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June 16, 2018

Gridiron Football: NFL representation in the largest metropolitan statistical areas (USA & London, England).

Filed under: NFL/ Gridiron Football — admin @ 12:02 pm

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Gridiron Football: NFL representation in the largest metropolitan statistical areas (USA & London, England)



Sources…[note: data was retrieved on 2 March 2018; some population data may have changed depending upon when the links below are later accessed]…
-List of metropolitan statistical area [in the USA];
-London Commuter Belt (en.wikipedia.org).

The chart shows all cities in USA (plus London, England) which have a metropolitan statistical area population of over 1 million. The NFL teams from each city are shown at the far right (via current [2018] helmet-logos).

I made this chart because, like millions of other sports fans, I am very curious about what the NFL’s short-term – and long-term – plans are, with respect to expansion and re-location of franchises. The average NFL fan would undoubtedly be interested. But fans of embattled franchises would be even more interested in the subject. That is, fans of such teams as the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Los Angeles (formerly San Diego) Chargers, the Oakland (formerly Los Angeles) Raiders, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the the Buffalo Bills…because their team might be one that moves out of their present location. And that moves to London, England (or, in the Raiders’ case, to Las Vegas, Nevada).

It looks like it is inevitable that there will be an NFL team in London: all signs point to it. {See this, Potential London NFL franchise (en.wikipedia.org).} And there doesn’t look like there is any real wish on behalf of the NFL, or its owners, to have another round of expansion. Because it does not appear that the market would bear it (it would really have to be a two-team-expansion). And also, a 32 team league, as the NFL currently is, is just too perfect a number to mess with. Perfect in the sense that divisional-alignments, playoff set-up, and scheduling are very optimal in the current 32-team format.

So, once again, some NFL fanbase is most likely going to get screwed, and the home-town-fans of that team will be absolutely devastated to see their team re-locate to England. But that’s how the NFL rolls. Treating their fans like pawns. However much joy will be bestowed upon sports fans in England to see an NFL team grace their shores…that joy will NEVER outbalance the grief that will be bestowed upon one set of fans in the USA who lose their NFL team. When that NFL franchise uproots and moves to London, it will be just one more example of the diabolical nature of the NFL.

This chart is similar to the one I made for Major League Baseball {here}.

June 9, 2018

Baseball: MLB representation in the largest metropolitan statistical areas (USA & Canada).

Filed under: Baseball — admin @ 1:19 pm

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Baseball: MLB representation in the largest metropolitan statistical areas (USA & Canada).


By Bill Turianski on 9 June 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Sources…[note: data was retrieved on 2 March 2018; some population data may have changed depending upon when the links below are later accessed]…
-List of metropolitan statistical area [in the USA];
-List of census metropolitan areas and agglomerations in Canada;
-San Juan, Puerto Rico (en.wikipedia.org).

The chart shows all cities in USA and Canada which have a metropolitan statistical area population of over 1 million. The MLB teams from each city are shown at the far right (via current [2018] home ball-cap logos).

I made this chart because I am trying to understand why MLB is so reticent to pull the plug on the dismally-drawing Tampa Bay Rays (and perhaps the similarly-dismally-drawing Oakland A’s).

And if you think I am exaggerating the problem, that would mean you have not been looking at attendance figures recently, because it really is that bad…currently [June 9 2018], the Rays are drawing 13.8 K and the A’s are drawing 15.4 K (plus the Marlins are drawing 10.5 K, but they’ll never move the Marlins out of Miami, which has to be the worst sports-supporting town in America). Here are the current MLB attendance figures {espn.com/mlb/attendance}.

I think, and a whole lot of other people also think, that MLB should be sending the Rays (and perhaps the A’s) to somewhere else…somewhere else where attendance would be much, much higher than the 14-or-15-K-per-game that the Rays (and the A’s) have been drawing. Like Montreal [the 16th-largest city in USA-and-Canada]. Or maybe Portland, Oregon [the 28th-largest city in the USA/Canada]. Or maybe Charlotte, North Carolina [the 25th-largest city in USA/Canada]. Or maybe San Antonio, Texas [the 27th-largest city in the USA/Canada].

-Montreal Expos ownership group positioned for MLB relocation (by Mat Germain on April 12 2018 at draysbay.com).
-How Portland lands a Major League Baseball team… (by John Canzano on June 5 2018 at oregonlive.com/sports).

Anywhere else? I doubt it. I don’t really think there are any other cities that could support an MLB team. Because that entails 81 home games a year. And that entails having the wherewithal to fund and build a modern venue. And that entails having the possibility of creating a fan-base capable of supporting the team. And that also entails a situation where the other major league teams there (or the big-time D-1 college teams, there) wouldn’t siphon off a big chunk of support from a theoretical MLB team there.

What I am saying is this…It is a lot harder to successfully maintain an MLB team, than it is to maintain an NFL or an NHL or an NBA team. And I don’t think Vancouver or San Juan or Sacramento or Las Vegas or Austin or Columbus or Indianapolis or Nashville or Virginia Beach/Norfolk or Providence are capable of supporting an MLB team.

But San Jose sure as heck could support an MLB team. However, moving the A’s slightly south to San Jose is impossible, in the current climate, thanks to the restraint of trade that the San Francisco Giants and the MLB front office is engaging in. Restraint of trade that is screwing the Athletics’ franchise {see this, U.S. Supreme Court rejects San Jose’s bid to lure Oakland A’s (sfgate.com from 2015)}. Lawyers representing the city of San Jose: “More baseball fans [would] watch the A’s in San Jose than in Oakland, and they [would] enjoy the games in more pleasant surroundings,” the city’s lawyers said. “To bar the A’s from moving is to reduce consumer welfare, for the sole benefit of a competing producer, the [San Francisco] Giants. This is precisely the harm that antitrust law is designed to prevent.” (See 2 paragraphs further below, in the B. section, for more on that).

