March 31, 2021

“During the late 19th and 20th centuries, baseball was the most widely played sport in the United States, earning the title ‘America’s pastime’… The story of baseball and the story of our nation are intertwined.”

The story continues this year when all 30 Major League Baseball teams play on Opening Day April 1.

MLB has 29 teams spread across 25 metro areas in the United States and one in Canada. Four metros have two teams each:  the three largest — New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago — and No. 12 San Francisco.

The 30th MLB team, Canada’s Toronto Blue Jays, is in a metro area with an estimated 6.3 million population, so would rank sixth if it were in United States.

Of the nation’s 21 largest metros, all but one has an MLB team: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metro Area, just east of Los Angeles, with a population of 4.7 million.

Major League Baseball today has 15 teams in each of its two leagues — American and National — and five teams in each of six divisions. Find all those teams on the map and a few things will pop up (pun intended).

 Only six MLB teams have a state name in their team name: Texas Rangers; Arizona Diamondbacks; Colorado Rockies; Minnesota Twins; New York Yankees; and New York Mets.

  •     There was a seventh team with a state name — Florida Marlins — but in 2012 it became the Miami Marlins.
  •     Teams farthest away from other MLB teams are the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves.
  •     There are seven teams on the East Coast and six on the West Coast.
  •     The Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals are not in the same metro area but they are in the same combined statistical area.
  •     Washington, D.C.’s team was formerly the Montreal Expos, a Canadian team.
  •     There are 11 teams west of the Mississippi River.
  •     There are 16 teams in the Eastern time zone.

Twenty-five of the top 40 metro areas in the United States have MLB teams. As the ranking table below shows, 20 teams are in the top 21 metros and just five are in the remaining 19 metros.