This is My*T*Fine on a grand goofiness scale…but then again I feel the same way about occasional Constant Mongrel droppings.
With action from the 2012 presidential campaigns heating up and the November 6th election right around the corner, your pleasant and care-free daily internet musings are soon likely to be inundated with images of electoral maps and ‘battleground’ strategies marked by smatterings of red, blue and undecided purple states. To comfort you during all this, I’ve prepared a map of America that mercifully is not color-coded along the lines of pointless partisan-bickering, but instead according to baseball’s most prestigious and elegant statistic, WAR.
Using both batter and pitcher WAR totals from the infinitely-resourceful Baseball-Reference, I’ve grouped the career WAR of each player in MLB history by their birth state in an effort to see which states are strongest in the Union and which states should secede from the nation in shame…
...Montana (26.2), you may have noticed, is home to the fewest WAR in the nation and has produced just 7 players with career WAR totals above 0 and 15 additional players with career totals at or below replacement level. Dave Mcnally was Big Sky Country’s best offering to date with a combined 22.2 WAR from 1962-1975. John Lowenstein of Wolf Point and Ed Bouchee of Livingston added just 8.1 and 7.1 WAR respectively, yet they still rank 2nd and 3rd amongst Montana’s top contributors.
One might have expected a state like Alaska (87.2) to have fared just as poorly in this sort of contest considering it is much colder, crueler, and lonelier. As it turns out, your tempered expectations would not have been misguided at all were it not solely for the efforts of a one Curt Schilling of Anchorage and the 76.1 lifetime WAR he added to his home state. The next highest contributor for The Last Frontier is Shawn Chacon, also of Anchorage, at 5.4 WAR. Interestingly, there have been just two non-Anchorage, Alaskan-born ballplayers in baseball’s past—Tom Sullivan (0.0) of Nome and more recently Chad Bentz of Seward (-0.7).