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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

St. Louis: No. 1 in Fantasy Baseball

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 2:01 PM

click to enlarge Wrong kind of fantasy. It's a shame we can't find some way to combine this with baseball, though, isn't it?
  • Wrong kind of fantasy. It's a shame we can't find some way to combine this with baseball, though, isn't it?
St. Louis is a baseball city. We all know this. We St. Louisans love baseball in a way you don't generally see in other places. Green Bay loves football in a unique way, a way that goes deeper than just the usual fandom. St. Louis is the same with baseball. 

In fact, if you needed further proof of St. Louis's love affair with baseball, I've got some for you. St. Louis loves baseball so much we even love it when it isn't real baseball.

I received a note recently from a reader pointing out to me that St. Louis just happens to top Yahoo!'s annual listing of the top fantasy baseball cities in America. Yahoo! based this on the per capita number of people who play fantasy baseball in each city, and what do you know? St. Louis plays more fantasy baseball per person than any other town out there. 

One out of every 76 residents of our fair metropolis plays fantasy baseball, according to Yahoo!. (By the way, writing anything about Yahoo! is extremely annoying, largely because you have to constantly type the exclamation point after the word Yahoo. It's very irritating, and I would like to request that any and all companies currently looking for a name please pick one without any extraneous punctuation.) That puts us firmly in first place, ahead of Boston, (1 in 86), Milwaukee (1 in 108), Minneapolis-St. Paul (1 in 112), and Chicago (1 in 117). 

I'm not surprised to see us up at the top of this list. The whole, "Best Fans in Baseball (Patent Pending)," trope tends to be a bit overplayed, but there's no question the people of this city eat, sleep, and dream baseball in a big way. It shouldn't be surprising we like baseball from the land of wind and ghosts just as much as the real stuff played in the land of stadiums and ten dollar hot dogs. 

Personally, I'm not a fantasy sports person. I've done fantasy football the last couple years, but don't particularly enjoy it. I was asked to participate in a league here at the RFT offices this year, but declined. (Actually, come to think of it, I'm not sure I actually declined. I think I may have just forgotten to answer the email, something I do much more often than I like to admit.) To me there's something about fantasy sports I just don't like. It somehow seems to violate the spirit of sports to me. I root for a team. I live and die with my team. Something about rooting for my team to win but hoping the opposing team's pitcher or running back has a good day at the same time just feels wrong to me. It works for plenty of other people, though, and they love and appreciate the game in a rather beautiful way. 

In short, it isn't my thing, but I still take a certain amount of pride in the fact our city is at the top of the list. We St. Louisans do love our baseball, and it shows. 

Also, suck it, Chicago. 

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