Regular-season attendance at major league baseball games was down by about 800,000 in 1984, the commissioner's office announced last night. It totaled 44,739,157, against the record 45,540,338 of 1983.
Seven teams, however, reported all-time-high home attendance: Detroit (2,704,794), Chicago Cubs (2,104,219), Toronto (2,110,009), Baltimore (2,045,784), Chicago White Sox (2,135,988), San Diego (1,983,904) and Minnesota (1,598,442).
Overall, attendance is up 50 percent from the 1975 level.
The minor leagues reported decreased attendance for the first time since 1974. The 14,753,093 total marked a 6 percent decline from 1983 admissions . . .
Maury Wills, rebounding from a bout of depression the former stolen base champion says plunged him into drug addiction, says he enjoyed Thanksgiving for the first time in four years.
Wills, 52, who grew up in Washington, D.C., said he is free of the drug problem that took control of his life after he was fired as Seattle Mariners manager in 1981. The shock of the firing was compounded by personal problems, he said, and for two years his world began and ended inside his Playa del Rey home in southern California.
Helped by professional counseling, Wills now is a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers' speakers bureau and involved in promoting a company that sells nutrient supplements . . .
In Toronto, the Blue Jays plan to hire a falconer, who will use his mastery of the predatory birds to control an influx of seagulls that plague home games.
Players, fans and maintenance workers have complained about the gulls, who gather by the hundreds around the lakefront stadium. Aside from their droppings, they sometimes become a factor in play.