Despite having what I considered to be a relatively normal upbringing in a suburb just outside Hartford, Conn., The New York Times revealed Thursday that I grew up in a war zone.
Mining the data of how many Facebook users “like” each MLB team by zip code, The Times mapped the geography of each team’s fandom (above). To no one’s surprise, the Red Sox dominate New England, the Braves dominate the state of Georgia, and the like.
More interesting is where Red Sox fans end and Yankees fans begin. The Times drilled down into Connecticut, long known as the state where these two fan bases split. Here, with what qualifies as fairly accurate data (you wouldn’t click “like” on a team you don’t like), we’re finally able to see the exact places where Sox and Yankees fans are most predominant.
To my surprise, my hometown of South Windsor (06074), in the north-central/eastern part of the state, falls on the exact border of where Sox fans end and Yankees fans begin. Forty-four percent Facebook likes in my town are for the Red Sox, forty percent for the Yankees (the Mets get two percent, which seems about right). Directly to my south and west — in East Hartford and Windsor, respectively — is the start of Yankees country. Oh, the horror.
I spent a good part of my adolescence arguing with classmates that Nomar Garciaparra was better than Derek Jeter (verdict’s still out, right?). Given the success of the Yankees and the continued Red Sox World Series drought at that time, it wasn’t always fun. It might have been easier to defect into enemy territory, but that’s what fair weather fans do. Stay strong, South Windsor.