants LB to defensive coordinator 2 years previous in 1956); the Giants’ offensive coach in 1958 was future Packers’ head coach and football demi-god Vince Lombardi (whom Howell had hired from West Point, where Lombardi was Army’s offensive line coach 4 years previous in 1954). The Colts were coached by Weeb Ewbank, who had got his pro coaching start under Paul Brown at Cleveland, and was hired as the Colts’ head coach in their second season (in 1954). Ewbank gave the Colts an unusual pre-game talk… “Not known for emotional speeches, Weeb gave one to his men before the game, reminding them of how they were unwanted by other teams. ‘Unitas, Pittsburgh didn’t want you. We got you for a 75-cent phone call. Lipscomb, the Rams got rid of you. We got you for a hundred bucks. Berry? One leg shorter than the other, with bad eyesight to boot. … So you should win this game for yourselves’…” {-Excerpt from goldenrankings.com/[1958 NFL Championship Game]).

The Giants/Colts 1958 title game had multiple big plays, swift scoring drives, and changes in momentum – the biggest when, in the 3rd quarter with the Colts leading 14-3, the Giants stopped Baltimore on a fourth-and-goal-to-go on the 1 yard-line, for a 4-yard-loss (see color photo in the illustration below, where Unitas is about to hand off to Alan Ameche for that 4-yard-loss). Then the Giants went 95 yards for a TD in 4 plays. That drive was highlighted by a 86-yard pass play from deep within the Giants’ own territory: QB Charlie Conerly threw to WR Kyle Rote downfield left-to-right across the middle. Rote broke a tackle at mid-field, but then he fumbled when hit from behind at the Colts’ 25…Giants RB Alex Webster, who was trailing the play, recovered the fumble and ran it all the way to the 1-yard line. RB Mel Triplett then scored on a 1-yard TD run, and the Giants were back in it, now behind by only 4 points, at 14-10. The Giants then went ahead 17-14 early in the 4th quarter – Conerly’s 46-yard completion to TE Bob Schnelker set up his 15-yard TD pass to Frank Gifford.

In the dying minutes of the 4th quarter, the Colts took over with 1:58 to go, at their own 14-yard line (after a Giants punt). Unitas then put together one of the most famous drives in football history. After two incomplete passes, Unitas made a clutch 11-yard completion to Lenny Moore on third down. After one more incompletion, Unitas threw three straight passes to Raymond Berry, moving the ball 62 more yards, to the Giants’ 13-yard line (Berry had 12 receptions for 178 yds, the most yards from scrimmage in the game, and an NFL title game record.) A 20-yard FG by K Steve Myhra with 7 seconds left sent the game into sudden-death overtime…the first overtime game in NFL history. In OT, the Giants won the toss but failed in their first possession. Then Unitas and Baltimore drove 80 yards on 13 plays on the tired New York defense, and, aided by a key block at the goal line by TE Jim Multschellar, the Colts scored on a 1 yard TD by Alan Ameche, to win the game 23-17. Here is something that has went a little bit forgotten amidst all the hoopla surrounding this game…Johnny Unitas had called all 13 plays of the winning drive.

The 1958 NFL title game became known as The Greatest Game Ever Played…
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Photo and Image credits above -
Illustrations of Colts and Giants 1958 helmets from gridiron-uniforms.com/[1958]. Game program, unattributed at goldenrankings.com. Screenshot of video [Yankee Stadium, exterior shot], image from video uploaded by NFL at youtube.com, ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’ 1958 NFL Championship: Colts vs. Giants. Photo of Unitas in pocket, photo unattributed at chatsports.com. Raymond Berry diving catch in ’58 title game, photo by Hy Peskin/Getty Images at gettyimages.com. Screenshot of Giants D about to stop Ameche on 4th-and-goal, unattributed at sportsblogmovement.wordpress.com. Photo of Unitas passing long, late in game, from baltimorepostexaminer.com. Unitas watches after handing off to Alan Ameche (winning TD in OT), photo by Neil Leifer at neilleifer.com. Colts fans carry Ameche off the field as the goal-posts are torn down, photo by Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated via darkroom.baltimoresun.com.

The broadcast of the game by the NBC television network is credited with growing, almost overnight, the fan interest in the NFL. The 1958 NFL Championship Game marked the start of the popularity-surge for the NFL… a popularity-surge that has not abated to this day. As pro football historian Bob Carroll notes in his book When the Grass Was Real …’The next morning…for the first time in history, the National Football League was the number-one topic at watercoolers from sea to shining sea. Among the oohs over Johnny Unitas’s passes and the ahhs over Sam Huff’s tackles came many plaintive wonderings why “our town” didn’t have its own pro football team.’…{end of excerpt from page 12 of When the Grass Was Real, by Bob Carroll, published in 1993 by Simon and Schuster, available at amazon.com here}.

