Forbes Magazine's annual franchise rankings this year rate the Orioles as having the 10th-best fans in baseball, while the franchise value climbed over $1 billion for the first time.
According to its franchise valuation rankings, the Orioles are the 15th-most valuable franchise in the sport at $1 billion. The Orioles, like every other team, saw their franchise value skyrocket this year, due to the general buyers market when it comes to professional sports franchises and baseball's booming media value.
In 2014, just five teams were valued by Forbes at $1 billion. Ten more teams, including the Orioles, joined that club in this year's list.
This year's "best fan" rankings, which appear to have replaced the most loyal fan rankings of old, are decided by five separate criteria.
"Hometown crowd reach (defined by Nielsen Scarborough as a percentage of the metropolitan area population that watched, attended, and/or listened to a game in the last year), three years worth of television ratings (per Nielsen), three years of stadium attendance based on capacity reached, three years worth of merchandise sales (per MLB.com), and social media reach (a combination of Facebook fans and Twitter followers as a percentage of the team's metro area population)."
The Orioles could be considered No. 10 with a bullet, considering the team's vast reach on social media, the growing attendance and television ratings, and the team's on-field success.
In Forbes' caption, the Orioles' merchandise sales, buoyed by Adam Jones and Manny Machado, was cited for their inclusion, as well as the recent spike in interest.
It's hard to gripe with the placement, considering the Orioles have been on an upswing in recent years.
Still, these are "best" fans rankings, and it's hard to swallow being behind fanbases who are objectively the worst, like the Cardinals (No. 1), Red Sox (No. 2), Phillies (No. 8) and Yankees (No. 9).