Major League Birthplaces

A brief history of the United States

The charts below show which state MLB players were born in for 4 different time periods. The charts are order in four rows of three columns with each row representing a different time period; the top row show the start of baseball while the bottom row is the present day

The chart in the left column shows the count of players born in each state, where the more players come from the state colored darker than those in a light color The red dots on the chart show where there was a major league franchise during that time period. The rectangle off the Atlantic coast of Florida represents the rest of the world.

The middle column show the distribution of all people across the United States over the four time periods. The column on the right shows the density of ball players among the general population for each state and time period

This exercise started simply to ask where do ballplayers come from. In addition, I think I got a brief US history lesson, with the decline NE hegemony, the rise of new national power centers, globalization, and the outsourcing of the national pastime.

Player count by state State population Players per 1 million population  
c p d A nice portrait of post-Civil War America. Baseball is a northeastern game, from Missouri to Massachusetts. I love seeing 3 franchises in upstate NY, and 3 in New England not Boston. When manufacturing was king.
1870 - 1909  
c p d Baseball is still only played in the northeast, but now players come from all over. Even in the NE, the clubs have consolidated into the major cities - 7 clubs in Boston, NY, and Philly. The first inklings of CA and Texas power. A burst of clubs outside the NE corridor looks inevitable.
1910 - 1949  
c p d The golden age of the Golden State. Ballplayers flood out of CA like vegetables from the Central Valley. Franchises find their way out to the west coast and the South. The high density from OK makes me think of Mickey Mantle.
1950 - 1989  
c p d Baseball for everyone! By everyone! FEBE! Florida ascendant ... But what's this inkblot off the Florida coast? It's the rest of the world, led by the Dominican Republic flooding into the big leagues like there was no wall there. It should be interesting to see how this period finishes in 2030
1990 - present  
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