Green Room

Which political parties do MLB teams support?

posted at 11:52 am on October 14, 2012 by

Root, root, rooting for the home team has taken on much of the flavor of backing a political candidate or party. Both, sad to say, leave a bad taste in the mouth. Baltimore Orioles fans showed their true colors in an early home game of the American League Divisional Series by cheering and applauding after a pitch whizzed by a New York Yankee batter’s head close enough to cause him to hit the deck. They demonstrated it again by borrowing the odious “Yankees suck!” chant invented by Boston Red Sox fans.

So similar is the behavior exhibited by some sports fans and some political junkies that you might wonder which team supports which party. Inquiring minds at the Center for Responsive Politics wanted to know, so they researched the political contributions made by the ten clubs to make the MLB playoffs.

View slideshow: MLB team contributions to political parties

Perhaps not surprisingly, the aforementioned Baltimore franchise (which was eliminated from the playoffs on Friday) has given far and away the most—and all to the Democrats. Most of the money came out of the pocket of majority owner Peter Angelos, but he can afford it. An attorney, Angelos made his fortune representing Baltimore labor unions. His pockets deepened considerably in 1982, when he represented 8,000 plaintiffs in an asbestos class action suit that netted him a reported $100 million, roughly 40% of the judgment.

In August, Angelos wrote a $500,000 check to Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action and gave he gave another $575,000 to Majority PAC, which backs Democratic Senate candidates. Other donors in the organization ponied up an additional $367,000.

Next is the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds, which donated $277,600 and $222,970 respectively. But 93% of the Giants’ campaign donations and 100% of Reds’ donations went to the GOP. Ditto for the Texas Rangers (100% of $11,500) and the Oakland A’s (100% of $2,500). The St. Louis Cardinals gave 98% of $101,175 to the Republican Party, a percentage matched by the much-maligned Yankees who gave $15,220 to the GOP.

The Chicago White Sox, of which President Obama is an avowed fan did not make the playoffs, so there’s no information provided on which candidate that team supported.

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The new owner of my hometown Houston Astros is one of those guys who goes to the eleventy thousand dollar BO fundraisers. He’s also driven them to a point where they might not be able to beat the Corpus Christi Hooks. Second look at the Rangers?

Transpo on October 14, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Regarding the Yankees, I better not tell my husband, a yellow-dog Democrat. Yay!

catquilt on October 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Obamuh may think he’s an avowed WhiteSox fan but real WS fans know better. Spring of 2009 the club launched a volunteer campaign promotion in conjunction w/Obamuh’s call for volunteering at the time, but it seemed to sputter rather quickly.

Kind of difficult to tell where WS owner Reinsdorf (who also owns the NBA Bulls) stands politically. He’s former IRS but definitely a capitalist having become a self-made multi-millionaire through real estate. He’s anti-union but pro-revenue-sharing. He grew up a Brooklyn Jew and switched a late Sept game this year to a day game to accommodate the start of Yom Kippur at sundown that day, and in light of Obamuh’s slighting of Netanyahu, it’s possible to consider there haven’t been donations.

stukinIL4now on October 14, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Obamuh may think he’s an avowed WhiteSox fan but real WS fans know better.

Even non-WS fans know better. Would a real WS fan think the WS still play at Comiskey and, worse yet, call it “Cominskey”?

Howard Portnoy on October 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Interesting that the Giants – whose ballpark sits in Nancy Pelosi’s district – give all that money to the GOP. 🙂

TarheelBen on October 14, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Go, REDS!!!! 🙂

pannw on October 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I could really care less… same for musicians, actors, co-workers etc… I can salute players, musicians, actors, generals, entrepreneurs and the rest for their achievements and talents and still amiably and wholeheartedly disagree or agree with their politics.

lexhamfox on October 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

The Cubs are…the Cubs-but the Ricketts family recently donated MONDO $$$ to…the Romney campaign.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 14, 2012 at 10:53 PM

OK, I hate the Giants slightly less now. Grrr.

ConservativeLA on October 15, 2012 at 3:26 PM