What state produces the most Professional Athletes?

What state produces the most Professional Athletes?

Have you ever been in conversation or on social media and heard someone claiming this state or that state has the best athletes. I definitely remember this as a little kid going to Five Star basketball camp each kid repping their state and throwing out this ballers name or that ballers name from their city or state. I decided to dig into this topic a bit and figure out which state in the U.S. really is king. In order to figure this out I’m basing it on where an athlete was born, doesn’t matter if he moved to another state later on in life. For example, if he was born in TX but moved to MD the athlete will get counted for TX statistics. While their are edge cases this will allow me to answer the question “What states produce the most professional athletes”?

I retrieved the data for this exercise from the following sites:

The following table and pie chart summarizes the data points I had for each sport:

SportCount
baseball16445
football23574
basketball3482
hockey1160
Total44661

Players accounted for in this data set were born from Jan 1, 1831 – July 7, 1995.

WARNING incoming nerd moment:

I kept hearing about the ELK(Elastic Search, Logstash, Kibana) stack and had been looking for a reason to try it. This was a fun data set for getting started on ELK. I only ended up using the Elastic and Kibana parts of the stack with X-Pack for security. EKX should be the acronym since those 3 seem like the most important parts of the stack but ELK sounds better from a marketing standpoint.

Once I had the data points ingested into Elastic I was able to create dashboards to answer the questions I had for each individual sport visually with Kibana.

Note: Click images to view in better resolution. 

Basketball

Kibana Dashboard showing geo coordinates, city and state information for Basketball players.

Baseball

Kibana Dashboard showing geo coordinates, city and state information for Baseball players.

Football

Kibana Dashboard showing geo coordinates, city and state information for Baseball players.

Hockey

Kibana Dashboard showing geo coordinates, city and state information for Hockey players.

Top 5 states and cities for each individual sport can be seen by clicking the pictures above. Top 5 states overall for baseball, basketball, football and hockey are:

  1. California – 4994
  2. Texas – 3266
  3. Pennsylvania – 3030
  4. Ohio – 2654
  5. New York – 2445

Other thoughts:

  • Surprised FL didn’t make the top 5 states in baseball given the number of spring training complexes that are down there.
  • The high population states kind of take over here would need to factor in population size per athlete for a more fair assessment. Similar to this article from areavibes.
  • Looking at the maps really makes you realize how few NHL players are born in the states
  • Including time in this analysis would allow for more insights

What are your thoughts?

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