A New York Times interactive map posted yesterday could settle the debate about which Baltimore-area communities show the most support for the hometown O's.
The outstanding infographic uses a team’s Facebook "Likes" in a given area to determine fandom within every ZIP code in the country, and in Maryland, it shows about what you’d expect. The Orioles are the dominant team, in terms of percentage of fans, in the Baltimore metro region, with the Nationals gaining a stronghold in D.C. suburbs and the Phillies only creeping across the border in the eastern Maryland towns that border Delaware.
Orioles Nation stretches out west in Maryland to Cumberland, into the northeast portion of West Virginia and, somewhat ironically, Strasburg, Virginia.
According to the map, the strongest concentration of Orioles fans is in southeast Baltimore and eastern Baltimore County. My study of the map revealed the highset percentage of Orioles fans in the Sparrows Point (21219), Middle River (21220), and White Marsh areas of Baltimore County, with each boasting 79 percent Orioles fans. Essex (21221) was close behind at 78 percent, and Dundalk’s 21222 checked in at 77 percent.
There’s also a stronghold in south Baltimore and surrounding Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County neighborhoods, including Curtis Bay, (21226, checking in at 77 percent Orioles fans), and Brooklyn Park and Cherry Hill (21225, 76 percent).
Much of Harford County, northern and southwestern Baltimore County, and the Westminster area also boast percentages over 70, making the areas similar Orioles strongholds.
All this really confirms is that there’s a lot of Os fans in a lot of different places, and while we’re talking percentage points, I imagine this will be a point of pride for those areas where Orioles fandom is the highest.
It does confirm, however, that all the Nattitude in the world hasn’t helped the Washington baseball club infringe on the Orioles’ fan base.
Here’s what the Times wrote when describing what they called, “The Line of Potomac Aggression”:
"While the Orioles have held onto many Maryland suburbs, the Nats now dominate Washington and much of the Virginia suburbs. In parts of the Washington region, the Orioles aren’t even the second-favorite team; the Yankees or the Red Sox are.”
Given the growing number of people who live in the Baltimore-Washington but aren’t from here, it makes sense that the Red Sox and Yankees occupy the runner-up spots on the poll.
What’s a little less explicable, however, is the large percentage of Yankee fans in western Maryland. I’ll allow them to defend themselves in the comments, but as for the rest of you, anything jump out?