Given the number of games (ten times as many) baseball doesn’t draw regular season crowds like football. But that doesn’t mean you gotta sit alone on your couch in your jersey to root for your favorite team, even if that team resides outside the five boroughs. If you’re looking for your kind, a good rule of thumb is to check out your usual NFL (or even NCAA) spot because often the affiliation is based on owner homesickness. Otherwise, check out the list below and be thankful you live in a city unafraid of opposing cheers, though we do not recommend, say, parading into Stan’s (836 River Ave., Bronx) in anything but pinstripes. Ditto for orange and blue (and black) at McFadden’s (36-2 126th Street, Flushing).
Here's the list of Best Bars for Baseball Loving NYC Ex-Pats:
2012' #1: San Francisco Giants
FINNERTY’s (221 Second Ave.; 212-677-2655)
Finnerty’s is a no-brainer for fans of last year’s champs (and everything San Francisco sports, thanks to about a dozen 49ers fans who morphed into the hundreds and spun off). The World Series Trophy has been here - twice, of course - while on tour. And Giants CEO Larry Baer has stopped in and bought pizza for the house. Finnerty’s even organizes tickets and buses to NYC games when SF is in town. This year that means back-to-back Mets and Yankees series in September.
Boston Red Sox
PHEBE’s (359-361 Bowery; 212-358-1902).
PROFESSOR THOM’S (219 2nd Ave.; 212-260-9480).
NYC may be as far from Fenway as you can get (figuratively speaking), but Red Sox fans have many choices when it comes to sharing in their forbidden love. These venues tie for fan favorites. Phebe’s is a longtime frequented Red Sox refuge. Decades. With TV’s of all shapes and sizes, and one owner determined to get a rise from his neighbors (all of NYC), Professor Thom’s is becoming the same, with ticket giveaways, and Boston-related specials on Tuesdays (like $4 Harpoon).
SIDEBAR (120 E. 15th St., 212-677-2900).
This all out Ravens bar is also nest to fans of the other Baltimore bird who have landed far from Oriole Park.
Tampa Bay Rays
VILLAGE POURHOUSE (64 Third Ave.; 212-979-2337)
This NYU-friendly bar has tuned in to every Rays game since third baseman Evan Longoria first stopped in for a post-Yankees-game drink in 2006
Toronto Blue Jays
TAVERN 29 (47 E 29th St.; 212-685-4422)
A favorite spot of an ex-pat Canadians group, this bar will show any Blue Jays game, any time, though maybe not every TV (hey, this IS NY, eh?).
SHORTY’S (576 Ninth Ave.; 212-967-3055)
We don’t like to say nice things when Philly and sports are in the same sentence but we cannot deny appreciation of cheesesteak, $9, nearly 40 beer options, and a venue that has deep (brotherly) love for its hometown teams. A Phanatic himself, owner Evan Stein has bread shipped in daily for that extra authentic taste. Of all the mini chain’s locations, this one is the place to watch everything Philadelphia. They’re currently swapping out Eagles gear for Phillies gear – on the walls, of course - to really get into the current season.
Foley’s Pub and Restaurant (18 W. 33rd St., 212-290-0080)
Last fall, to honor the last time Chipper Jones – who named his son Shea for the stadium he loved to play in - would play in NYC (after 19 seasons with the Braves), Foley’s changed its name to Chipper’s for the Braves’ weekend visit. Since they have no official NYC home we’ll deem Foley’s the place for Braves fans.
“If you’re a true sports fan, you root for your team, but you have to respect greatness. I took grief from Mets fan but he’s a hall-of-famer. I had to go to Citi Field and meet him before his last game,” says owner Shaun Clancy. But, really, you’ll find fans (including visiting players and umps) of all teams at this classic, memorabilia-laden sports bar named for Red Foley, the NYC-based baseball writer and major league official scorekeeper, who was friends with Clancy (they met at a Mets game).
“I’d go as far as to say we’re the number one bar in NY for fans of other teams. If you’re respectful, we welcome you. Root for your team; don’t root against the other team.”
If you’re any kind of baseball fan, plan to watch at least one game here this season.
THE GIN MILL (442 Amsterdam Ave.; 212-580-9080)
Official home of the Gotham Gators (alumni association) for more than a decade, this is a well known destination for Florida fans, which spills off to include a few Marlins.
THE FULTON (121 Fulton St.; 646-545-6647)
About a dozen Nats fans congregate weekly (informally, on weekends, sans jerseys to root for of the team that finished first in the NL East last year.
Kelly’s Sports Bar (12 Avenue A; 212-388-1464)
Owner Gerry Doyle — who equally loves Wrigley Field and feels bad for “a team with a lot of bad luck”— tried to import Old Style beer (the Wrigley classic) to NYC’s only Cubs bar to enhance the game watching experience. NY laws blocked his efforts but there’s no law against supporting one of the MLB’s original teams.