The subtitle of this chart could very well be “one reason why the Cleveland Indians draw so poorly”. I say that, because look how small metro-area Cleveland, Ohio is now…it is only the 36th-largest city in the USA-and-Canada these days. Cleveland’s population hasn’t shrunk as much as that of the uber-Rust-Belt city, Detroit, but it is close. Once upon a time, in 2000, the Cleveland Indians actually had the highest attendance in MLB. But that was because, back then (18 years ago), the Indians were a very good ball club PLUS the fact that: the Indians had a shiny new stadium, the Cavaliers sucked back then, the Browns were bad and were just out of “hibernation” (from 1996-98), the local economy wasn’t so ravaged, and the metro-area of Cleveland was about 20% larger. The population decline in Cleveland is even worse if you look at from a long-term perspective…since 1950, the city of Cleveland has lost 58% of its population {see this, Philadelphia Is Bouncing Back From Problems Still Plaguing Cleveland (by Carl Bialik from July 2016 at fivethirtyeight.com)}.

As to the smallest city to currently host an MLB team, that is Milwaukee, Wisconsin [the 43rd-largest city in the USA-and-Canada]. Home of the Milwaukee Brewers. Well, hats off to Wisconsinites. I say that because the folks of Greater Milwaukee have been giving the decidedly small-market Brewers some pretty darn good attendance figures. {Which you can see, here, in my latest MLB paid-attendance map [2017 figures].} And think about it…the Brewers, from just the the 40th-biggest city in America, have to compete for fans with the nearby and vastly popular Chicago Cubs (as well as the White Sox), plus they also have to compete for fans with the somewhat nearby Minnesota Twins. But the Brew Crew still drew over 31 K per game last year, which was 10th-best in MLB. (By the way, the Brewers are doing very well at the moment, with the best record in the National League (at 38-25 [June 9 2018].)

Some things you should know about the population figures on the list
A). The definition of these metropolitan statistical areas are pretty broad. (If you are curious, click here; then click on links there, to see each city’s defined metropolitan statistical area [as defined by the US Census Bureau]).
B). And there are some overlaps…For example, Baltimore is part of Washington DC’s metropolitan statistical area, yet Baltimore, Maryland is also part of its own metropolitan statistical area. Which makes sense, when you think about it, because if you are in downtown DC, it is not that much of a schlep to get to the Orioles’ ballpark. Ditto the case with San Jose, California. Not that San Jose has an MLB team. (Though the Oakland A’s sure have tried to move there. But MLB has blocked that, and, supported by court rulings, MLB continues to unfairly allow the San Francisco Giants to own the territory of San Jose, thus effectively utilizing a government-sanctioned form of restraint-of-trade to undermine the Oakland A’s viability as a northern-California-based MLB franchise.) And speaking of San Jose, that city is actually larger (by population) than the city of San Francisco is, these days (true story).
C). I included San Juan, Puerto Rico because Puerto Rico is part of the USA (Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States); plus, the late and lamented Montreal Expos played a bunch of games there, back in the day, right before they moved to DC, to become the Washington Nationals (in 2005). Plus the Twins and Indians played two games there in 2018.
D). I kept the list going well after the smallest MLB city (again, Milwaukee), because I was curious. Plus, I couldn’t resist including my humble town…Rochester, NY…the largest city in the USA without any major league team nor even a D-1 college basketball team (sigh). In case you’re wondering, the second biggest city in that category is Grand Rapids, Michigan, but they got Western Michigan Broncos D-1 football/basketball/hockey just down the road in Kalamazoo. But I digress.
E). If I continued the list, below cities which have a metro-area-population of 1 million, the next cities on the list would be: Honolulu, HI; Tulsa, OK, Fresno, CA; Bridgeport/Stamford, CT; Worcester, MA; Omaha, NB; and Albuquerque, NM. That would take it to all cities in USA and Canada with a metropolitan statistical area population above 900 K.
F). I know this chart is about major league cities in baseball, but it is ultimately also about major league cities in general (and I will be posting a similar chart for the NFL on the 16th of June 2018). So, in that vein…Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is the second-smallest market in the USA-and-Canada to have a major-league team (in NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL), and has a metropolitan statistical area population of just 778,000.
G). Green Bay, Wisconsin, the smallest city…by far…to have a major league team in the USA-and-Canada, is only the 157th-largest city in the USA, with a metropolitan statistical area population of only 318,000. Go Packers.
___
Thanks to Wikipedia for data.

May 28, 2018

NFL 1959 season, map with helmets & final standings & top offensive players + 1959 NFL attendance data. / 1959 NFL Champions: Baltimore Colts.

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NFL 1959 season, map with helmets & final standings & attendance data




By Bill Turianski on 28 May 2018. twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-1959 NFL season.
-1959 Baltimore Colts season (en.wikipedia.org).
-1959 NFL season (pro-football-reference.com).
-1959 NFL Teams [illustrations of uniforms of the 12 NFL teams of 1959] (gridiron-uniforms.com).

The map… The map, done in the style of late-1950s newspaper graphics, shows the primary helmets and jerseys worn by the 12 NFL teams of 1959. (Note: this map includes the newly-incorporated states of Alaska and Hawaii, both of which were granted statehood in 1959.) Final standings for the 1959 NFL season, along with team-colors worn that season, can be seen at the lower-right of the map. Home helmets and jerseys are shown alongside the standings. There also is a small section devoted to 1959 NFL attendance data. At the top-right of the map is a section devoted to the 1959 NFL champions, the Baltimore Colts (also see the next 8 paragraphs, and the illustration, below). At the far-right-hand-center of the map page, are 1959 Offensive leaders in the following categories: QB Rating: Charley Conerly, Giants. Passing Yards and TD Passes: Johnny Unitas, Colts. Rushing Yards and Rushing TDs & Total Yards from Scrimmage and Total TDs [tied]: Jim Brown, Browns. Receiving Yards & Receiving TDs and Total TDs [tied]: Raymond Berry, Colts.

    In a re-match of the 1958 NFL title game, the 1959 Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants (again).

