Saturday, August 9, 2014

Interactive Baseball Map

I grow weary of all of the political maps of the country showing the red, blue, and gray projections for the upcoming election. I wish they would use other colors like green and yellow.

The coolest map that I have run across in a very long time is in this morning's New York Times online. It is an interactive map of the United States divided by baseball teams. The article, Up Close on Baseballs Borders, is an interesting and different look at how regions of the US follow major league baseball teams as determined from Facebook. 

From this map, I was able to determine that 62 percent of baseball fans living in Tompkins County, New York, are Yankees fans. But, I also discovered that 9 percent are Red Sox fans and that 6 percent are Mets fans. Interesting--maybe there is some truth to the Red Sox nation idea. Within just the 14850 zip code in Tompkins County, however, the percentage of Yankees fans drops to 50 percent and the percentage of Red Sox fans increases to 16 percent and the Mets fan base also increases, but only to 8 percent.

In my own Howard County, Maryland, I was distressed to learn that only 50 percent of the fans are Orioles fans, with 10 percent for the Nationals, and, unbelievably, 8 percent for the Red Sox. At least the Yankees got shut out of the top three. For my zip code, however, I am happy to report that 66 percent of the fans are Orioles but the Yankees have 9 and the Red Sox have 5 percent of the fan base. 

It was fun to troll around the country and find where different teams are the strongest. I found a whole swath of the western portion of the country in Idaho and Utah where the Yankees or Red Sox were had the biggest fan base. I was also surprised that most of Virginia are Yankee fans. 

Checking out this map was a lot more fun than looking at political projections. I was intrigued by the breakdowns in Alaska and Hawaii--Yankees and Red Sox often have the highs percentage of the fan base.

It is a well done map and I had a lot of fun wandering around the country.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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