SBD/7/Franchises

MLB TEAM NEWS & NOTES: BORN WITH A HALO OVER THEIR HEADS

          The Angels struck a deal with a group that represents
     22 Orange County hospitals, to present newborns with a tiny
     Angels hat, according to Barbara Kingsley of the ORANGE
     COUNTY REGISTER.  Angels Dir of Marketing Ken Wachter: "When
     I came here we saw lots of Dodger caps all over the place. 
     I said, 'we gotta gem 'em in the crib.'"  Kingsley added
     that the Angels are also "doing a better job of attracting
     adults," building its season-ticket base to about 15,000, up
     from less than 12,000 last year (O.C. REGISTER, 4/6).
          ATTENDANCE: The White Sox drew 25,358 for their home
     opener yesterday against the Rangers, the team's smallest
     opening day crowd since '75 (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/7)....The
     Tigers have sold out today's home opener against the Devil
     Rays (Tigers).  Tigers VP/Business Operations David Glazier
     said the team "did not make a profit" in '97, but that
     season ticket sales are up 27% this year and "we're hoping
     to draw 1.6 million-plus fans" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/7)....The
     Reds, who drew and average of 23,032 fans through their
     first six home dates, are down 19,888 over the first six
     dates from last year (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/6)....The
     Phillies lost "about" $8.4M in ticket revenue last season,
     after turnout "was about 600,000 below the average for the
     last 20 years" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/7).
          ALL ABOARD! The D'Backs have sold out a train ride that
     will carry fans from Tempe to BOB for games April 18 & 19. 
     D'Backs officials say "they want to give Valley residents a
     taste of what East Coast baseball fans have taken for
     granted: a train ride to the ballpark" (AZ REPUBLIC, 4/7).
          NOTES: Rupert Murdoch is scheduled to make his first
     public appearance as the new Dodgers owner today at the
     team's home opener against the D'Backs (USA TODAY, 4/7)....
     Hank Aaron will throw out the first pitch at the Brewers'
     home opener today against the Expos (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
     SENTINEL, 4/7)....Mario Lemieux will throw out the first
     pitch at the Pirates home opener today against the Braves
     (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/7).

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