The Colts were the reigning champions, but they had a hard time of it to win the Western Conference in ’59. They had to gain 2 games over San Francisco, and did so, late in the season, with two wins over the 49ers, and the Colts ended up at 9-3, one game above the Bears. The Giants, however, won the Eastern Conference easily, clinching in week 10, and the Giants had the best record in the league in 1959, at 10-2. The New York Giants also had the best defense in ’59, allowing only 14.1 points per game (170 PA), and the Giants also had the second-best offense (with 284 PF). Meanwhile, the Colts were the most potent offensive threat by far (374 PF), averaging 34.1 points. As to the Colts’ defense…well, on paper, the Colts’ D was only ranked 6th-best in terms of points allowed that season (251 PA); nevertheless, the Colts had the most interceptions by far (40, which was 18 more than any other team). And in the end, it was the Colts’ swarming defense, and particularly their ability to pick the ball off, that would decide the 1959 NFL title game.

Because of the NFL’s rotating-home-venue-for-title-game rule back then, the Western Conference was slated to host the 1959 title game, so that meant Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium would host the event, which was on Sunday December 27, 1959. A full-capacity-crowd (57,545) was on hand: the game had been sold out the day after the Colts won the Western Conference championship. Odds-makers were “ambivalent”: Colts by 3 1/2 in Baltimore, Giants by 3 1/2 in New York City. Game-time conditions were mild: 51°F with a slight breeze.

The Colts scored early in the 1st quarter, with a 60 yard pass play from Johnny Unitas to HB Lenny Moore. But then the formidable Giants defense shut the Colts down for the remainder of the first half, and deep into the 2nd half as well. Yet meanwhile, the Colts defense was containing the Giants, and the much-vaunted New York offense could only muster 9 points (off of 3 Pat Summerall FGs). So, midway through the 3rd quarter, the Giants held a slight lead, at 9-7.

Then, late in the 3rd quarter, the game turned on a 4th-and-1 play. The Giants had the ball on the Colts’ 27, which would have been a relatively easy 34-yard FG attempt. However, with their narrow 2-point lead, the Giants decided to go for it, and ran a running play. FB Alex Webster was stopped cold for a 1-yard loss by Colts DT Ray Krouse. The Memorial Stadium crowd erupted, and the momentum was shifting.

Then the Colts answered with 24 points, starting with a swift march down the field that culminated in a 4-yard Johnny Unitas option-rush-TD. The Colts led 14-9 at this point, with 12 minutes to go. Both offenses were then held to 3-plays-and-a-punt. Then, in 3 consecutive possessions, the Giants turned the ball over, via interceptions. The first of the 3 turnovers occurred with the Giants back on their 7-yard line: New York QB Charley Conerly’s pass was picked off at midfield by Colts All-Pro DB Andy Nelson, and Nelson returned it to the Giants’ 15. Two plays later, Unitas used a misdirection-play to connect with TE Jerry Richardson at the 8, and Richardson reached the end zone, and it was now 21-9 Colts.

Then the Giants made another turnover: Conerly’s 3rd-and-eight pass was intercepted by Colts DB Johnny Sample, who streaked 45 yards to a TD, and it was now 28-9 for the Colts. And then three minutes later, with New York at the 50 yard line but even more desperate, Johnny Sample made another interception, this time off of a Frank Gifford halfback-option. Sample returned the pick-off 24 yards, to the Giants’ 26. A few plays later, Colts K Steve Myhra made it 31-9, with a 25-yard FG. It was much too late in the game for New York to mount a serious comeback, although the Giants did drive for a late TD. That made it 31-16, and that was the final score.

And so the small-market Baltimore Colts had defeated the big-city Giants for the second straight year. Johnny Unitas had an MVP-worthy 18-for-29/264 yds/2 TD/0 Interceptions performance, and HB Lenny Moore had 124 yds from scrimmage and a TD. The Colts faithful stormed the field after the final whistle, and had a celebratory goal-post-razing. And then the joyful mob swiped every memento they could get their hands on, including DT Gino Marchetti’s helmet, the sideline benches, and even the iron goal posts themselves (which were smuggled out of the stadium, and later cut into mantle-piece-worthy trophies). Colts DE Art Donovan, who would go on to have a second career as a raconteur and an in-demand late-night talk-show guest, quipped, “Isn’t it great? The Giants shot their mouths off all week. But we played the football.”

But due to the epic battle that was the 1958 NFL title game [aka the Greatest Game Ever Played], the re-match in ’59 (and the repeat Colts’ victory), was fated to be a barely remembered thing (see a 2009 article from the Baltimore Sun for more on that, below).
-The greatest game nobody remembers (Mike Klingaman at baltimoresun.com).
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Photo and Image credits above- 1959 NFL title game program, photo unattributed at goldenrankings.com/nflchampionshipgame1959. Aerial shot of Colts v Washington at Memorial Stadium [photo circa 1960], photo by Robert F. Kniesche attributed (for once) at pinterest.com/[Colts v Washington]. Unitas in pocket under pressure, photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images via gettyimages.fr. Conerly pursued by Marchetti and Donovan, color-tinted photo unattributed at gatorrick15.wixsite.com. Johnny Sample, 2nd interception, photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Colts fans’ celebratory goal-post-razing, photo by AP via si.com. Colts’ ’58/’59 champions logo, image from ebay.com.

1959 Baltimore Colts: 7 All-Pro players; plus 6 from the ’59 Colts that were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Note: All-Pro, below, means: 1959 AP, 1st team. -Johnny Unitas: 1959 All-Pro (QB), and 1959 MVL (AP & UPI & Bert Bell Trophy); Unitas was inducted to the HoF in 1979. -Gino Marchetti: 1959 All-Pro (DE); Marchetti was inducted to the HoF in 1972. -Jim Parker: 1959 All-Pro (OT); Parker was inducted to the HoF in 1973. -Raymond Berry: 1959 All-Pro (WR); Berry was inducted to the HoF in 1973. -Lenny Moore: 1959 All-Pro (HB); Moore was inducted to the HoF in 1975. -Gene Lipscomb: 1959 All-Pro (DT). -Andy Nelson: 1959 All-Pro (S). -Art Donovan: (DT) inducted to the HoF in 1968. -Weeb Ewbank: (Head coach of Colts from 1954-62); Ewbank was inducted to the HoF in 1978.

