I won't lie, at first I thought I was looking at one of those fake maps that Lights, Camera, Barstool puts out and I was expecting to see New York's most searched for player to be like Khalil Greene or something like that. But nope, it's the official Baseball Reference graphic so you know it's legit. Some of the states most searched for players are mind bottling, they just don't make much sense. Lets do a deep dive on each states most searched player and figure out why they searched said player so much.
Alabama - Austin Riley: Sure? Not sure what connection Riley has to Alabama except that its close to Georgia. He was born in Tennessee, committed to play for Mississippi State, so the area makes sense, but no clue why Riley is the most searched for guy in Alabama. Maybe he's a big Crimson Tide fan?
Alaska, Wisconsin - Christian Yelich: Alaska is a head scratcher. Yelich is a super popular player, recognizable face since he is Pete Davidson's twin, but no clue why he's desirable in Alaska. Hell of a player who has been battling injuries, I just hope he knows he has a nice fanbase in Alaska. Wisconsin makes sense, he's he face of their ball club, a legend up there. No real other choice for that state.
Arizona, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont - Shohei Ohtani: Yes, you read that correct, Shohei Ohtani was the most searched player on Baseball Reference in 24 states and DC. Does that really surprise anyone? Just shows you obsessed the entire country was during Ohtanimania. He was baseball this season. Video game numbers, stuff we've never done, he captivated the entire country, or at least almost half of it. I was surprised by a few states, Massachusetts being one of them. I thought the Red Sox faithful would have one of their own guys and not someone on the other side of the country. Ohtani DOMINATED the west, having everything west of Colorado. He owned the entire area. He even had the middle of the country, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, even those guys wanted some of Ohtani. And take a look at the southeast, he dominated that too. He was unreal and this graphic shows it, everyone was interested in the MVP this season.
Montana, Maryland - Hank Aaron: Looks like Montana was very interested in one of the best players of all time who we lost earlier this year. Aaron's baseball reference page is insane to look at. The numbers on it are jaw dropping. It's no wonder why he's up there, and honestly I don't know who else it could have been. It's not like Montana is a hot bed for baseball prospects. Just some old retired baseball fans who love looking up old time numbers I guess. Maryland being Aaron was a surprise to me. I'd have thought maybe Chris Davis? Maybe Cedric Mullins or Trey Mancini? Nothing against the legend with Aaron, I just didn't see that coming.
Wyoming - Nolan Arenado: My guess is there's a lit of depressed Rockies fans in Wyoming? Really the only explanation for this. They miss Nolan and I can't blame them. They paid the Cardinals to take a generational player from them and the fans aren't over it. Especially the ones in Wyoming.
Colorado, Kansas - Whit Merrifield: Another head scratcher here, I'd have thought that Colorado's player would be Arenado. Kind of strange but hey, Whit is a damn good player. Born in North Carolina, went to school at South Carolina, I'm struggling to find the connection to Colorado. Maybe the Rockies fans were trying to convince themselves they could get him in a trade? Wishful thinking maybe. It had to be either him or Sal Perez for Kansas too, makes sense.
New Mexico, Michigan - Miguel Cabrera: Of course he's the most searched for Michigan, there was no other choice. He's a legend coming up on 3,000 hits and just passed 500 homers, people are going to his page. I just didn't know so many Miggy fans existed in New Mexico?
North Dakota - Barry Bonds: Shocked. I am shocked that Barry Bonds is only 1 state's top searched baseball player. His baseball reference page is basically Reggie Bush's high school highlight tape. We've all seen it and can't stop looking at it. I'll randomly find myself on it at like 4 am on a Tuesday. It's magical to look at. So many numbers, so many bolded numbers, and they're laughable to look at. Like no way those IBB numbers are real, the home run numbers speak for themselves. Very surprised only 1 state blew up Barry's BRef page.
South Dakota, New York - Jacob deGrom: Tough look for Aaron Judge here, I was told he was the king of New York. Shame. deGrom owning South Dakota is something I didn't see coming. Born in Florida and also went to college in Florida, from what I can tell he has 0 connection to South Dakota. But when you're putting up record breaking numbers and are on par to have an all-time season you'll get some clicks. It's only right that he owns New York though, by far the best player in that state.
Nebraska, Missouri, West Virginia - Albert Pujols: Missouri makes all the sense in the world for Pujols, he's still a king there. They love him, always will. Nebraska I guess because it's still close to Missouri and they love him there. West Virginia is wild for Pujols. What connection does he have there? Couldn't it have been John Means who is a Mountaineer and threw a no-no this season? 2/3 of these make sense, WV is something.
Iowa, Ohio - Joey Votto: The best choice for Ohio, Joey Votto is a no-brainer here. It's a known fact he's a hilarious person and had a damn good year this year. His walks and OBP are always insane to look at on Baseball Reference so no shocker he owns Ohio. Iowa, sure? They're kind of close, maybe they get Reds games and they don't want to watch the Cubs or something? Maybe he said something about corn in a press conference and they really liked it?
Mississippi - Adalberto Mondesi: This one stunned me. Why do people in Mississippi love Adalberto Mondesi? I can find 0 connection there. He's a fine player, nothing against him. I have no clue why the people of Mississippi would be searching for Mondesi over every other player. Bizarre.
Tennessee - Shoeless Joe Jackson: Umm. Okay? I got nothing here. RIP Shoeless Joe.
Delaware, Pennsylvania - Bryce Harper: Lot of Philly fans in Delaware so I get it, makes sense. Make the short trip up and see the MVP. I was in Bethany this summer and I will say there was a TON of Harper stuff, the guy is good so the people want to look at his numbers. I get it. And of course he's the most searched in Pennsylvania, damn sure it wasn't going to be a Pirate.
New Jersey - Aaron Judge: Now this makes sense, he's not the king of New York, he's the king of New Jersey. Not good enough to rep NY, so he gets the little brother. Hate to see it.
Connecticut - Aaron Nola: It looks like the Phillies are taking over some of Red Sox and Yankees country? Sneaking up into Connecticut to take over the most searched player shows how good he was last year. That or it was the ESPN Baseball people doing a TON of research on him. Surprised this wasn't a Yankee or Boston guy.
New Hampshire - Bobby Dalbec: I guess New Hampshireites really loved the new guy in Boston, they wanted to get to learn all about him. Not much to look at on his Baseball Reference page since he's just a rookie. But hey, that didn't stop the people jumping onto the page. I figured it would have been another Red Sox, just not Dalbec.
Maine - Kyle Schwarber: I am SHOCKED that Schwarber wasn't the most searched player in the state of Massachusetts strictly because of Jared and the Section 10 crew. Hundreds of thousands of people going to his Baseball Reference page just to check where he was born and I'm sure they were FLOORED when they found out he wasn't from Waltham. So I credit this pick to Jared simply for that reason.
So there you go, your full 50 state breakdown of the most popular players searched on Baseball Reference, there were a ton of surprises, some were no-brainers, and of course the clear cut winner was Shohei Ohtani, no shocker there. Tune in next week when I do a full country by country breakdown!