What is “a baseball city?” For some, the phrase evokes the Bronx or Boston, places that are dripping with baseball history. For others, a baseball city is a spot that has consistently harbored a warm appreciation for the game despite the lackluster showings of local clubs; Chicago is a prime example of this definition. For others still, a baseball city is a place that’s a hotbed of talent, anywhere where the sport is represented most often at the highest level. That’s the definition that we’ll be rolling with today.
A couple quick notes on the data that we’ll be using, courtesy of Sportchart, according to the site, a city’s boundaries were held to a fairly strict standard, so if you don’t see a city like Los Angeles listed (spoiler alert: you won’t) consider that only Los Angeles is being counted, not Greater L.A. Now, on to the list.
6. Miami, U.S.A. — 8 active players
Now that the Heat have faded out of the picture, perhaps it’s time for the Miami Marlins to step into the power vacuum and absorb all the limelight? Well, maybe not, but the presence of eight MLB players that all call the Cruise Ship Capital of the World home has got to be a nice boost to local pride.
5. Maracay, Venezuela — 8 active players
Baseball is huge in the Southern Hemisphere, and the capital of Aragua — one of the states that make up Venezuela — has the same number of professional representatives as Miami. Historically, Venezuela has sent over 300 players into the MLB.
4. San Pedro De Macorís, Dominican Republic — 9 active players
San Pedro De Macorís, the homeplace of Sammy Sosa, now boasts nine active players in the MLB today, and the Dominican Republic has sent over 600 baseball players to the league. Sosa remains, arguably, the most famous, despite his tainted reputation and steroided legacy today.
3. San Diego, U.S.A. — 10 active players
California is the leading state in the United States when it comes to professional baseball players, watching more than 2,000 of its native sons go pro — followed by Illinois (over 1,000 players), Pennsylvania (over 1,300), and New York (1,100 plus), and Ohio, which is one shy of a thousand players. Today, though, San Diego takes top honors as the most represented Californian city in the MLB. Numbers per The Baseball Almanac.
2. Houston, U.S.A. — 15 players
Right now, Houston, Texas is the birthplace of the most concentrated batch of American Major League Baseball players in the league today. To play the percentages, 22 percent of American baseball stars come from California (as a state), followed by Texas, with 11.5 percent, and Florida, coming in at an even 10.6 percent.
1. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — 18
The city that’s best represented through the MLB on the world stage is Santo Domingo, which could nearly field a 25 man roster of their own (and, combined with the Domincan Republic’s other representative, they could.) While concerns about baseball’s popularity may be a province of North America’s relationship to the sport, it appears that the further south you go, the more exciting the idea of baseball is.