Helmet and uniforms changes for 1959 NFL… There were very few uniform changes in the 1959 NFL (see Packers and 49ers sections below). However, it would be a different matter in the next few seasons, as more teams finally introduced helmet logos. But as of 1959, just 4 teams wore helmet logos (Rams, Eagles, Colts, Washington). 1959 was the third year that the NFL had mandated that all home teams were to wear their dark jersey, and all road teams were to wear their white (or light-colored) jersey. This was to ensure that television viewers watching NFL games on black-and-white TVs would not have trouble differentiating between the two teams (because in the past, both teams often ended up wearing a dark-colored jersey). This rule would last 7 seasons (1957-63). Then in 1964, teams were given the option of wearing their white jerseys at home; that rule exists to this day.

-In 1959, the Green Bay Packers, now under the leadership of new head coach Vince Lombardi, introduced new uniforms, the template of which has remained the Packers’ signature look to this day. Gone were the white helmets that had been part of the Packers’ uniforms for the previous three seasons, and gone was any navy blue, and also gone was the dark-bluish-forest-green color the Packers had toyed with in the 1956-58 time period {see my 1958 NFL post for more on that/scroll down to ’58 uniforms section there}. While the Packers had worn kelley-green in the late-1940s-to-mid-1950s time period, starting in 1959 the green was now plain-dark-green. The gold was still yellow/orange, and that would be the Packers’ helmet color once again. The helmet featured a dark-green/white/dark-green center-striping. But the new Packers helmet was otherwise blank…the Packers’ now-iconic football-shaped-G logo would not be introduced until 2 years later, in 1961. {1959 Packers uniforms (gridiron-uniforms.com).} The Packers experimented with dark-green facemasks during this time, but abandoned it, probably because the green paint was prone to easily flake off, as you can see in the following post from the excellent packersuniforms.blogspot.com. (Note: The Baltimore Colts also experimented with a colored facemask in this era [a dark-blue facemask]. But the first team-wide introduction of colored facemasks did not occur until 15 years later, when the Chargers got Riddell to embed the color (yellow) into the rubberized coating of the facemask. {See this article by Paul Lukas at espn.com, Uni Watch’s Friday Flashback: How the Chargers started the colored face mask revolution.})

Green Bay Packers helmet history –
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Green Bay Packers Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/packers.

-In 1959, the San Francisco 49ers switched, yet again, from gold to silver helmets (plain silver helmets). The 49ers switched from gold to silver pants as well in ’59. And the Niners also slightly changed the detailing on their white jerseys, introducing a second arced shoulder stripe (similar to the striping on the Colts’ jerseys {1959 49ers uniforms}. All this chopping and changing was blurring the 49ers visual identity during this era. The 49ers of the 1952 to 1964 time period could not make up their mind what their look should be, switching their helmet color 5 times in a 13-year-span…from silver to red to white to gold to silver to gold. {You can see that in Gridiron Uniforms Database’s SF 49ers page.}

___
Photo and Image credits on map page…
Colts… Colts’ Raymond Berry-style helmet w/ butterfly-facemask [reproduction of helmet from 1960-63 era], from ebay.com. Johnny Unitas [photo from 1958 title game], photo by Neil Leifer at neilleifer.com. Jim Parker, [photo circa 1960], photo unattributed at profootballhof.com. Raymond Berry [photo from 1960 v Eagles]], photo by Focus on Sports/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Retro Colts logo from ebay.com. Gino Marchetti [photo circa 1960], photo unattributed at forum.russellstreetreport.com/[Baltimore football greats...]. Andy Nelson [photo from 1959 title game], photo unattributed at sportsecyclopedia.com/[Baltimore Colts]. Jim Mutschellar [photo circa 1960], photo by Baltimore Sun at baltimoresun.com. Art Donovan [photo circa 1958], photo unattributed at pinterest.com. Lenny Moore [photo from 1958], photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images at gettyimages.com/robert-riger-archive. Gene Lipscomb [photo from 1959], photo by John G. Zimmerman/Getty Images at gettyimages.com.

1959 Offensive stats leaders…
Charley Conerly [photo from 1959], photo unattributed at bigblueinteractive.com. Johnny Unitas [photo from 1959], photo from Complete Pro Sports Illustrated magazine via nflfootballjournal.blogspot.com/[Johnny Unitas feature]. Jim Brown [1959 Topps card], from sportsviews.com. Raymond Berry [photo from 1963], photo by Walter Iooss, Jr/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.

Map was drawn with assistance from images at this link… worksheeto.com/post_50-states-and-capitals-printable-worksheet.
-Thanks to the contributors at pro-football-reference.com
-Thanks to the contributors at NFL 1959 season (en.wikipedia.org).
Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving billsportsmaps.com the permission to use football uniforms illustrations from Gridiron Uniform Database {GUD}.

May 16, 2018

2018 CHL Memorial Cup tournament (in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada from May 18 to May 27) – the 4 teams: the Regina Pats, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Swift Current Broncos.

Filed under: Canada,Canada>OHL,Canada>QMJHL,Canada>WHL,Hockey — admin @ 7:44 pm

By Bill Turianski on 16 May 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-2018 CHL Memorial Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-CHL official site: chl.ca.
-Preview…Why watch the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup: Top prospects, great storylines (by Rory Boylen at sportsnet.ca/hockey).

Host team: Regina Pats.

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Photo and Image credits above – Regina Pats’ jersey illustration and shoulder-patch logo: from sportslogos.net/[Regina Pats]. View of Regina’s skyline, photo by 28thegreat at File:Regina Skyline.png. Brandt Centre, photo by Neil Cochrane/CBC at cbc.ca. PPCLI badge from army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/ppcli/1st-battalion.page. Regina Pats 100th anniversary jersey (a re-working of the team’s first jersey worn in 1917), from patsstore.ca. Sam Steel, photo by Keith Hershmller via chl.ca. Libor Hájek, photo by Keith Hershmiller via rodpedersen.com. Cameron Hebig, photo by Keith Hershmiller/Regina Pats via cjme.com. Cale Fleury, photo unattributed at twitter.com/WHLPats.