-Video: The Greatest Game Ever Played – 1958 NFL Championship Highlights – Colts vs Giants (12:31 video [fuzzy color video] uploaded by Savage Brick Sports at youtube.com).
-From Golden Rankings, 1958 NFL Championship Game, Baltimore Colts @ New York Giants [illustrated article in chart form] (goldenrankings.com).

1958 Baltimore Colts: 6 All-Pro players; plus 6 from the ’58 Colts that were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Note: All-Pro, below, means: 1958 AP, 1st team.
-Johnny Unitas: 1958 All-Pro (QB), and 1958 MVL (AP & UPI & Bert Bell Trophy); Unitas was inducted to the HoF in 1979.
-Gino Marchetti: 1958 All-Pro (DE); Marchetti was inducted to the HoF in 1972.
-Jim Parker: 1958 All-Pro (OT); Parker was inducted to the HoF in 1973.
-Raymond Berry: 1958 All-Pro (WR); Berry was inducted to the HoF in 1973.
-Lenny Moore: 1958 All-Pro (HB); Moore was inducted to the HoF in 1975.
-Gene Lipscomb: 1958 All-Pro (DT).
-Art Donovan: (DT) inducted to the HoF in 1968.
-Weeb Ewbank: (Head coach of Colts from 1954-62); Ewbank was inducted to the HoF in 1978.

1958 NFL attendance figures, and notes on stadia.
In 1958, the NFL was in the midst of its steadily-increasing popularity, and broke 3 million total attendance for the second straight year. There were 3,132,346 tickets sold for the 72 regular season games of the 1958 NFL season, making an average attendance of 43,504. The public were being captivated by the NFL, and the turnstiles told the tale: in a 5 year span, the NFL increased its average attendance by a staggering 11.1 thousand per game…in 1954, the NFL averaged 32.4 K; five years later, in 1958, the NFL was averaging 43.5 K.
nfl_1958_attendance-data_average_percent-capacity_e_.gif
Credits above – sources for figures: pro-football-reference.com/years/1958/attendance.htm; packershistory.net/1958PACKERS/GAME9. Helmet icons: gridiron-uniforms.com/[1959]. Chart: billsportsmaps.com.

In 1958, the highest drawing NFL team was, once again, the Los Angeles Rams, who drew an astounding 83.6 thousand per game. Second-best-drawing team was the 9-3 Cleveland Browns (at 67.1 K). The Baltimore Colts drew third-best (at 53.6 K [which was a league-2nd-best 93.1-percent-capacity; only the Packers at their Green Bay venue filled their stadium better]). Two more teams drew above 50-K: the reigning-champs the Detroit Lions (at 53.4 K), and the San Francisco 49ers (at 52.4 K). And two more teams drew in the mid-40-K-range: the New York Giants (45.7 K) and the Chicago Bears (43.9 K). So there you go: in 1958, these were the 7 NFL teams that were drawing big-time crowds…Rams, Browns, Colts, Lions, 49ers, Giants, Bears. Then there was a rather large divide between those 7-high-drawing teams, and the other 5 NFL teams of 1958.

1958 NFL attendance: A chasm of 12-thousand-per-game separated the top 7 draws (see above) and the 5 lower-drawing teams (see below).
Just as the NFL was becoming more popular circa 1958, there were still 5 franchises that were under-performing at the turnstile. Each of these low-drawing NFL teams back then had their own reasons for drawing poorly. The Chicago Cardinals drew so poorly because the team was doomed to being the after-thought-team in the Windy City, thanks to the Bears’ predominance there (and so the Chicago Cardinals moved to St. Louis two years later, in 1960). The Pittsburgh Steelers were just so consistently bad back then (or at best, mediocre), and were bad for so long, that their crowd-sizes were perpetually stuck in the mid-20-K-range. But also, the aging Forbes Field, which the Steelers rented from MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates, was pretty decrepit at this point and had a somewhat small capacity of around 41,000. Washington, like the Steelers, also had to rent from an MLB team and play in an outdated venue; plus, Washington in the late-’50s was in the midst of a 13-year-slump without a winning season, and crowds at Griffith Stadium had plateaued to the point that they were drawing only 1.2 K better than they were eight seasons earlier in 1950 (Washington drew only 25.4 K in ’50; and 8 years later in ’58 they were only drawing slightly better at 26.6 K). So, in an 9-season-span (1950 to ’58), while the NFL as a whole increased its average attendance by over 14 thousand per game, Washington increased their crowds by only twelve-hundred or so per game.

