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Census: Baseball games draw 80M spectators

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Year that the first organized baseball game with recognizably modern rules was played – between the Knickerbocker Baseball Club of New York and an informal team called the New York Nine – according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1846

Number of innings played: 4

Number of spectators who now are attracted to professional baseball games across the country annually: 80 million

Sports stars
Ranks of Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant, Derek Jeter, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning on the list of America’s favorite sports stars, according to a Harris Interactive poll: 1 (tie), 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Danica Patrick and Mia Hamm on the list of America’s favorite female sports stars: 1, 2, 3, 4

World Cup watchers
Number of U.S. viewers who watched the World Cup final match between Spain and the Netherlands, making it the most watched soccer game in U.S. television history, according to Nielsen Co.: 24.3 million

Number who watched the U.S.-Ghana match earlier in this World Cup: 19.4 million

Brand recognition
Though Nike is not an official World Cup sponsor, due to some creative marketing, the company’s percentage of the “World Cup buzz,” according to Nielsen Co.: 30.2

Percentage of the buzz attributed to Adidas, a Fédération Internationale de Football Association partner: 14.4

Of the 32 teams participating in the World Cup finals, number that will be wearing Nike uniforms, including the U.S. and Australia, compared to 12 for Adidas: 9

Super Bowl spending

Number of 30-second commercial slots during the Super Bowl in 2010, an increase from 55 in 2007, according to industry research firm IBISWorld: 62

Cost this year of a 30-second commercial spot, down from $3 million last year: $2.7 million

Marathon motivation
Rank of songs from the soundtrack of the classic “Rocky” films on the list of the most motivational songs to run to for the fourth year in succession, according to a poll of marathon runners by 1

Ranks of “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “Keep on Running” by the Spencer Davis Group and “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis as the most popular individual songs: 1, 2, 3

What we enjoy
Ranks of a professional sports event, the zoo, live theater and a high school sports event on the list of the top events attended during the past year by American adults, according to Scarborough research in June: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of gardening, swimming, volunteer work and photography activities on the list of top personal activities enjoyed by American adults during the past year: 1, 2, 3, 4

Idle Thought
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." —Author Stephen King

John MacIntyre is a Nova Scotia-based author and former city magazine editor. His “Figuratively Speaking” column, launched in 1989, is published in more than 40 newspapers and magazines.
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