Since the 2021 North American Major League Baseball(MLB) Season is roughly halfway finished, I decided to do a fun little experiment. It's this simple: I look at the team mascot team name(e.g. Tigers), and then I research if there are more of that mascot(like Tigers) than there are fans of that team(Detroit Tigers). How do I determine fanbase? Statista.com does an advanced counting model, which looks at tickets sold, merchandise purchased, social media likes, etc. Then, I figure out which teams have fewer fans than their total namesake.
I did something very similar with the National Football League(NFL) in the 2020-2021 NFL Season, and you can check it out here.
Let's have some fun.
Boston Red Sox
Name Origin: The original name of the franchise was the Boston Americans. The new owner at the time renamed them the Red Sox because the Americans' uniforms required players to wear red socks, hence the play on word with "Sox".
Number of red socks: There is no way to get statistics on specifically red sox, but there are billions of socks in the world, so I estimate there are at least 500 million red socks.
Number of Red Sox fans: About 3 million.
Conclusion: The Boston Red Sox have fewer fans than their namesake. Their namesake outnumbers their fans about at least 500,000,000/3,000,0000
Tampa Bay Rays
Name Origin: The team was originally named the Tampa Bay Devil Rays(for the manta rays in the Tampa Bay waters), but the name was changed to “Rays” in 2008, to represent rays of sunshine.
Number of sun rays: There are six different rays of sun which we know of: Ultraviolet light, Infrared, Radio Waves, X-Rays, and Gamma Rays.
Number of Rays fans: About 1.2 million.
Conclusion: The Tampa Bay Rays do not have fewer fans than their namesake.. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 1,800,000/6.
Toronto Blue Jays
Name Origin: The bird, widely known as the Blue Jay, and the owner thought Toronto represented the color blue(for some reason).
Number of Blue Jays: It’s estimated there are 13 million blue jays in the world.
Number of Blue Jays fans: About 1.8 million fans.
Conclusion: The Toronto Blue Jays have fewer fans than their namesake. Their namesake outnumbers their fans by at least 13,000,000/1,800,000
New York Yankees
Name Origin: This is a unique case, since the origin is a bit unknown, but heavy speculation says they were named after the United States of America(USA) Civil War
Number of Northern Soldiers in the U.S. Civil War: Since the war happened centuries ago, zero are alive today.
Number of Yankees fans: About 4 million.
Conclusion: The New York Yankees do not have fewer fans than their namesake. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 4,000,000/0.
Name Origin: They were named after the Maryland state bird, the Baltimore Oriole, since they are located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Number of Baltimore Orioles: It’s estimated to be at least 15 million orioles in the world.
Number of Orioles fans: 1.9 million fans.
Conclusion: The Baltimore Orioles have fewer fans than their namesake. Their namesake outnumbers their fans 15,000,000/1,900,000
Chicago White Sox
Name Origin: Their original name was the Chicago White Stockings, and similar to the “Red Sox”, they wanted another play on words with “White Sox”, to make it sound better.
Number of white stockings: There are billions of white socks, and white stockings in the world, and since it’s the most common color, I would say at least 1-billion.
Number of White Sox fans: About 2.6 million.
Conclusion: The Chicago White Sox have fewer fans than their namesake. Their namesake outnumbers their fans at least 1,000,000,000/2,600,000
Name Origin: This is a controversial name choice, and it’s slated to change for the 2022 MLB Season, but they were originally called the Cleveland Spiders, and the Spiders had a player named Louis Sockalexis, nicknamed “Chief”, and he was a Native American. In “honor” of that player, they were named the Indians(because for some reason, Native Americans are known as "Indians").
Number of Native Americans: There are roughly 8 million Native Americans living in the world, according to various census bureaus.
Number of Indians fans: About 2.5 million.
Conclusion: The Cleveland Indians have fewer fans than their namesake. Their namesake outnumbers their fans at least 8,000,000/2,500,000
Name Origin: Despite the fact they use a picture of a Bengal Tiger in their mascot, they are actually named after the Detroit Tiger Light Guard, which was nicknamed the “Tigers” fighting for the North in the United States of America(USA) Civil War.
