1500 ESPN SportsWire

The New York Times answers: Just how big is 'Twins Territory'?

by Derek Wetmore, 1500ESPN.com Updated 17 months ago | 2951 reads

Ever wondered where the rooting interests for the Twins are bound by geography? Surely there are Twins fans outside of Minnesota, but how big is the stated "Twins Territory"?

Well, the New York Times has an answer. Using Facebook data as a reasonable proxy for a full-blown sports rooting census, the Times published an interactive map of the United States, which includes the geography of MLB rooting interests. 

Here's a link to the map, which allows you to zoom in and locate ZIP codes. One of the cool things about the map is it has the percentage of people for each ZIP code who are fans of the dominant team in the area.

The area I grew up for example, comprises 72 percent Twins fans; the area I live now is 70 percent, according to the Times' Facebook data.

Where do Twins fans end and Brew Crew fans begin?

The final neat thing to point out from the story/infographic is the rivalries border. You can take a detailed look, for example, at the 'Molitor Line.' As you might have guessed, that's the line that divides Twins fans from Brewers fans, and it runs pretty close to the state border.

From the authors (Tom Giratikanon, Josh Katz, David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy):

Minnesotans and Wisconsinites don't admit to having much in common, but in sports they have sometimes been forced to share. The most notable example is probably Paul Molitor, for whom our border is named. Molitor, a Hall of Famer from St. Paul whose name sounds conveniently similar to Maginot, played most of his career with the Brewers but finished it with the Twins. The teams' fans display a certain Midwestern stubbornness in keeping their allegiances roughly to state lines, with the exception of those WINOs (Wisconsinites in name only) who live just over the river from the Twin Cities. There's no real animosity between these two teams, given that they rarely play each other now. Still, don't put the peace at risk by bringing up Brett Favre.

Good point.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
More from the 1500 ESPN SportsWire » Zulgad: Unanswered questions mean outlook on Wild is much different » Kyle Rudolph exercising patience as Vikings work out protection woes » Touch 'Em All podcast: Should Torii be back with the Twins next year? » Wolves coach names Zach LaVine starting shooting guard » Krammer: Spielman not averse to more moves, so what about Patterson?