Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Geography of Baseball


I'm not a fan of baseball but I do like Doug Duffy's MLB Player Birth Map. The map plots the birth place of every MLB player going back to 1876.

What I most like about the map is the number of options to examine the underlying data. You can filter the players displayed on the map by season or, if you are only interested in viewing the players from your favorite team, you can filter the results shown by team.

The map also includes options to filter the players shown by yearly WAR and career WAR (Wins Above Replacement is a rating of a player’s total contribution to his team). This means that if even if your aren't interested in where players were born you can still use the map to view who were the 'best' players in each MLB season.

A nice touch in the visualization of all this data is that the map automatically zooms to the map bounds of all the players shown when you query the map.

Doug Duffy has also written an interesting post on The Changing Face of the MLB. In the post he discusses the growing influence of foreign born players in the MLB. It includes some data analysis of the numbers of players from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. It also looks at the historically high proportion of baseball players from California, Texas and Florida.
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