Is St. Louis the best baseball city in America? One website says yes.
The impassioned speech by James Earl Jones in the film Field of Dreams explains beautifully the power that baseball holds over the American spirit.
Baseball is definitely U.S.-specific, and the power it wields over Americans is felt not only in cities with major league teams, but in every community in the country that hosts games from T-ball to the pros.
By looking at 11 different metrics related to a community’s love of baseball, including average ticket and minimum season ticket prices in major league and minor league professional baseball cities, stadium accessibility, and win-loss records, the website WalletHub determined the best and worst cities in America for baseball.
Other metrics included the number of Major League Baseball or NCAA Division I teams within a reasonable distance, number of titles won, number of sports bars per capita (for proper viewing), and number of twitter followers for the teams.
With all of that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the No. 1 community in America for baseball is that hotbed of baseball love, St. Louis. With the Cardinals as one of the most consistent winners over the last 50 years, St. Louis has no shame about its love for the diamond game.
Ranked No. 2 overall, mostly on the strength of its “cost and fan engagement”’ totals, is Pittsburgh, home of the Pirates. The rest of the top five communities all host MLB teams – Cincinnati (the Reds), Atlanta (the Braves) and Cleveland (the Indians).
But at No. 6, the list gets funky. The sixth-rated community out of the 272 communities judged was Stanford, Calif., home to a spirited fan base for the college baseball team, with both the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland A’s relatively nearby. No. 7 is the far western N.C. town of Cullowhee, home of Western Carolina University. Chapel Hill., N.C., also shows up in the top 20, at No. 12
Anaheim, Oakland and Minneapolis make up the rest of the top 10.
The worst pro city that serves as home to an MLB tram is Dallas, at 227th. The Rangers actually play in Arlington, which is 20 miles west of downtown Dallas.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.