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Posted: Thursday October 4, 2012 4:21PM ; Updated: Thursday October 4, 2012 4:56PM

MLB attendance rises to highest level since '08

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Ryan Howard
The Phillies led the majors in attendance for the second straight year.
ZUMApress.com

NEW YORK (AP) -- Major League Baseball's average attendance rose 1.8 percent this year to its highest level since 2008.

The 30 teams averaged 30,895 fans per game, the commissioner's office said Thursday, up from 30,362 last season. Baseball's average peaked at 32,785 in 2007, then dropped slightly the following year before bottoming out at 30,330 as the Great Recession was coming to an end.

This year had the seventh-highest average behind 1993-94 and 2005-08. The total of 74.86 million was baseball's fifth-highest.

Philadelphia led MLB for the second straight year at 3.57 million, and the Yankees topped the AL at 3.54 million.

Offense rises slightly

NEW YORK (AP) -- Offense in the major leagues increased slightly this season after five consecutive years of drops, while strikeouts reached a record high and walks dropped to their lowest level since 1968.

Scoring increased to 8.65 runs per game from 8.57, according to final numbers compiled by STATS LLC. The average peaked at 10.28 in 2000, three years before Major League Baseball and the players' association started drug testing with penalties. The average had been 9.72 in 2006 before dropping five years in a row.

Home runs per game, which peaked at 2.34 in 2000, had dropped to 1.87 last year, its lowest level since 1.78 in 1993. The average rebounded to 2.03 this season.

The major league batting average of .255 was unchanged from last year, remaining at its lowest figure since 1989. The big league ERA rose to 4.01 from 3.94 last season.

On-base percentage of .319 was the lowest since 1988, while walks fell from 6.18 to 6.05 - the fewest since 5.63 in 1968 - and strikeouts rose from 14.29 to 14.99. Strikeouts had been as low as 9.54 in 1978.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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