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New York Times Baseball Map Offers No Surprises For Illinois Baseball Fans

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 24, 2014 4:00PM

This morning’s time waster is The New York Times’ interactive map of baseball nation, which breaks down fan allegiances for all Major League Baseball clubs by ZIP code.

Astute baseball fans should already know fan allegiances in Illinois break down to Cubs and White Sox in Chicago and northern Illinois and St. Louis Cardinals fans in the central and southern reaches of the state. Using an algorithm based on how many Facebook users “liked” a team in a ZIP code, the Times calculated fan support for the Cubs, Sox and Cardinals in Illinois. They determined the Cubs dominate in fan support on the North side, north and northwest suburbs and northwest Indiana. The dividing line appears to be the Eisenhower Expressway, where Sox fans are their most vocal on the South Side and south suburbs. Again, no surprise here except for the 60637 ZIP code encompassing the University of Chicago, whose residents are predominantly Cubs fans. (It does reinforce Hyde Park’s reputation as being an alternate universe within the city.)

The Times did seem surprised by the strong support for the Cardinals among Illinoisans downstate but baseball fans there grew up to wear Cardinals hats thanks to decades listening to Jack Buck and Harry Caray on the 50,000-watt AM radio blowtorch KMOX, the Cardinals flagship station. Both Buck and Caray are long gone but those allegiances still run strong.