2018 QMJHL champions: Acadie–Bathurst Titan.

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Photo and Image credits above – Acadie-Bathurst Titan jersey, illustration from sportslogos.net/[Acadie Bathurst Titan]. Aerial shot of Bathurst, New Brunswick, photo from facebook.com/destimationbathurstNB. View of Bathurst from harbour bridge, photo from iccimmigration.in/immigration/new-brunswick. K.C. Irving Regional Centre, photo by Kevin Jordan at qmjhlarenaguide.com. Olivier Galipeau, photo unattributed at telegraphjournal.com. Jeffrey Truchon-Viel, photo by Emmanuelle Parent via acadienouvelle.com. Evan Fitzpatrick, photo by Vincent L. Rousseau via letitan.com. Antoine Morand, photo by RDS via canucksarmy.com.




2018 OHL champions: Hamilton Bulldogs.

hamilton-bulldogs_first-ontario-centre_2018-chl-memorial-cup_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Hamilton Bulldogs jersey illustration and shoulder-patch logo from sportslogos.net/[Hamiton Bulldogs]. Skyline of Hamilton from top of the Mountain (Niagara Escarpment), photo by Lucasmascotto at File:Collage of Tourist Spots in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.jpg. Exterior of FirstOntario Centre, photo from 900/CHML via globalnews.ca/news. Brandon Saigeon, photo by Aaron Bell via niagarathisweek.com/sports. Robert Thomas, photo by John Rennison/The Hamilton Spectator at thespec.com. Kaden Fulcher, photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com. Ryan Moore, photo by Getty Images at gettyimages.ae.

2018 WHL champions: Swift Current Broncos.
-From the Everett (Washington) Herald, here is an article about the town of Swift Current and its hockey team, subtitled…’Home of the Broncos, Saskatchewan’s seventh-biggest city is a hard-core hockey town on the prairie‘ (by Ben Watanabe on May 4 2018 at heraldnet.com).
-reddit.com/r/hockey/[1986 Swift Current bus tragedy].

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Photo and Image credits above – Swift Current Broncos jersey illustration and shoulder-patch logos from sportslogos.net. Aerial shot of Swift Current, SK, photo by City of Swift Current via heraldnet.com/news/silvertips-fans-meet-the-enemy-stronghold-of-swift-current. Photo of road leading to Swift Current, photo by CanadaGood G Melle at flickr.com; flickr.com/photos/canadagood. Innovation Credit Union i-Plex, photo from tourismswiftcurrent.ca. Swift Current Broncos (I) logo (1973-74) from hockeydb.com/[swift-current-broncos]. Lethbridge Broncos logo from sportslogos.ne/[Lethbridge Broncos]. Swift Current Broncos (II) logos from sportslogos.net/[Swift Current Broncos (II)]. Swift Current Broncos bus crash [December 28 1986] memorial, photo from leaderpost.com/sporst. 1989 Swift Current Broncos players celebrate winning the 1989 Memorial Cup 4-3 in OT over Saskatoon [May 13 1989], photo unattributed at reddit.com/[thread: Swift Current Broncos bus crash, December 30 1986]. Aleksi Heponiemi, photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images via habseyesontheprize.com. Glenn Gawdin, photo unattributed at nhl.com/flames. Stuart Skinner, photo by Keith Hershmiller via leaderpost.com. Tyler Steenburgen, photo unattributed at reddeerexpress.com.

___
Thanks to the contributors at the following links…
- Western Hockey League;
-Ontario Hockey League;
-Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
-Thanks to the fine site known as Elite Prospects.com (Hockey Prospects), for player info…eliteprospects.com.

May 6, 2018

Australian rules football: Australian Football League (AFL), 2018 location-map, with with map showing all venues for 2018 AFL season; plus 2017 attendance figures & titles list./+ Illustration for the 2017 Grand Final champions – Richmond Tigers.

Filed under: Australia,Australian Rules Football — admin @ 5:45 pm

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Australian rules football: Australian Football League (AFL), 2018 location-map, with with map showing all 17 venues for 2018 AFL season; plus 2017 attendance figures and titles list


By Bill Turianski on 6 May 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-AFL official site.
-2018 AFL season (en.wikipedia.org).
-theroar.com.au/aussie-rules.
-Aussie rules scores/fixtures/ladder, etc..scorespro.com/aussie-rules.

-Your club’s indigenous jumper revealed (afl.com.au).

-If you are new to Aussie rules football and would like to see an explanation of the rules, and/or a brief thumbnail-history of the AFL, you can see all that on my first map-and-post on the subject, [from April 2015]
Australian rules football – the Australian Football League (AFL): 2015 location-map with: rules (in general), clubs-history-chart, and chart of 2014 attendances with titles listed./+ 2014 champions the Hawthorn Hawks.

Here are three articles pertaining to new venues in the Australian Football League…one venue in Shanghai, China that will be used by the Port Adelaide Power and the Gold Coast Suns for the second time in 2018; a giant brand-new 60-K venue in Western Australia that will now be used full-time by both the Fremantle Dockers and by the Western Australia Eagles; and one small venue 117 km west of Melbourne in Ballarat, Victoria that will be used by the Western Bulldogs for the second time in 2018…
-AFL in China: why Port Adelaide took a chance on Shanghai (by Craig Little on 14 May 2017 at theguardian.com/[AFL]).
-WA’s biggest stars ready to shine on new stage Optus Stadium (by Kim Macdonald on 19 Jan 2018 at thewest.com.au).
-AFL game played in regional city of Ballarat for first time (by Bridget Rollason on 19 Aug 2017 at abc.net.au).

    2017 Grand Final champions – Richmond Tigers: their 11th Premiership (title) and their first title in 37 years…

australia_2017-afl-grand-final_richmond-tigers_108_60_adelaide-crows_bachar-houli_jack-graham_dustin-martin_alex-rance_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Shot from upper stands at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during 2017 AFL Grand Final, photo unattributed at adelaidenow.au. Richmond players after a goal with Richmond fans-with-flags-and-banners in the background, photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. Dustin Martin (Norm Smith Medal winner [MVP]), photo by Getty Images via thenewdaily.com.au/sport. Bachar Houli, photo unattributed at afl.com.au. Alex Rance, photo by Robert Cianflone/AFL Media/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com. Jack Graham, photo by Getty Images via foxsports.com.au.
___
Sources for map page:
Thanks to all at these links…
-Attendances (2016 and 2017 season): AFL Tables site, at afltables.com/afl/crowds/2017.html.
-Dates of establishment: Australian Football League/Current clubs.
-Titles: List of Australian Football League premiers. (en.wikipedia.org).
-Rules: Australian rules football; Australian rules football playing field (en.wikipedia.org).