Number of Detroit Tiger Light Guard Soldiers: Once again, the U.S. Civil War happened centuries ago, so zero of them are still alive today.
Number of Tigers fans: About 3.5 million.
Conclusion: The Detroit Tigers do not have fewer fans than their namesake. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 3,500,000/0.
Name Origin: They were named after Minnesota’s “Twin Cities”, which are Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.
Number of Minnesota’s well-known Twin Cities: Two, obviously.
Number of Twins fans: About 2.9 million.
Conclusion: The Minnesota Twins do not have fewer fans than their namesake. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 2,900,000/2
Kansas City Royals
Name Origin: They were named the "Royals" to pay a homage to the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and championship barbeque competition held annually in Kansas City, Missouri since 1899.
Number of Kansas City Royal Festivals: One, their annual Royal in Kansas City, Missouri,, so there is no need to make it plural.
Number of Royals fans: About 2.2 million.
Conclusion: There are not fewer Kansas City Royals fans than their namesake. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 2,200,000/1.
Name Origin: Due to the importance to the space programs by the city of Houston, Texas, they were named the “Astros”, which is short for Astronauts.
Number of Astronauts: Exactly 19 worldwide.
Number of Astros fans: About 3 million
Conclusion: There are not fewer Houston Astros fans than their namesake. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 3,000,000/19
Name Origin: They were named for the various athletic clubs in the world, and the name was shortened to “Athletics”, which, now people refer to them as the “A’s”
Number of Athletic Clubs: It’s such a vague term, so this was a tough one to research. An athletic club can be a gym, fitness center, youth sports club, adult sports club, school sports club, and of course, professional sports are athletic club. According to some light research I was able to do, there are about 500-thousand athletic clubs in the world.
Number of Athletics fans: About 1.9 million.
Conclusion: There are not fewer Oakland Athletics fans than their namesake. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 1,900,000/500,000
Name Origin: Since the city of Seattle, Washington is known for its marine culture, the owner decided to name them after sailors, who are known as “Mariners”.
Number of Mariners: There is an estimated 1,647,500 sea-surfers in the world, who are also known as “mariners”.
Number of Mariners fans: About 1.9 million.
Conclusion: There are not fewer Seattle Mariners fans than their namesake, but this is very, very close, and could be debated. Their fans outnumber their namesake by a possible 1,900,000/1,647,500.
Los Angeles Angels
Name Origin: sighs, they were originally called the California Angels, but then they changed their name to the Anaheim Angels(since they’re located in Anaheim, California), and then they changed their name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim(which makes no sense at all), and now they’re called the Los Angeles Angels(which still makes no sense, but a little more sense than the one just before it).
Now, they were called the Angels because they were supposedly located in “The City of Angels”, Los Angeles, California-except they’ve never been located in Los Angeles, they’ve always been located in Anaheim.
Now, what is an angel? For Christians, they are servants of God. As a general term, an “angel” is someone who is kind, and caring. For other religions, they could be spirits.
With that being said, since the mascot has an “A” with a halo over it, we will conclude they are referring to the Christian’s version of the Holy Angels(not the dark, evil angels).
Number of Angels: It depends on your religious beliefs. Non-religious people probably don’t believe in angels, and other religions have different estimates, and definitions of angels. For the sake of argument, we will go with the Christian definition of an “angel”, and go from the Christian’s book, the Holy Bible, which estimates there to be at least 400 million angels, some in Heaven(the afterlife of God, and the holy people), and on Earth.
Number of Angels fans: About 3-million, and 2,900,000 of them are solely rooting for Mike Trout, and Shohei Ohtani.
Conclusion: Just going by the Christian religion, which is what the mascot represents, the Los Angeles Angels have fewer fans than their namesake. Their namesake outnumbers their fans by a possible 400,000,000/3,000,000
Name Origin: They are named after the famous Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Agency, which was been around since 1823.
Number of Law Enforcement Officers in the Texas Ranger Law Enforcement Agency: As of 2020, exactly 234.
Number of Rangers fans: About 2.2-million fans.
Conclusion: There are not fewer Texas Rangers fans than their namesake. Their fans outnumber their namesake by at least 2,200,000/234.