Looking Back: Madison Mallards Draw 10,061 Fans for Single Game

On June 12, 2004, the stars aligned for a record-setting night in Madison, WI. 10,061 fans packed the Duck Pond for the team’s 100th home game, on what team officials described as the first night of good weather they had all year, and saw the Mallards take home a 4-1 victory against the Rochester Honkers.

Buzz around the team had been steadily growing throughout its first three seasons, and continued into 2004 spurred by ballpark renovations, promotions and a solid team on the field. On this particular night, throw in fireworks, a giveaway of limited-edition prints to celebrate the 100th game, and a large group outing, and you have yourself an unforgettable night.

The crowd set the Northwoods League and summer collegiate league record for single-game attendance and was believed to be the largest crowd to ever see an organized baseball game in Madison, which had previously been home to both independent professional and affiliated minor league teams.

Interesting Notes

  • The Madison Mallards would go on to win the League title in 2004 with an overall record of 42-22.
  • In the early days of the Northwoods League, there were 11 times that Madison’s June 12, 2004, single-game attendance would have surpassed a team’s SEASON attendance total.
  • Mallards’ manager Darrell Handelsman, who at the time had been a manager in the League for 9 seasons, was quoted as saying of that night, “I never thought in all my years I’d ever live to see something like that.”

On June 12, 2004, the first 100 fans received this framed print from the Madison Mallards.


Aerial photograph of Warner Park on June 12, 2004.


Visit our 25th Season Celebration page to read about other memorable moments previously released.