MLB Team Culture: Top Cities & Franchises

If you ask a baseball fan which MLB team has the top culture, they’re likely to mention their own squad. After all, fans are apt to see the very best in their home team. Even those who can admit that their team isn’t the crème of the crop in terms of standings, or the most passionate in terms of spectatorship, there’s almost always a solid foundation of respect and admiration.

But teams go through ebbs and flows. The more successful a team becomes, the more fans are willing to show up, make noise, and otherwise show their support. Baseball fans also tend to focus on data and analysis more than other leagues, as the sport involves quite a few stats. The most popular way for fans to test out their analytical skills is through betting.

Using offers like betting bonuses from sportsbooks, fans can dive into the details to forecast a futures bet, runlines, and a myriad of player props. Backing their team and favorite players with a few bets is becoming more popular thanks to the availability of sportsbooks throughout the US. This popularity has brought with it competition, which encourages online bookies to run promotions and offer free bets to attract customers.

That being said, a team’s success isn’t measured by how active fans are at sportsbooks. When looking at metrics like legacy, revenue, polls, and population, let’s take a look at some of North America’s greatest MLB fan cultures.

Best Legacies: St. Louis Cardinals & NY Yankees

Looking at the MLB’s list of the teams with the most World Series titles is one easy way to gauge a team’s legacy. The NY Yankees lead the league in terms of the most wins with a staggering total of 27. The St. Louis Cardinals are far behind with 11 total. Both teams include quite a few wins from the 1930s and 40s, which highlights their longstanding presence.

The Cardinals are a bit more interesting to study compared to the Yankees. After all, a city like New York has the resources to support a legacy team—but a Midwestern city like St. Louis is a highly unlikely candidate. Despite a much smaller size and fewer resources (including funding), the Cardinals have managed to produce some of the biggest players in the league, from Stan Musial to Yadier Molina.

Fan Culture: Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, & Philadelphia Phillies

In terms of fan culture, let’s shout out three of the most dedicated groups in the MLB. The Chicago Cubs stand out for their longstanding home of Wrigley Field—and the fact that fans are still obsessed with this team even though they’ve only taken home three World Series titles since 1876.

The Red Sox benefit from a similar home field advantage at Fenway Park—along with an intergenerational rivalry with the Yankees that gives fans something to bond over. Lastly, the Phillies don’t have quite as nice of a home field… but they do have a bald eagle who flies across the field before each game. And a wildly entertaining (if a bit controversial) mascot in the Philly Phanatic. 

Largest Fan Bases: New York Yankees & Atlanta Braves

In terms of the sheer number of fans, nothing comes close to the New York Yankees or, though it may surprise you, the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees have a solid hold on New York, though they share the market with the highly popular Mets. Unlike the Mets, the Yankees have exported their brand (from clothing to insignia) around the world, which means people from Singapore to São Paulo likely recognize the Yankees’ logo.

The Braves, on the other hand, benefit from being the only team in the southeast (barring Florida’s two franchises). The nearest teams can be found in Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. That means almost all baseball fans in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama are likely Braves fans.

Biggest Pockets: San Francisco Giants & LA Angels

Lastly, let’s take a look at MLB teams in terms of pure revenue. Most people would assume that the Yankees have a stranglehold on the market, but a study from 2020 that explored debt, operating income, and market size found that the San Francisco Giants and LA Angels came out ahead of the competition.

Some of this falls back on the average income in these markets, along with growing fanbases. Though both teams compete with crosstown rivals, they’ve successfully built loyal fanbases.

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