Which political parties do MLB teams support?
posted at 11:52 am on October 14, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
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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