As Jim posted last week, baseball may be headed toward an eventual expansion and subsequent realignment. The idea itself is fascinating to consider, of course: where would it make the most sense to place two teams (geographically, economically, etc.), and how would their inclusion affect the shape of the leagues and divisions?
My mind tends to work like a coffee percolator, so I’ve let this brew for the last week or so, looking at census data to consider possible locations. The Baseball America article floated Portland, OR and Montreal as candidates: there are definitely arguments that may be made that those locations would work:
- A Portland and Seattle rivalry would be fun to watch, and Portland’s metropolitan census estimate as of 2016 was 2,425,000; while that does place it in the lower-third of current MLB teams in terms of size, it’s not at the very bottom.
- Montreal, obviously, already had the Expos, and their population census as of 2016 was 4,093,800, which would place them smack-dab in the middle of MLB market size.
Going strictly by population size, there aren’t many other locations in the United States or Canada that could support a major-league team. Those that have a sizable population already have other considerations attached:
- Indianapolis, IN: 2,004,000 regional population, but a minor league team (Pirates’ AAA) already exists and is quite popular.
- San Antonio, TX: 2,430,000 regional population, but the Padres’ AA team is based there. While that team will be relocating in 2019, another team is already set to take up residence.
- Charlotte, NC: 2,474,000 regional population, but obviously the Knights play there already, at beautiful BB&T Ballpark.
That could leave some interesting options such as Mexico City, though there are drawbacks to that, as well.
What does all this have to do with Sporcle Saturday? It’s my long way of introducing today’s somewhat unusual challenge: in order, name each of the MLB markets by their metropolitan area, from most populous to least populous.
- This is a forced order quiz: you must name each city/area/region in order from highest to lowest (though you can skip around by clicking the ‘next’ or ‘previous’ buttons). No minefields, though: typing an incorrect answer will not end the quiz.
- If the team name has a state in its title (e.g., Minnesota Twins), either the state or the city will be accepted as an answer.
- You’ll have 15 minutes to complete today’s challenge.
- For the hint, I’ve provided the population size of the metropolitan region.
All data obtained from: