May 3rd 2019
It is often said that the reach of the St. Louis Cardinals runs up and down the Midwest. One has to be careful with something like “Cardinals” when researching popularity. First, during the football season or even the NFL draft, one can see AZ shout, with echoes in all of the NFL cities. Second, the mention is not the same as support. A Chicago Cubs fan is just as likely to take a keen interest in the division rival.
One proxy for Cardinals fandom is a popular player. Kolten Wong is popular, if not always the most effective in the roster. And often in a slump, but that’s not always a bad thing for gauging media interest. It’s your fans that care first and most about a slump. Also, KW has been off to a good start, so he is a good proxy search term for the past month.
As one can see, Cardinal interest does extend into Green Bay Packer territory, as often hypothesized. Mostly directly to the North (think, non-Omaha), and to the Southeast (think Carbondale, Evansville, Louisville, Lexington).
Los Angeles and Honolulu also make a great deal of sense for this player, though San Francisco and Seattle seem a bit thin considering the demographics. There is a lot of interest in Boston and NYC, as one might expect. Zooming in, Kolten Wong has been getting inordinate interest in: Akron, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, Cumberland, Hagerstown, and DC. And Dayton. Really?
There are a lot of people running for President at the moment who would pay a lot of money to have exposure along that blue-collar diagonal.
It could be an artifact of sources and sampling. But if it persists, people should think about that. Hawaiian baseball player named “Wong” hitting 7th and 8th, getting press, presumably positive and sincere, from Air Force City to Rubber City to Steel Town, through Coal Country, into Civil War Battlefield Country. That might be something to watch indeed.