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Josh Hamilton says Dallas is not a baseball town. And he’s right.

Feb 18, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT

UPDATE: this topic tickled my fancy, so I did a post running down what I think is the alpha-sport in each major league city.

I have not heard the interview yet — and can’t find it — but apparently Josh Hamilton has upset a lot of Rangers fans by saying Dallas is not a baseball town. Or that “North Texas” is not a baseball area. Something to that effect:

Which, sure, I get why that upsets people, but is he wrong? If Dallas/North Texas isn’t football country there is no place on Earth that is football country. Out of the four major sports, the Cowboys have had less overall success over the past 15 years than the Stars, Mavs and Rangers, but they still suck up all of the oxygen. They still have that crazy stadium, fill it up and draw silly TV ratings. It has to be a football town, yes?

This isn’t a slight on the Rangers. I know they draw well and do well in the ratings themselves and that especially in the past few years they’ve really captured the hearts of people in Texas. Rangers fans really support their team. But there’s a difference between supporting one’s team and being a baseball town, isn’t there?

In my mind “baseball town” or “football town” is a zero sum game. You’re one or the other. Maybe the city shows for all of its sports teams, but if the town had to vote all but one of them off the island, which would it keep? In Dallas that has to be the Cowboys. And I think it may be more of a landslide there than anyplace else.

Thing is, there aren’t a ton of baseball towns these days. Off the top of my head I’d say Boston, New York, Cincinnati and St. Louis. Probably San Francisco, though that seems more recent (I’m mostly comparing how nuts the city seemed to go for the Giants in the World Series but not so much for the 49ers in the Super Bowl). Maybe Los Angeles, but my sense is that the Lakers are a bigger deal generally speaking.

Maybe I’m missing some. Occasionally I’ll hear Detroit mentioned, but while Detroit is a very good baseball city, I feel like the Red Wings hold more sway in some intangible way. There are probably people who will say that Boston is more of a Celtics place, but I don’t know.  I’d be curious to hear what people from each town have to say. I’m obviously guessing to a large degree.

But I don’t think I’m guessing with Dallas. That’s Cowboys country. And even if Josh Hamilton saying it is more about him being somewhat dismissive to the city that will now boo him whenever he comes to town, he’s not wrong, is he?

  1. jeffa43 - Feb 18, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Lived in Orange County for 40 years…

    Most uneducated fan base ever. It is so disneyland it is sad. 8 out of 10 halo fans have no clue that Nolan Ryan pitched for them. My father and I were at the Donnie Moore game in 86… That fan base is not your fan base today.

    It’s all about ralley monkeys and signing familiar washed up names to sell tickets… Not developing players to win rings.
    Trout may be the exception, but at 250 lbs that may be false as well.

    • joelwrobinson - Feb 18, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      I’ve lived here for the past 7 years. I have to say this couldn’t be more spot on. The absolute truth.

  2. jimbroney - Feb 18, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Hartford is a whalers town.

  3. miketreedy - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Rangers brought in 3.4m fans last year which was only behind the Yankees & the Phillies. They made enough money to pay $100m in salary including Josh’s paychecks. So, Josh should shut up. The only Ranger to get booed last season was Josh Hamilton. Not Michael Young, Napoli or Kinsler who all struggled last year. Both Young & Napoli will get standing ovations when they return to Texas. Hamilton will be booed when he returns because he quit several times last season. Josh is a head case. He’s all your Angels. To me this is like when the White Sox signed Albert Bell away from the Indians. They will soon find out what they got.

    It’s true that Dallas is still a football town but Football is by far the most popular sport nationwide. How many true baseball towns remain? As a huge baseball fan its nice to Dallas fans know who to cheer for and who to boo!

  4. bcrow68 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Bringbackthevipers:

    The Tigers have taken over the red wings since 06, no doubt about it. When I go to wings games there’s no where near full capacity. Lots of companies own season tickets which makes them sell outs. Detroit is much more knowledgable about the Tigers over the wings I’d rather be at comerica park over the boring Joe anyday

  5. txnative61 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    I agree it’s true. The WHY deserves explanation, because Texan’s play a lot of baseball because it assessable to all sizes and skill levels. First Baseball’s a slower moving game less adaptable to the television format. Since air conditioning became widespread people are unwilling to endure the 3-5hrs of misery to attend games in person in 100 degree heat of Texas summers. Football in general, especially High School Football, builds lifelong excitement for the sport that only carry’s over to the Cowboys through years of incompetent mismanagement. There’s all that, and that the Ranger’s persisted in babying an addict and religious nutcase that lured a fan over a balcony to his death, and couldn’t hit when it was needed the most.

    • jrd8523 - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      You lost me with the irrational “lured a fan over a balcony to his death” tidbit.

      It’s a silly argument to begin with; based on the thinking that a city is either a X or a Y. Sure a lot of teams who consider where they play as “baseball towns” wished they were pulling in Ranger levels of business.

      • txnative61 - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:14 AM

        In an incident a few years ago Hamilton lazily tossed a flyball he had caught into the stands a few feet short of the second deck. A young fan reached too far out trying to catch it and fell to his death. It is irrational to blame him, but mine is an irrational dislike. He’s a Jonah, best thrown overboard.

      • jrd8523 - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:02 AM

        Yeah i’m aware what happened, the lost me part was refering to how you capped off your rational post with some truly irrational thinking. But you seem pretty aware of that. Hate away, everybody has an irrational hatred for somebody!

      • jrd8523 - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:03 AM

        Yeah i’m aware what happened, was a father trying to catch a ball for a young fan though. The lost me part was refering to how you capped off your rational post with some truly irrational thinking. But you seem pretty aware of that. Hate away, everybody has an irrational hatred for somebody!

  6. gslavens - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Josh is an ungrateful punk that will end up falling off the wagon and living in a crack house.

  7. xjokerz - Feb 21, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    Why the hell do you keep saying the wings pull people on Detroit ? Detroit sports are 1 lions 2 tigers. That’s how it’s been … ” hockey town ” is a comical name for Detroit to be honest.

  8. xjokerz - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM

    Damn iPhone .. You get my point tho

  9. purestoker - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Ok, let’s overgeneralize texas doesn’t have baseball fans just like everywhere else.

  10. purestoker - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Population north texas- 100. While we’re over generalizing

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