Here's the Scoop: April 30, 2014
Cheering for the home team
A friend sent me a link to an interesting article the other day. It seems that some enterprising folks thought it would be interesting to track the various percentages of fans for each zip code in the country.
Upon first hearing this news, you might wonder how this is achieved? Well, Facebook, (FB) of course. Big Brother IS watching you and he knows if you’re a Derek Jeter fan or not. The New York Times article offers fascinating insights into the baseball habits of fans across the country — based on their zip codes and the team preference they express on their FB page. If you “Like” the Yankees or any other major league team, your vote was counted.
It probably comes as little surprise that the Yankees were the preferred team in nearly all of New York City, with the exception of a tiny segment of Queens where the Mets call home. Upstate in New York, it’s more of the same.
See the map
The really cool thing about this story is that it comes with an interactive map that allows you to click on your home zip code and see what you’re up against as a baseball fan. For an Orioles fan like myself, the odds are long.
For instance, the 12455 zip code shows the following breakdown: Yankee fans 69 percent, Mets fans 10 percent, Red Sox fans nine percent. The remaining 12 percent is for those of us who choose to root for “other” teams. I’m guessing many of these folks are like a childhood friend who announced each spring that his favorite team was the one that earned the World Series title the previous fall.
That certainly takes a lot of the stress and disappointment out of rooting for a particular ball club. On the other hand, because teams lately don’t repeat championships that often (yes, Yankee fans, I hear you hollering “1998, 1999, 2000”), being a fan based on rooting for the World Series winner could get expensive in terms of buying new T-shirts and hats nearly every season.
I was actually encouraged that the 12455 (Margaretville) didn’t have all Yankees fans — minus myself and one friend who shares my passion for the Orioles. Of course, since I’m not particularly fond of letting FB “Friends” (who are these people?) know the intimate details of my baseball rooting preferences, I realized that I haven’t “Liked” any team on my FB page. So, I’m not even one of “the 12 percent” of non-Yankee, Met or Red Sox fans in this neighborhood.
Having some fun with the interactive map, I clicked on 12406, where I spend most of my days. The results were worse. The Arkville zip code has Yankee fans leading the charge at 72 percent. Met fans were next at 10 percent and Red Sox fans clocked in at six percent — boosted, no doubt, by Kyle Holden and Bruce Beddoe!
It gets better
Yankee fans may be surprised to learn that folks around the country root for other teams. Really. Sure, there are Yankee fans all over the place, but the article provides a nice glimpse into the rivalries of fans in each big league territory — Cubs-White Sox, Astros-Rangers, Dodgers-Angels, etc.
As one might expect, teams that have recently won a World Series generally had an advantage in the fan department. Seems as if my childhood friend wasn’t alone in his “rooting interests.”
— Brian Sweeney