The Packers’ low attendance in 1958 is a complicated issue. First off, one would expect a drop-off in attendance for the Packers in ’58, because 1958 was the absolute worst season the Green Bay Packers ever had (1-10-1). The Packers were the only NFL team that had two venues, and from 1933 to 1994, the Packers played 2 or 3 games each season in Milwaukee (they played 4 games in Green Bay and 2 home games in Milwaukee during the 1958-60 time period). In 1958, the Packers were not able to draw higher than the 29.7 K they averaged that season for two reasons: small capacity in their new venue in Green Bay (City Stadium (II), which opened in 1957), and low attendance in Milwaukee. The Packers’ City Stadium (II) [now called Lambeau Field] only had a capacity of 32,500 back then. In 1958, the Packers had the league’s best percent-capacity figure, that is, for their four Green Bay home games. The Packers played to an average of 30.8 K in their 4 home games in Green Bay (which was a solid 94.8 percent-capacity). But in their two home games in ’58 at Milwaukee County Stadium (which had a much larger capacity of 43.7 K), the Packers drew poorly: 24.5 K v Rams in October and then only 19.7 K v 49ers in late November. The Packers fortunes would improve vastly with the arrival of Vince Lombardi in the following season of 1959, and the team would, um, pack even more fans in their soon-to-be-expanded stadium, and by 1961, the Packers were back to their title-winning ways. And despite being located in the smallest NFL market by far, the Green Bay Packers have been playing to basically-full-capacity ever since then. And after the 1994 season, the Packers’ organization came to the conclusion that, because demand for tickets was so great, they no longer needed to play a few of their games each season in Milwaukee. But as early as 1958, looking at the poor support Milwaukee residents gave the (admittedly bad) ’58 Packers, one could say that the small-town Green Bay Packers could already could stand on their own, without the crutch of a big-city venue.

There was one more team that was drawing significantly below the NFL average of 43-K in 1958, and that was the Philadelphia Eagles (see next two paragraphs).

1958: Philadelphia Eagles move into Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania…
Franklin Field dates back to 1895, with its current structure installed in the 1920s. When the Eagles played there (for 13 seasons, from 1958-70), it had a capacity of 60 thousand. It was, and still is, the home of the Ivy League college football team the Penn Quakers. It was also the home of the annual Army-Navy Game from 1899-1935. As the Stadiums of Pro Football.com site says, “Franklin Field is the answer to a trivia question that even the most dedicated NFL fans might not know. It is the oldest football stadium in the country.” {-Quote from Frankiln Field at stadiumsofprofootball.com.} The Eagles move to Franklin Field was beneficial purely because it was a move from a baseball park to a venue designed for rectilinear sports like gridiron football. The Eagles moved into Franklin Field not as renters (the U. of Penn is a not-for-profit organization), but the Eagles donated about $75-to-100-K per year to stadium upkeep. However, the Eagles were not allowed to profit from sales of food and drink, or from parking fees. So, it was not an ideal set-up, and the Eagles later jumped at the opportunity to move into the city’s new multi-purpose venue, Veterans Stadium, in 1971 (which, of course, was also the home of the Philadelphia Phillies MLB team [from 1971-2003]).

Prior to 1958, the Eagles, like the Steelers and like Washington, had played in an MLB ballpark that was antiquated. Since 1942, the Eagles had played at Connie Mack Stadium [aka Shibe Park], which only had a capacity of around 39,000, unless temporary bleachers were installed (as the Eagles were doing during their dual-championship-era of 1948 and ’49). And, like Pittsburgh and like Washington, the Eagles circa the mid-to-late-1950s were also bad, so this contributed to their small crowds. The Eagles drew worst in the league the year before, in 1957, when, in their last season at Connie Mack Stadium, and as a 4-8 team, they drew only 21.6 K. The next year (1958), with the move over to Franklin Field, the Eagles increased their crowd-size by 7.4-K-per-game (to 29.0 K per game). Their attendance had increased thanks to the venue-change, and despite the fact that Eagles were in a re-building mode and were really bad in ’58 (finishing last in the East, at 2-9-1). The next season of 1959, the Eagles, under aging-but-still-very-effective QB Norm Van Brocklin, vastly improved (to 7-5), and that helped to draw 10-thousand-more per game to Franklin Field (the Eagles drew 39.2 K in ’59). And then in 1960, the Philadelphia Eagles would be NFL champions. These days, the Eagles draw very well and have no attendance issues (well, other than a disproportionate amount of unruly fans).