-Blank maps on map page…
-Thanks to Ssolbergj for globe-map of Australia, File:Australia (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to NordNordWest for blank map of Australia, File:Australia location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).’-Thanks to TUBS for blank map of China showing Shanghai, File:Shanghai in China (+all claims hatched).svg.

-Jersey Icons…Thanks to thejoesbloggsblog for most of the jersey-pattern icons on the chart on the map page at Australian Football League/Current clubs (en.wikipedia.org). Thanks to the AFLstore for Western Eagles’ jersey-icon, theaflstore.com.au/west-coast-eagles.

-For general historical info, thanks to australianfootball.com.
-Thanks to the contributors at Australian Football League (en.wikipedia.org).
-Thanks to AFL Tables site for attendances ( afltables.com/afl/crowds/summary.html ), and for all-time list of AFL venues, ( afltables.com/afl/venues/overall.html ).

April 25, 2018

Japan: NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), 2018 – location map, with profile-boxes of the 12 teams, and NPB titles list (1950-2017).

Filed under: Baseball,Japan,Japan: Baseball — admin @ 12:07 pm

japan_npb-baseball_2018-location-map_with-titles-list_post_b_.gif"
Japan: NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball), 2018 – location map, with profile-boxes of the 12 teams, and NPB titles list (1950-2017)


By Bill Turianski on 25 April 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Nippon Professional Baseball (en.wikipedia.org).
-reddit.com/r/NPB.
-Official website…npb.jp/eng/teams.
公式サイト…npb.jp.

The map-page…
The map-page features a location-map of the 12 NPB teams in Japan, with team profile-boxes overlaid. The main map is augmented by an inset-map of Greater Tokyo (at the lower-left of the map-page). At the upper-left of the map-page is a globe-map showing Japan’s location in East Asia. Below that, at the far left, is a small multi-color map of Japan, showing the country’s regions within the four primary islands (plus Okinawa) which comprise Japan, as well as NPB representation within those regions. At the upper-right of the map-page is a chart showing NPB titles by team (1950-2017), as well as Central League-/-Pacific League titles won by each team (see: Rules in NPB and league format section 4 paragraphs below for more on that). Below that is a small chart showing NPB representation in Japanese cities (the 8 cities in Japan with a population of more than 2 million in their metro-areas).

The team-profile-boxes feature basic info on the teams, including primary-cap-logo, location and venue, ownership, and titles, plus team mascots. Secondary logos are next to each team’s profile-box.

Demographics of Japan
The population of Japan is around 126.6 million {source: 2017 estimate, here at Japan en.wikipedia page}. This puts Japan as the 10th-most-populous nation on Earth. Japan is not very large in terms of land area, though: it is the 61st-largest country, at 377,972 km-squared (145,936 sq mi). That makes Japan slightly smaller than the US state of Montana, and slightly larger than the nation of Germany. The largest city in Japan (by far) is, of course, Tokyo…which is absolutely gigantic, and has a metro-area population that is the largest on the planet (at ~37.8 million). {Source.} Basically, 30% of the population of Japan resides in Tokyo’s metropolitan area. [Note: again, on the map-page, there is a list of the largest cities in Japan.] Japan has about the 28th-highest adjusted-GDP in the world {see this, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita).

Nippon Professional Baseball was formed in 1950.
The set-up consisted of 12 teams, with 6 teams in the Central League, and 6 teams in the Pacific League. Like Major League Baseball back then, the teams in one league did not play teams in the other league during the regular season. This 12 team / 2 league format remains to this day. The Japanese mimicry of Major League Baseball’s format continued, when, in 1975, one league – the Pacific League – adopted the Designated Hitter rule (this was 2 years after MLB’s American League instituted the DH rule, while the National League did not). Nippon Professional Baseball continued to take its cues from Major League Baseball when inter-league play between the Central League and the Pacific League was introduced in 2005 (8 years after inter-league play was intstituted in Major League Baseball).

Rules in NPB and league format:
The rules in NPB are the same as in MLB, except with tie games going into extra innings…after 12 innings, the game is declared a tie (a draw) in the standings, except in the post-season, when tied games after 15th innings are abandoned, and then later re-played.

The 2 leagues both play 144-game regular seasons. Unlike in MLB, in Japan, the pennant-winner is crowned before the playoffs begin… the teams with the best regular season records in the two leagues are the Central League Pennant winner and the Pacific League Pennant winner. (In other words, unlike in MLB’s World Series, in Japan, the teams that meet to decide the NPB title in the Japan Series are not necessarily pennant winners.) The top 3 teams in each league make the playoffs. The pennant-winners (again, first place team from the regular season), gets a bye to the second round; while the 2nd-place and 3rd-place finishers play in the First Stage (a 3-game-series). Then the First Stage winners play the Pennant winners in the Second Stage (a 5-game-series). Those two playoff-winners then play for the title, in the Japan Series (a 7-game-series).

Distribution of NPB teams throughout Japan…
While it is true that Japanese baseball franchises do sometimes move, that is part of a broader trend of teams simply going to areas that had been historically ignored by Nippon Professional Baseball. Because as recently as 1988, 30 years ago, 9 of the 12 NPB teams used to be located in just two regions – the Greater Tokyo Bay area [the Kanto region], which previously had 6 teams (5 teams are located there now), and the central Japan/Osaka/Kobe area, which previously had 3 teams (2 teams are located there now). Since then, franchises have moved to Kysuhu Island (where the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks [est. 1989] are located), and Hokkaido Island (where the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters [est. 2004] are located. The Osaka region lost its 3rd team when the Orix BlueWave merged with the Kintetsu Buffaloes. And then when the only-ever players’ strike in NPB (in the late summer of 2004) forced the league to reverse their decision to contract to 11 teams in 2005, the new franchise (the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles) was not re-placed in the Osaka region, but instead put in the Sendai region north of Tokyo. There is one area that has never had an NPB team, and that would probably support one pretty well – the NW Honshu Island (main island) city of Niigata, which is on the west coast on the Sea of Japan. Niigata (population of around .8 million) is home to one of the highest-drawing J-League soccer teams in Japan – Albirex Niigata, who became the first-ever J-League team to average over 40,000 per game, in 2005.

