Last week, as you likely saw, Facebook put out a map denoting the geographic outlines of every Major League Baseball team’s fanbase, as determined by the team with the most Facebook likes per county. Now, this is probably not the perfect measure of the size of a team’s fanbase, but it’s still pretty interesting.
Because I’m entirely provincial and also fascinated by local geography, I wanted to break this all down a little bit more, by local counties and municipalities. In the map above, brown is Nats, orange is Orioles, black is Yankees, dark blue is Braves, light green
blue is Phillies, yellow is Pirates, light pink is Reds, darkest blue is Indians and dark pink is Red Sox.
The Nats, not surprisingly, have one of baseball’s smallest fan bases in terms of geographic size — the franchise is new, our city is packed in between other metropolises, and it’s a population-dense area. (Still, at least they’re not the Mets or A’s, who registered a plurality in zero counties.) Here are the counties and municipalities where Nats fans predominate.
* Montgomery, Prince George’s and Charles counties in Maryland.
* Frederick, Clarke, Warren, Rappahannock, Madison, Culpeper, Orange, Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, Westmoreland, Fauquier, Prince William, Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia, plus the municipalities of Manassas, Fredericksburg, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax city.
That’s it. There aren’t many of us. That’s 18 counties, the District, and a handful of mostly small cities.
The Orioles have almost — but not all — of the state of Maryland, while also extending slightly into Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Here are the counties and municipalities where Orioles fans predominate.
* All of Maryland besides Montgomery, Prince George’s and Charles counties — which go Nats — and the far western Garrett County, which goes Pirates.
* Shenandoah and Accomack counties in Virginia, plus the city of Winchester, which is odd.
* York, Adams and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania.
* Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan and Hampshire counties in West Virginia.
Then there are the “others,” most notably Loudoun County, which shows up as a Yankees county on Facebook’s map. That cannot possibly be correct, right? There could not possibly be more Yankees fans than Nats fans in Loudoun County? I’m assuming this is some demographic glitch. Please?
Other weird ones: In Virginia, James City County — think Williamsburg — shows up as a Red Sox county. Greensville County — a tiny county on the North Carolina border — did not have enough data
registers for the Phillies.
Most of the rest of Virginia is for the Yankees, while the southwest corner goes Braves.
All three counties of Delaware go for the Phillies. There are also a ton of Orioles fans in Delaware, and I’d bet that might have looked different 30 years ago.
Locally, besides the Loudoun glitch and the unsettling predominance of the Yankees over the Nats in areas like Charlottesville, Caroline County and Richmond, the most interesting thing is Maryland. You’d have probably guessed this, but the Orioles still win in the border counties of Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Calvert and St. Mary’s — areas that have traditionally offered home delivery of The Washington Post. I don’t make the coverage decisions for our paper, of course, but those are some beefy areas, located a short drive from D.C., that still prefer the Orioles to the Nats.
At least based on this map.
Apologies for all technical geographical errors. And see the full map here.