Where do they come from?
By: Jesse Josselyn
Cape League players come from all around the country to play in this premier league. The 2013 crew of 269 players is representative of 39 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. The players traveled a cumulative distance of 348,534 miles from their hometowns to the Cape!
The top three states were California (43 players), Texas (25 players), and Florida (21 players).
The combination of year round warm weather and high populations, give these three states a clear advantage in the rankings. The interactive density map below shows the distribution of players across all states. The second map adjusts the metric to Players per Million residents, to normalize the data for the population of each state, and 3 new states came out on top.
1. Alabama (2.70 players/million)
2. Mississippi (2.68 players/million)
3. Connecticut (1.67 players/million)
Being as the Cape League is a summer league for college students, there is also a map for the states in which the players attend college. California and Texas topped the charts again, with Florida and North Carolina tying for third. Looking at the map below, you'll see that the southeast is a prominent breeding ground for baseball players.
Some players traveled much further than others in their journey to Cape Cod, Mass. With no players calling Hawaii or Alaska their home, it was the San Francisco Bay area that found itself furthest from Hyannis, the center point used in calculating distance traveled. Nick Lynch (UC Davis) lives in Burlingame, Calif., and plays for the Brewster Whitecaps. By car, it would take about 46 hours to travel the 3,186 miles from Burlingame to Brewster! He edged out a first-place finish in the rankings over Danny Deikroeger (Stanford) from Woodside, Calif., who was a previous teammate in a high school summer league and now plays for the Kettleers. I had a chance to talk to Danny and he admitted that he took a plane cross country, to avoid the drive. When asked when he's expected back at school, he replied, "Whenever we're done, hopefully on Aug. 16 after we win the championship."
Honorable mention would have to go to Trevor Podratz with the Gatemen, who is also from California. But the reason he gets honorable mention is that he attends the University of Hawaii, his second home and clearly the farthest from the Cape. A teammate to Podratz, Matt Walsh (Franklin Pierce) made the shortest trip of the Cape Leaguers, traveling less than 20 miles from Plymouth to Wareham. In an interview he revealed, "I grew up in Plymouth. I always came to the Wareham Gatemen games." With players from all over the country fighting for spots on these rosters, it's a true privilege to play for the team you grew up following. Not too many players get that opportunity.
Data: various • Chart ID: MergedID13bc3bc3564
Data: various • Chart ID: MergedID13bc42bd4a5a