I have read with the interest the results of a recent Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll which clearly shows the Yankees are the favorite baseball team of New Jersey residents and also one of the most despised. 

(L-R) Brandon Williams, Kevin Williams (Townsquare Media)

Of those surveyed who said they were baseball fans, 52% picked the Yanks as their favorite team.  Surprising to some the Phillies were second with 19% followed by the Mets, who were chosen by 15%.  As you might expect the numbers change a bit based on geography.  The Yankees are the overwhelming choice of those who live in the northern part of the state where 70% called the pinstripers their favorite.

That number drops to 51% in central Jersey and just 21% in the south.  The Mets were strongest in central Jersey, which includes the shore as 23% picked the Amazins’ as their favorite.  When you head south you of course move into Phillies country and it’s no surprise that 55% of those surveyed said the “fightins” are their favorite team.  Remember there are those in South Jersey who would love to form their own state because they have nothing in common with the north.

What was interesting was that the Yankees were named by many of those surveyed as their LEAST favorite team as well, trailing only the Boston Red Sox on the negative list.  It kind of reminds me of backs in the 70’s when Howard Cosell wound annually be named America’s favorite and most-hated sportscaster at the same time.

While New Jersey Yankee fans clearly picked the Red Sox as the team they like the least both Mets and Phillies fans named the Bronx Bombers as the team they dislike the most.

A couple of other notes from the poll:   48% of those surveyed called themselves baseball fans which is slightly lower than the national average of 53%.   Nearly two-thirds don’t think the cost of a ticket to a major league game is a good value and 38% plan to attend a minor league or independent league game this season with those numbers highest in our area which is good news for the BlueClaws.

While I don’t question the validity of the poll and the fact the Yankees are the most popular team in the state I throw in a very important fact.  Winning has a lot to do with popularity as both the Yankees & Phillies have done a lot of that in recent years while the Mets have not.  The Yankees drew 3 million fans for the first time in 1999 and the Phillies in 2004.  The Mets topped the 3 million mark in 1987 when they were the toast of town and much of New Jersey.