Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs Top List of America’s Favorite Baseball Teams

Strong majority of baseball fans believe the Instant Replay rule has been good for the sport

08:00 AM EDT Jul 9, 2015 Rating
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Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs Top List of America’s Favorite Baseball Teams

New York, N.Y. — The Major League Baseball All Star Game is just around the corner, marking the midpoint of baseball season. Those not playing in next week’s showdown get a few days off before the season kicks back into high gear through the end of the regular season, so what better time to check in on who America’s Favorite Baseball Team is this year.

Among those who follow the sport, the New York Yankees continue the more-than-decade-long winning streak they’ve been on since 2003, coming in once again as “America’s Favorite.” Another repeat – in this case one we’ve been seeing since 2009 – is longtime Yankees rival the Boston Red Sox coming in at no. 2 once again. Moving up one spot to no. 3 are the Chicago Cubs.

Rounding out the top five are the Los Angeles Dodgers at no. 4 (rising 2 spots from last year) and the Detroit Tigers, up one spot from no. 6 in 2014 to no. 5 this year.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,200 adults, of whom 700 follow Major League Baseball, surveyed online between June 17 and 22, 2015.

Looking at the second half of this year’s top 10 favorite teams, down one spot from no. 5 last year to no. 6 in 2015 are the Atlanta Braves, followed by the Philadelphia Phillies at no. 7 (up from a 13th-place tie last year). The St. Louis Cardinals come in at no. 8 (up two spots from a 10th place tie in 2014) while the Minnesota Twins hold steady in the no.9 spot. The no. 10 spot is a tie this year between the Cleveland Indians (up three spots from a 13th place tie in 2014) and the San Francisco Giants (down from a 3rd place showing last year).

Who is going to win it all… 

Neither of 2014’s World Series competitors (San Francisco Giants or Kansas City Royals) top this year’s list when baseball fans identify the team they think will win this year’s World Series, though they’re both in the top 5. Almost two in ten baseball followers (17%) say the St. Louis Cardinals will win the World Series this fall; the last time the Cardinals were the top pick (in 2013), they did indeed make it to the big game(s) but were defeated by the Red Sox.

The New York Yankees are the second most frequently named team (11%), followed by the Kansas City Royals (10%), last year’s World Series runner-up. California closes out the top 5, with 9% believing the LA Dodgers will win the World Series this year and 7% calling out 2014 champs, the San Francisco Giants.

Instant Replay

Last season, Major League Baseball introduced a new Instant Replay rule, and three-quarters of baseball fans (75%) are aware of this change.

Thinking about its impact on the sport, six in ten baseball fans (61%) believe the rule has slowed down the pace of a typical baseball game at least a little bit (though only 3% say it has slowed games a great deal).

However, this perceived slowdown may be worth it, as eight in ten fans (80%) believe the new rule has been good for Major League baseball overall (with 40% saying it has been very good).

Following baseball

With just under a third of Americans saying they follow Major League Baseball (32%), interest appears to have declined from last year (when 37% indicated the same). Looking more specifically at which groups of Americans are more and less likely to follow MLB:

 

 

TABLE 1

FAVORITE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM: 1999 – 2015

“What is your favorite Major League Baseball team?”

Base: All adults who follow baseball

 