MUSTANG SALLY’S (324 7th Ave; 212-695-3806)
It’s not quite the Great American Ballpark but two seasons ago management at Mustang Sally’s announced allegiance to the Reds to align with customer request and though it may not be en masse, you will see red here for every game.
KETTLE OF FISH (59 Christopher St., 212-414-2278)
Owned by Wisconsin native Patrick Daley since 1999 this bar is the place for Brewers fans who know there’s more to Miller Park than the awesome Racing Sausages, and the stellar selection of beer. Every season there’s WI-brew too. Right now it’s Sprecher, on draft and in bottle.
HIBERNIA (401 W. 50th St., 212-969-9703)
Technically a Steelers bar that starts every spring with Pirates fans who peter out around July (hopes dashed), it’s just like the limited crowds at PNC Park.
St. Louis Cardinals
STUMBLE INN (1454 Second Ave. 212-650-0561)
Honoring the request of three guys from St. Louis who now live around the corner, Cardinals games are on the screen here nearly every night. This is just how some of these more crowded ex-pat fan bars got their start.
TRAFFIC BAR & GRILL (701 9th Ave., 212-837-2702)
Don’t expect a bar full of purple and black caps but as a University of Colorado alumni association bar (the president lives down the street), there are often Rockies fans in the house. And in the fall they serve Boulder Beer.
Los Angeles Dodgers
It’s hard to believe that fans of the team birthed in Brooklyn and managed by Don Mattingly, have no true home in NYC, not even in bars near the former Ebbets Field. For shame! Dodgers fans, hope MLB Extra Innings (Time Warner Cable) out-of-market games suit you.
San Diego Padres
DEWEY’S FLATIRON (210 5th Ave.; 212-696-2337)
San Diego fans lost their NYC bar last season (it closed). A former Dewey’s waitress used to watch Chargers games there. Last season she brought the group here, and the expectation is that Swinging Friars faithful will follow.
STANDINGS BAR (43 E 7th St.; 212-420-0671)
At Chase Field there are concessions stands called “Streets of New York” -- but here in NY the streets don’t reciprocate the goodwill. So we suggest Diamondbacks fans slither down to the East Village where the folks at Standings have rotating baseball-themed beers – like Brooklyn Pennant Ale -on tap, and a high tolerance for out-of-towners (incl numerous alumni groups and Bostonians).
Chicago White Sox
GAEL PUB (1465 Third Ave.; 212-517-4141).
This is a Bears bar that happily caters to off-football-season Chicago sports fans by tuning in to White Sox games upon request.
MANNY’S ON SECOND (1770 2nd Ave,; 212-410-3300
Browns and Buckeyes fans from across the city know this bar well, and the open Ohio invitation extends to the less represented Indians too. Ask, and you shall receive televised Tribe.
Cody’s American Bar & Grill (154 Court St.; 718- 852-6115)
Once a base for a few Michigan fans, Cody’s says they show Tigers games because they like to make people happy, and apparently many natives of the Wolverine State live near Cobble Hill (we know 4!).
Kansas City Royals
MULHOLLAND’S (312 Grand St., W’burg; 718-486-3473)
Another team that’s short on a NYC cheering squad (a 30-year curse started by George Brett and some pine tar, perhaps) so if you want to watch the Royals why not try to take over a sports bar in a not so sporty neighborhood?
THE WINDSOR (234 W. 4th St.; 212-206-1208
Chances are high you can catch every Twins game at this upscale sports bar where a Minnesotan manager keeps constant tabs on his team.
Any Bar You Dare
The team originally known as the Colt .45s is starting its first season ever in the AL (after 50 years in the NL). Maybe that will draw out their NYC fans and inspire someone to adopt them. We called some 200 bars and not one stepped up. Guess it’s hard to get too excited about a team with more than 100 losses in each of the last two seasons.
Los Angeles Angels
THE AUSTRALIAN (20 West 38th St., 212-869-8601)
Technically The Australian turns the sound up for any MLB team with a player from Oz. That mostly means A’s games (pitchers galore) …but convince the bartender that Sydney-native got called up from the minors and the Angels will rule the TV (or, just ask, because they like fans of all teams here).
PACIFIC STANDARD (82 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn; 718-858-1951)
Since 2007, Berkeley-grad (and NoCal transplant) proprietors Jonathan Stan and John Rauschenberg have been supporting everything East Bay in Park Slope. Show up in A’s attire for $1 of Sierra Nevadas.
CARLOW EAST (1254 Lexington Ave.; 212-650-9118)
Since owner (and former employee) Sean Spratt visited and was seduced by the Emerald City (!) many years ago, Carlow East has been home to NYC-based Seattle fans of all sports.
STOUT NYC (133 W. 33rd St.; 212-629-6191)
A Texas Exes bar (that’s the Univ of Texas) with Lone Star beer on the menu, they’re always ready to tune in to anything with Texas in the name.
p.s. If you cannot find a Yankees or Mets bar in this town, perhaps you should try leaving your apartment. And since this is NY, most every bar will show both teams, on at least one TV.