Helmet and uniforms changes for 1958 NFL…
1958 was the second year that the NFL had mandated that all home teams were to wear their dark jersey, and all road teams were to wear their white (or light-colored) jersey. This was to ensure that television viewers watching NFL games on black-and-white TVs would not have trouble differentiating between the two teams.

Below: Washington’s ‘feather-helmet’ (worn from late 1958 through to 1964; replaced by the feathered-spear helmet)
washington-redskins_1958_feather-helmet_h_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/[Washington 1958]; helmet photos from helmethut.com.

-In 1958, Washington introduced the ‘feather-helmet’, which was worn for the last two games of the season. Washington was the fourth NFL team to introduce a helmet-logo {here are the first three helmet-logos in the NFL}. The feather-helmet was an unusual back-of-the-helmet-oriented logo, of a large feather, in pale-red-and-white, on a brownish-burgandy helmet {1958 Washington}. {Here is a photo from 1960, Washington v Eagles, that shows the feather-helmet from several angles.} The weird feather-logo helmet lasted 7 years, and that was replaced in 1965 by a diagonally-positioned gold-spear-with-feather logo {1965 Redskins uniforms}. Washington’s feather-helmet had the same problem that the original Colts’ horseshoe helmet (of ’54) had…the logo was oriented to the back of the helmet, making it hard to see from the front.

-In 1958, the Chicago Cardinals ditched their alternate red-helmets, wearing only a (plain) white helmet {Cardinals 1958}. The Cards kept the plain white helmet again in ’59, and then upon moving to St. Louis in 1960, introduced their now-iconic frowning-cardinal-head helmet, which in my opinion is one of the best looking helmets ever made {1960 Ken Gray game-worn Cardinals helmet {helmet-hut.com)}.

-In 1958, the Los Angeles Rams ditched their yellow/orange [aka gold] jerseys, which the Rams had worn for some games in every one of their 14 previous seasons (going all the way back to their last year in Cleveland {1945 Cleveland Rams}). {Here is what the Rams looked like in 1957, when they were the only NFL team to sport 3 different jerseys; here were the rather plain 1958 Rams uniforms.} {Here is a photo of Rams HB Frank Arnett from 1958, on the bench during a Rams game at the LA Memorial Coliseum. By the way note, in the background of this photo, the huge crowd at the Coliseum that day; again, this was when the Rams were drawing 83 thousand per game, which was 40 thousand per game more than the league-average.} The Rams have worn yellow/orange jerseys a few times in the modern era {throwback-uniforms in 1994, and an alternate uniform (color rush) in 2014}.

-In 1958, the Green Bay Packers did not wear any gold in their uniforms (no yellow/orange gold or metallic-gold). Green Bay, in ’58, for some strange reason, only wore dark-forest-green-and-white at home, and wore white-and-dark-blue on the road…and their helmet was a plain white helmet with a dark-green center-stripe. This Packers’ alternate helmet-and-color-scheme of white-and-dark-forest-green was worn for parts of 3 seasons (1956, ’57, ’58). Green Bay’s 1958 gear was the only season in the Packers’ history, besides {1922}, when any shade of gold was not in their colors. It was also, coincidentally or not, the Packers’ worst season ever [1-10-1]. {Here are the dreary and eminently forgettable uniforms of the 1958 Green Bay Packers.} {Here is the only color image I could find of this shade of Packers green: photos of Forrest Gregg and Bart Starr from pre-season 1956.} It really is a forgotten period in the history of the Packers. By the way, if you look closely at the ’58 Packers home jersey you can see that the green had a bit of blue in it: a dark-bluish-grey-shade-of-green (ie, forest-green), not the simply-dark-green they have worn since 1959. So, after their strange 3-year-experiment with white helmets and a weird shade of dark-bluish-green, in 1959, with the arrival of coach Vince Lombardi, the Packers began wearing their current color-scheme of gold (yellow-orange) and plain-dark-green. A couple years after that, the Packers’ introduced their football-shaped-G-logo. The Packers’ helmet logo was introduced in 1961…which just so happens to be the year that the Packers started winning NFL titles again.
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Photo and Image credits on map page…
Baltimore Colts…
Colts’ Raymond Berry-style helmet w/ butterfly-facemask [reproduction of helmet from 1960-63 era], from ebay.com. Johnny Unitas, photo [from commemorative issue of Baltimore Sun, following Unitas' death in 2002], photo unattributed at nflfootballjournal.blogspot.com/[Johnny Unitas feature]. Unitas and Colts offensive line after a snap, Life magazine photo [from 1960], photo unattributed at grayflannelsuit.net/blog. Jim Parker [segment of 1959 Topps card], from ebay.com. Gino Marchetti [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at sportsecyclopedia.com/nfl/[Baltimore Colts]. Raymond Berry [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Gene Lipscomb [photo circa 1959], photo unattributed at helmethut.com. Lenny Moore [photo circa 1959], photo unattributed at nflpastplayers.com/lenny-moore. Art Donovan, photo [from 1958 preseason] by Baltimore Sun at baltimoresun.com. Alan Ameche [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at pinterest.
1958 Offensive stats leaders…
Johhny Unitas (Colts) [photo from 1958 title game], photo unattributed at chatsports.com. Billy Wade (Rams) [1960 Topps card], from footballcardgallery.com. Jim Brown (Browns), [action-photo from 1958 game v Steelers], photo by Diamond Images/Getty Images via gettyimages.co.uk. Del Shofner [photo from 1958 game v Colts], photo by Al Paloczy/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images at gettyimages.com.