Rank
1999

Rank
2003

Rank 2004

Rank 2005

Rank
2006

Rank
2007

Rank
2008

Rank
2009

Rank
2010

Rank 2011

Rank 2013

Rank
2014

Rank 2015

New York Yankees

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Boston Red Sox

8

6

4

4

5

3

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

Chicago Cubs

3

7

2

3

4

5

4

=4

5

4

7

4

3

Los Angeles Dodgers

7

8

=9

7

=14

11

5

=4

8

=5

4

=6

4

Detroit Tigers

10

15

5

=19

7

6

=7

8

=12

10

=5

=6

5

Atlanta Braves

1

2

3

2

3

2

2

3

3

3

3

5

6

Philadelphia Phillies

16

12

6

=13

13

18

6

7

4

7

9

=13

7

St. Louis Cardinals

4

14

13

6

6

4

9

6

10

9

=11

=10

8

Minnesota Twins

11

5

=17

=13

=21

20

11

13

9

12

=13

9

9

Cleveland Indians

5

4

=9

=19

=11

=13

=7

=25

17

=17

=13

=13

=10

San Francisco Giants

26

9

7

=10

=14

=13

=13

9

7

14

10

3

=10

Los Angeles Angels

23

=16

=25

=17

20

=23

29

=27

=25

=20

=17

=26

12

Milwaukee Brewers

21

23

23

24

18

10

=13

14

11

19

=21

8

13

New York Mets

12

3

14

5

2

7

10

11

6

=5

8

12

=14

Pittsburgh Pirates

18

=18

=9

=8

=21

=16

=23

22

=25

=23

24

16

=14

Tampa Bay Rays

NA

28

28

=29

28

25

28

=17

22

26

=21

=24

16

Baltimore Orioles

9

=18

8

12

8

=13

22

=17

=20

13

=17

=20

=17

Texas Rangers

15

13

=15

21

=27

=16

=20

=15

=12

8

=5

23

=17

Oakland Athletics

19

=20

22

27

19

19

=23

=20

=23

=23

=27

=13

=19

Kansas City Royals

24

=25

=19

=22

=21

28

=20

29

19

=17

19

=10

=19

Cincinnati Reds

13

10

=19

=8

=14

9

18

=15

16

15

15

=24

=19

Chicago White Sox

20

27

27

=10

=11

21

=13

12

15

16

=11

=18

22

Seattle Mariners

6

11

=15

=13

10

8

17

10

=12

11

16

=18

=23

Arizona Diamondbacks

NA

=16

=17

16

=14

22

19

=23

18

=23

25

17

=23

Houston Astros

22

=20

=9

=17

9

12

12

19

28

22

=27

22

=23

Washington Nationals 

NA

NA

NA

=22

24

29

26

=27

27

=27

26

=26

=23

Colorado Rockies

14

24

24

26

=25

27

=13

=23

=20

=20

20

=20

27

San Diego Padres

17

22

=25

25

=25

26

27

=20

=23

=29

=21

29

28

Miami Marlins

25

=25

21

28

=27

=23

25

=25

29

=27

=27

=26

29

Toronto Blue Jays*

28

29

29

=29

29

30

30

30

30

=29

=27

30

30

*It should be noted that the sample was limited to the United States. It is therefore no surprise that the Canadian team placed last on this list in a survey where no Canadian residents are surveyed.

 


TABLE 2

WHO WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES THIS YEAR?

“Which team do you think will win the World Series this fall?”

Base: All adults who follow baseball

 

Total

%

St. Louis Cardinals

17

New York Yankees

11

Kansas City Royals

10

Los Angeles Dodgers

9

San Francisco Giants

7

Washington Nationals

5

Chicago Cubs

5

Boston Red Sox

4

Los Angeles Angels

4

Houston Astros

4

Detroit Tigers

3

New York Mets

3

Pittsburgh Pirates

3

Atlanta Braves

2

Baltimore Orioles

2

Toronto Blue Jays

2

Tampa Bay Rays

1

Minnesota Twins

1

Oakland Athletics

1

Arizona Diamondbacks

1

Miami Marlins

1

Cleveland Indians

1

Cincinnati Reds

1

Seattle Mariners

1

Chicago White Sox

1

Colorado Rockies

1

Texas Rangers

1

San Diego Padres

1

Philadelphia Phillies

*

Milwaukee Brewers

--

                Note: * indicates less than 0.5%; -- indicates no selections

 


TABLE 3

AWARENESS OF INSTANT REPLAY RULE

“As you may or may not know, the MLB instituted a rules change last season, allowing each team’s manager to ‘challenge’ one call, with the final decision made through an instant replay (a second challenge can be issued if the first results in an overturned call). Prior to being informed of it in this survey, were you aware of this rule?”

Base: All adults who follow baseball

 

Total

Gender

Male

Female

%

%

%

Yes

75

83

60

No

25

17

40

 

 

TABLE 4

BENEFIT OF INSTANT REPLAY TO GAME

“Do you think the change in the Instant Replay rule is a good thing or a bad thing for Major League Baseball overall?”

Base: All adults who follow baseball

 

Total

Generation

Millennials (18-35)

Gen X (36-50)

Baby Boomers (51-69)

*Matures (70+)

%

%

%

%

%

GOOD (NET)

80

75

77

83

87

  Very good

40

33

30

47

56

   Somewhat good

40

42

47

36

31

BAD (NET)

12

14

14

10

7

   Somewhat bad

7

6

10

6

6

   Very bad

5

8

4

4

1

Not at all sure

9

11

9

7

6

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

*Low base size (N<100); results should be interpreted as directional in nature

 

 

TABLE 5

IMPACT OF INSTANT REPLAY CHANGE

“How do you think this rule has impacted the pace of a typical baseball game?”

Base: All adults who follow baseball

 

Total

Generation

Millennials (18-35)

Gen X (36-50)

Baby Boomers (51-69)

*Matures (70+)

%

%

%

%

%

SLOWED GAMES AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT (NET)

61

60

65

59

61

  Slowed games a great deal

3

5

3

4

--

  Slowed games somewhat

20

26

15

18

22

Slowed games a little bit

38

29

47

37

40

Has not impacted the pace at all

26

27

26

26

24

Not at all sure

13

13

9

14

15

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; -- indicates no selections

*Low base size (N<100); results should be interpreted as directional in nature


TABLE 6

WHO FOLLOWS MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – BY DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP

“Do you follow major league baseball or not?”

Summary of Yes Responses

Base: All adults

 

Total

%

All Adults

32

Sex

         Male

43

         Female

22

Age

Millennials (18 – 35)

29

Generation X (36 – 50)

33

Baby Boomers (51 – 69)

35

Matures (70+)

34

Region

         East

34

         Midwest

36

         South

25

         West

38

Household Income

         Less than $35,000

27

         $35,000 to $49,999

28

         $50,000 to $74,999

33

         $75,000 to $99,999

33

         $100,000 and over

40

Education

High School or less

26

Some college

33

College graduate

41

Post graduate

39

Political Party

Republican

35

Democrat

32

Independent

34

Metro Status

Urban

30

Suburban

36

Rural

26

Children <18 in Household

Yes

32

No

32

 


TABLE 7 

WHO FOLLOWS MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – TREND

“Do you follow major league baseball or not?”

Summary of Yes Responses

Base: All adults

 

Total

%

2015

32

2014

37

2013

34

2011

36

2010

36

2009

41

2008

40

2007

37

2006

38

2005

37

2004

38

 

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 17 and 22, 2015 among 2,220 adults (aged 18 and over) of whom 700 follow Major League Baseball. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. 

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

The Harris Poll® #40, July 9, 2015

By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll

About The Harris Poll®

Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. 

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