Which States Have Never Had an MLB Baseball Team?

Baseball may be America’s pastime, and while it’s a popular sport in the U.S., the vast majority of states don’t even have an MLB team to call their own. That being said, many states did have an official MLB team, but many of those teams have since become defunct. Here’s a look at which states have never had an MLB baseball team.

The states with a Major League Baseball team

Colorado Rockies spring training map put together by relief pitcher James Farris
Colorado Rockies spring training map | John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images

According to Keydata, only 17 states are currently home to at least one MLB team. California is home to the most MLB teams, as the Golden State is home to five teams. Those teams are the Los Angeles Angels, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Oakland Athletics, the San Diego Padres, and the San Francisco Giants. Florida is home to the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays, and Illinois is home to the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox.

Missouri is home to the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals, while New York is home to the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. Ohio has the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds, Pennsylvania has the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Texas has the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.

Nine states only have one MLB team. Arizona has the Diamondbacks, Colorado has the Rockies, Georgia has the Atlanta Braves, Maryland has the Baltimore Orioles, and Massachusetts has the Boston Red Sox. In Michigan, there’s the Detroit Tigers, in Minnesota, there’s the Twins, in Wisconsin, there’s the Milwaukee Brewers, and finally, in Washington state, there’s the Seattle Mariners. 

States that have never had an official MLB team

In comparison, there are 22 states that don’t have an MLB team and never had an MLB team either. These states are: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Teams will usually settle in a city or state with a large population, as that’s an excellent way to get a lot of fans. Many states that never had an MLB team are small states, but there are a few exceptions. For example, North Carolina is home to over 10 million people, yet it doesn’t have an MLB team. It’s the same story for Oregon. 

That being said, as teams negotiate with cities over stadiums, this list may change. For example, fresh off of nabbing the Raiders from Oakland, Las Vegas may get the A’s as well in the future. If that happens, then the A’s will be Nevada’s first official MLB team. 

Here are the exceptions and states that used to have an official MLB team

Of course, there’s a long list of exceptions and states that used to have an MLB team. For example, Washington D.C. is home to the Washington Nationals, but D.C. isn’t a state yet. In the early days of baseball, there were a lot of MLB-recognized teams that either relocated or went defunct. Since the MLB recognized the Negro League not that long ago, many states used to be home to a Negro League team as well.

Kentucky was home to the Louisville Colonels, Grays, and Black Caps, and the Monroe Monarchs. Indiana had the Indianapolis Hoosiers and Blues. New Jersey had the Bacharach Giants and the Newark Peppers, Browns, Eagles, and Stars. Alabama hosted the Birmingham Black Barons and the Montgomery Grey Sox.

Arkansas had the Little Rock Grays, Tennessee had the Memphis Red Sox, and Connecticut had the Hartford Dark Blues. Louisiana had the New Orleans Stars, Rhode Island had the Providence Grays, Virginia had the Richmond Virginians, and Kansas was home to the Topeka Golden Giants. 

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