Just 36 Fans Paid to See Yanks and Athletics Play at Shibe Park
On September 8, 1916, New York played in Philadelphia before the "smallest crowd ever" and lost, 3-2.
The New York Sun described it this way (September 9, 1916):
"Perhaps the smallest crowd which ever saw a ball game since the flood worked havoc in Noah's league some time before Julius Caesar's circuit blew watched the Athletics pummel up the Yankees in the manner of the Mackmen of old here this afternoon. The score was 3 to 2. Mack entertained twenty-five fans and they liked the show. That was the exact count, and most of them came in on coupons.
"It was a funny situation which could seldom happen to a big league club. A sever thunderstorm swept over Philadelphia just before the game and lots of lightning and thunder, and of course no one suspected there would be a game. But Connie Mack wouldn't let a little thing like a rainstorm cut in on his barnstorming plans.
When the schedule was drafted last winter the Yanks were billed to play here next Monday, but Monday is a bad day here, so Mack shoved Monday's date forward and announced a double header would be played tomorrow. He then scheduled a little barnstorming trip embracing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the last named being an open date.
"The league by-laws insist that all scheduled games be played if it is humanly possible. Had to-day's game been postponed Connie would have been required to play on Monday, and that would have cut in on his barnstorming schedule. So he waited to-day until the storm was over, and one hour after the scheduled time of the game the two teams took the field before their select crowd. There were more ball players than fans. The field was covered with mud, but Mack will play the exhibition dates, so everything is all right."
The New York Evening Telegram of September 9, 1916 had this to add about the game:
"It is more or less of a miracle than no one was injured. The players slid around in three inches of mud on the base paths and none had been provided with anti-skid chains. The result was that no one tried for a difficult chance and no runners attempted to beat out his hits."