Map was drawn with assistance from images at these links…
48-state-USA/southern Canada, worksheeto.com/post_50-states-and-capitals-printable-worksheet.
Section of Mexico, as well as coastlines-&-oceans, lib.utexas.edu/maps/hist-us.
-Thanks to the contributors at pro-football-reference.com
-Thanks to the contributors at NFL 1958 season (en.wikipedia.org).
-Thanks to pro-football-reference.com and to packershistory.net for attendance data from 1958; thanks to Mike at sports-reference.com/feedback for swift reply and correction of Packers’ attendance discrepancy, of 1958 week 9 game, at pro-football-reference.com.
Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving billsportsmaps.com the permission to use football uniforms illustrations from Gridiron Uniform Database {GUD}.

January 25, 2018

2017-18 FA Cup 4th Round Proper- map with current league attendances & fixture list.

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 10:02 am

2017-18_fa-cup_map_4th-round_map-of-the-32-clubs_w-current-attendances-in-league_fixture-list_post_d_.gif
2017-18 FA Cup 4th Round Proper- map with attendances & fixture list




By Bill Turianski on 25 January 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…FA Cup .
-2017-18 FA Cup 4th Round (us.soccerway.com).
-BBC.com/fa-cup.

Update, 27 Saturday: Biggest upset & the 3 best results for lower-placed teams in 2017-18 FA Cup Fourth Round
(Cup-upset win: Wigan 2-0 West Ham. Cup-upset-draws/replays…Newport County 1-1 Tottenham, Notts County 1-1 Swansea City, Millwall 2-2 Rochdale.)
2017-18_fa-cup_map_4th-round_upset-wins_upset-draws_jan-27-2018_wigan_notts-co_rochdale_newport-co_c_.gif

Televised matches…
Two of the clubs with the biggest upsets in the 3rd round, 4th-division-sides Newport County and Yeovil Town, were rewarded with televised games. {Here are the 4 biggest upsets from the FA Cup 3rd Round.}

Yeovil Town will host Manchester United at their 9.5-K-capacity Huish Park, in south Somerset, on Friday night (the 26th). The match is sold out (of course). {Tickets for Yeovil Town v Manchester United have SOLD OUT, by Stephen D’Albiac on 24 Jan. 2018, at somersetlive.co.uk.}

Newport County, who had a great escape last May to stay in the Football League, will host Tottenham Hotspur at Rodney Parade in Newport, South Wales, on Saturday the 27th (5:30 pm Greenwich Time/12:30 pm Eastern Time). Rodney Parade, which Newport County play in as renters, is owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union, and home of Pro14 side Dragons, as well as the Welsh Premier Division side Newport RFC. Capacity for football at the ground these past few years had been reduced by about 850, to 7,850. But, with overwhelming demand for tickets, Newport County got permission to erect temporary bleachers, and temporary capacity will be just shy of 10 K. {See this, Newport County get go-ahead for extra 1,000 seats for Spurs FA cup clash, by Andrew Penham on 17 Jan. 2018, at southwalesargus.co.uk.}

The other televised matches are…the early game on Saturday the 27th (3rd-division-side Peterborough United v Leicester City), the last game on Saturday (Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion at 7:45 pm GT/2:45 pm ET), and the two games on Sunday the 28th (Chelsea v Newcastle United at 1:30 pm GT/8:30 am ET; and then 3rd-division-side Cardiff City v Manchester City at 4:00 pm GT/11 am ET). In the USA and Canada, one other match will be televised (3rd-division-side Wigan Athletic v West Ham United, on Saturday at 10 am ET).

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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg -Attendances from us.soccerway.com.
-2017-18 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.com).

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