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10/14/09 11:48 AM ET

Angels-Yankees matchup: Fans

From Creatures to Monkeys, both clubs wildly supported

Heading into the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Angels, beginning Friday at 7:57 p.m. ET on FOX, MLB.com looks at the position-by-position matchups and dissects which team has the advantage.


The fans who flock to Angel Stadium these days are enjoying what could someday be looked upon as the glory years of a resurgent franchise.

Following a 15-year playoff drought, the Angels captured their first World Series crown in 2002 and have been a part of the postseason in six of the past eight seasons, claiming five AL West titles in the past six campaigns.

During that impressive stretch, the Angels have also watched their attendance figures grow significantly. This past season, Los Angeles drew more than three million fans at Angel Stadium for the seventh year in a row, averaging more than 40,000 per game for the sixth time in franchise history. The 3.2 million in home attendance ranked second to only the Yankees in 2009.

That being the case, the fans could play a vital role in the ALCS between Los Angeles and New York. The Yankees boasted the best winning percentage at home by going 57-24 in the Bronx in '09, but the Angels continued their strong run in Anaheim as well. L.A. won 49 games at Angel Stadium this season and have averaged just under 49 home wins per year since 2002.

Angel Stadium -- built in 1964 and given a facelift over the years -- seats just over 45,000 and has a unique rock pile that sits beyond the wall in center field. Filled with fans, the ballpark becomes a sea of red and can be an intimidating atmosphere. One of the stadium's fun elements has been the introduction of the Rally Monkey in 2000.

During a game against the Giants that season, the Angels showed a video clip of a monkey jumping around with L.A. trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Angels went on to win the game and the monkey became a staple at the ballpark in Anaheim. Many fans bring their own toy monkeys to the game and the Rally Monkey can be expected to show up late in games to energize the crowd.


The venue may have changed this year for the Bronx Bombers, but the passion of their fans has not.

The Yankees drew more than 3.7 million to Yankee Stadium, second only to the Dodgers in Major League Baseball.

They also lead the league in famous faces you are likely to see in the crowd, whether it's Billy Crystal, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or actress Kate Hudson.

Sometimes their fans even have a direct impact on the game. Remember Jeffrey Maier in the 1996 ALCS? The 12-year-old reached over and deflected a fly ball off the bat of Derek Jeter in Game 1 into the stands, which resulted in Jeter being credited with a home run.

The famed "Bleacher Creatures" are known for chanting the name of every Yankees player on the field in the first inning until that player acknowledges them. They can also be tough on opposing outfielders.

It's no surprise that with all the support the Yankees receive that they finished the regular season with the best home winning percentage in the Majors (.704), with a 57-24 record. The 57 wins tied the Major League record for most home wins by a team playing its first season in a new stadium. The mark the Yankees tied? It was that of the Red Sox, who also won 57 games in Fenway Park's first season in 1912.

The Bronx Bombers were even more amazing in the season's second half, winning 31 of their final 39 regular-season games at home, as well as capturing both games of the AL Division Series played at the Stadium.


Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.