In April, The New York Times published a fascinating study done by Tom Giratikanon, Josh Katz, David Leonhardt, and Kevin Quealy. They looked at the distribution of baseball fans according to team, by zip code and county. They then compiled their data in an all-inclusive, interactive map. Facebook likes have been used before to show the distribution of baseball fans, but never in this detail. The map allows the reader to zoom in and view in each zip code or county the top 3 baseball clubs by Facebook likes. Some of the results are not surprising, but there are several interesting points that this map reveals.

The main article can be viewed here: Up Close on Baseball’s Borders

And the map is HERE

It is all great material for a podcast, so Paul Fritschner and I discussed this topic on The Top Step with special guest Ms. Emma Boyle as our human geography correspondent.

Throughout the map, the gray area between fan nations is where the Yankees hold the largest percentage of facebook likes. And the Red Sox are generally the second most popular team in these regions. It’s interesting throughout the country to see who the third most popular team is. For instance, as we discussed the Nationals do not hold any territory in Virginia outside of the northern most DC suburbs. South of Fredericksburg, the Yankees overtake the Nats and hold the majority. But the Nats are not even the third team from points south of Fredericksburg. There, the Braves join the Yanks and Sox as the top three clubs. This is indicative of Virginia citizens outside of the DC suburbs identifying as “southerners” and not wanting anything to do with the hassle of our nation’s capital.

For your reference, here are a few of the specific regions we discussed:

The Red Sox-Yankees line that snakes around Hartford, CT

Red Sox-Yankees

The Orioles-Nationals line that is much closer to DC than it is to Baltimore. The O’s larger territory is due in part to the fact that Washington was without a baseball team for over 30 years.Orioles-Nationals line

The Mets-Phillies/Sub-Hoagie line:

Mets-Phillies

The sad map of Florida baseball fans:

Florida Baseball Fans

Make sure you check out Paul’s blog, Our Nationals Pastime, and give him a follow on Twitter @PaulFritschner

You can follow me on Twitter @smiller_96 (my feed is on the right side of this page).

Of course, thanks to Ms. Boyle for her expert insight and ever-articulate analysis and the folks at The New York Times for doing this fascinating study. And make sure you keep checking back here for more posts and podcasts. Our next show should come out towards the end of next week. Thanks for stopping by.

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