Foreign player restrictions:
4 foreign players on the 25-man active roster allowed, with no organizational limit.

Minor leagues in Japan:
Each NPB team has 1 minor league team in its organization, and most of the minor league teams use the name and uniforms of their parent-club, and the minor league team also plays in the same area as their parent-club (exception – in location: Hokkaido’s minor league team is still located in the Tokyo Bay area).

Japanese-born players in Major League Baseball
Up to the 2018 season, a total of 55 Japanese-born players have played at least 1 game in Major League Baseball. {Source: List of Major League Baseball players from Japan.} The biggest restriction is the 9-year rule, disallowing any NPB player without 9 years’ tenure with a NPB team’s organization, and along with that, another impediment is the ‘Posting’ system {see this: en.wikipedia.org/[Posting system]}.

Current [2018] Japanese-born players in MLB…

ichiro-suzuki_trading-cards_orix-1996_seattle-2001_miami-2016_3000-hits_b_.gif
Photo credits above – 1996 BBM Ichiro card, from ebay.com. 2001 [Mariners/Keebler stadium-giveaway-item] Ichiro card, from ebay.com. 2001 Topps Ichiro card, from topps.com.

Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners OF (age 44). Once he finally retires, Ichiro will become the first Japanese-born player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and he will probably be elected on the first ballot. After all, he is one of the 31 players in all of Major League Baseball history that is in The 3,000 hits club [and there has never been any allegations of doping/steroid abuse wrt Ichiro]. Ichiro, who prefers to be referred to by his first name, played in NPB for 9 seasons with the Orix Blue Wave (1992-2000), where he was a 7-time All-Star (1994–2000), a 3-time Pacific League MVP (1994–1996), and was part of the 1996 Orix Blue Wave team that were NPB champions (see 1996 trading card above). Ichiro was signed by the Seattle Mariners in Nov. 2000, becoming the first Japanese-born position player to sign for an MLB team. In the following year of 2001, amid heavy coverage by both Japanese and North American media, Ichiro was the first player to lead in Batting Average and Stolen Bases (.350/56), since Jackie Robinson did it in 1949. And he became only the second player to win the AL Rookie of the Year award and the AL MVP award (the first was Boston’s Fred Lynn in 1975). Ichiro played 11-and-a-half seasons for Seattle (2001-12), then played 2-and-a-half seasons for the New York Yankees (2012-14), then played 3 seasons for the Miami Marlins (2015-17). He returned to the Seattle Mariners in 2018, as a 44-year-old. Excerpts from the Ichiro Suzuki page at en.wikipedia.org…”Ichiro has established a number of batting records, including MLB’s single-season record for hits with 262. He achieved 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons, the longest streak by any player in history. Between his major league career in both Japan and the United States, Ichiro has the most hits by any player in top-tier professional leagues…In his combined playing time in NPB and MLB, Ichiro has received 17 consecutive selections both as an All-Star and Gold Glove winner, won nine league batting titles and been named MVP four times…He is also noted for his longevity, continuing to produce at a high level while approaching 43 years of age…In total he has over [4,450] hits in his career.”…{Excerpts from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichiro_Suzuki.}

Junichi Tazawa, Miami Marlins Relief Pitcher (RHP) (age 31). Tazawa never played in NPB. He was un-drafted out of high school, and so he played for the company team of Nippon Oil in the corporate league [unaffiliated with NPB], and was MVP in that company-league’s post-season in 2008. It was then, circa late-2008/early-2009 that Tazawa became the first amateur Japanese ballplayer to shun the NPB, and sign with an MLB team (the Boston Red Sox) {see this article from 2008 from ESPN.com, Amateur Tazawa bypassing Japan leagues for MLB}. Tazawa worked middle relief for the Red Sox for 7 seasons (2009; 2011-16), and was part of the Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series championship team, making 13 appearances in the 2013 post-season including 5 appearances in the World Series that year, with these post-season stats: 13 app/1-0/1.38 ERA/7.1 IP. Tazawa has been a middle reliever for the Marlins since 2017.

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs Starting Pitcher (RHP) (age 31). Played in NPB for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2005–2011); posted by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and signed with the Texas Rangers in Jan. 2012. Yu Darvish is the son of an Iranian-born father and a Japanese mother. In NPB, Darvish was a two-time Pacific League MVP (2009, 2011), a 5-time NPB All-Star (2007–2011), and led the Pacific League in Strikeouts 3 times and in ERA twice. Darvish was a member of the 2006 NPB champions the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. In MLB, playing for the Texas Rangers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now the Chicago Cubs, Darvish has an overall 18.3 WAR, going 56-44 (3.50 ERA) [as of 24 April 2018]. Darvish’s best season in MLB was in 2013, when he went 13-9 (2.84 ERA) and led the majors in Strikeouts (277, with 80 Walks). Darvish has been a 4-time All-Star (2012–2014, 2017). But Darvish had a bad World Series with the LA Dodgers in 2017, getting bombed in both appearances, going 0-2 with a 21.60 ERA (when the Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros in 7 games). Darvish’s problems continued on into 2018, where he is [as of 24 April 2018] 0-2 (6.86 ERA) for the Cubs.

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees Starting Pitcher (RHP) (age 29). Played in NPB for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (2007–2013); posted by the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and signed with the New York Yankees in Jan. 2014. Was 6-time NPB All-Star (2007–2009, 2011–2013), and led NPB in ERA twice (2011, 2013); plus Tanaka was a member of the 2013 NPB champions (the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles). Tanaka has been a vital part of the Yankees’ rotation since 2014, with an overall 12.6 WAR, going 55-30 (3.63 ERA) [as of 24 April 2018]. In 2014, Tanaka went 13-5 (2.77 ERA) for the Yankees and was a 2014 All-Star, but injuries kept him from playing most of the second-half of 2014. In 2016, Tanaka went 14-4 (3.04 ERA), with the best WAR for the Yankees that year, at 5.2.

Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers. Starting Pitcher (RHP) (age 30). Played in NPB for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (2008–2015); posted by Hiroshima Toyo Carp and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Jan. 2016. Was a 5-time NPB All-Star (2010, 2012–2015). For the Dodgers, Maeda has been a solid starter, going 16-11 (3.48 ERA) in 2016, and 13-6 (4.22 ERA) in 2017.

Yoshahisa Hirano, Arizona Diamondbacks. Relief Pitcher (RHP) (age 34). Played in NPB for 11 seasons with the Orix Buffaloes (2006-07; 2009-17). Hirano had more than the requisite 9 years tenure in NPB, so he didn’t have to be posted. Hirano signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dec. 2017. Was the NPB Middle Reliever of the Year in 2011, and Saves leader in the 2014 Pacific League. So far, Hirano has fit in very well in MLB with Arizona, and [as of 24 April 2018] he has made 11 appearances in middle relief, with a 1-0 record and a 1.74 ERA for the division-leading D-backs.

Kazihisa Makita, San Diego Padres. Relief Pitcher (RHP) (age 33). Played in NPB for the Seibu Lions (2011-17); posted by Seibu Lions and signed by the San Diego Padres in Dec. 2017. Makita has a sidewinder (or submarine) delivery. Was Pacific League Rookie of the Year in 2011, and an NPB All-Star in 2011 and 2013. For the Padres, [as of 24 April 2018] he has 11 appearances in middle relief, with a 4.50 ERA.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels. Starting Pitcher (RHP) and DH/OF (Bats Left) (age 23). Played in NPB for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2013–17). Was posted by Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and was signed by the Los Angeles Angels in Dec. 2017. Ohtani is a dual-threat player who can pitch with speed and finesse AND who can hit for power and for average. Ohtani proved it in Japan, and right now, so far, he is proving he can do it in Major League Baseball. Ohtani was part of the 2016 NPB champions (the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters). As a starting pitcher in NPB, Ohtani had the Pacific League’s best ERA in 2015, and he was voted to the NPB Best Nine as a Pitcher in 2015 and 2016, as well as being voted to the NPB Best Nine as DH in 2016. Which is absolutely unprecedented. Ohtani recalls the pitching-and-slugging skills once displayed by no less than Babe Ruth himself, back in the 1910s and 1920s (Babe Ruth, for the Boston Red Sox in 1919, hit 20 HRs and pitched for a 9-5 record with an ERA of 2.97 in 133 IP). Ohtani’s current MLB numbers: [as of 24 April 2018] 3 HR, 1 Triple, 1 Double and 11 RBIs in 42 AB (a .333 BAvg and a .619 SPct) plus a 2-1 pitching record (4.46 ERA) in 4 GS and 20.1 IP. Ohtani appears to be the real deal, and along with Mike Trout, could very well lead the division-leading Angels to post-season glory soon. {From Deadspin, from the 25th of April, Shohei Ohtani Threw The Ball Hard As F*ck (by Tom Ley at deadspin.com).}
shohei-otani_hokkaido-nippon-ham-fighers_los-angeles-angels_d_.gif
Photo credits above – Ohtani as pitcher and as batter for Hokkaido, 2 photos by Kyodo News/Getty Images via si.com. Ohtani batting for LA Angels, and Ohtani pitching for LA Angels, 2 photos by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images North America via zimbio.com.

    2017 Japan Series: Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat Yokohoma DeNa BayStars, 4 games to 2. (Fourth NPB title in 7 seasons for Fukuoka.)

2017-japan-series_npb_fukuoka-softbank-hawks_2017-champions_fukuoka-dome_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Dennis Sarfate, photo by Kyodo News via gettyimages.com. Keizo Kawashima, photo by Kyodo News via japantimes.co.jp. Nao Higashihama, photo by Kyodo News via gettyimages.com. Yuki Yanagita, photo by Kyodo News via gettyimages.com.
Alfredo Despaigne, photo by Gaffkey at File:Hawks54-Despaigne.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Fukuoka at twilight, photo by Alamy via theguardian.com/travel/flourishing-fukuoka…. Fukuoka Dome, photo unattributed at blog.gaijinpot.com/fukuokas-seaside-momochi. The Fukuoka Hawks’ balloon-release (a 7th inning tradition at Fukuoka Dome), photo by Brad Merrett at bradmerrett.com/blog/go-hawks. Mascots: photos from softbankhawks.co.jp.

___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Blank map of Japan, by Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) at File:Japan location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Globe-map of Japan, by Connormah at File:Japan (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Map of Japan’s regions, by Ken Nashi at start-point.net/maps.
-Map of Tokyo (Kantō MMA) metro-area, by Kzaral at File:Tokyo-Kanto definitions, Kanto MMA.png.
-worldatlas.com/articles/10-biggest-cities-in-japan.
-Seibu Lions mascot/photo from store.seibulions.jp.
-Chiba Lotte Marines new mascot (Mystery Fish), image from palusuke.com.
-Hiroshima Toyo Carp mascot (Slyly), illustration from seiga.nicovideo.jp.

-Thanks to MeGaNiNjA (スピードさん) @MegaNiNj4, for requesting this map (via twitter), and for helping me find mascot illustrations.
-Thanks to the guy who runs the twitter feed for the Reddit/NPB page, for finding mistakes, on my map here (twitter.com/NPB_Reddit).

April 14, 2018

Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2018 location-map with 2017 attendances and KBO titles list./+ Illustration: 2017 Korean Series champions, the KIA Tigers.

Filed under: Baseball,Korea: baseball — admin @ 4:36 pm

/korea_baseball_kbo-league2018_attendance-map-2017_kbo-titles-list_mascots_post_c_.gif
Baseball in South Korea: KBO League, 2018 location-map with 2017 attendances and KBO titles list


By Bill Turianski on 14 April 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO teams…KBO League/ Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-KBO official site/schedule, scores, standings; About KBO, etc. (in English, with Korean option)…http://eng.koreabaseball.com/.
-KBO 리그의 공식 사이트http://www.koreabaseball.com/Default.aspx.

-KBO League bunt contest, http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2016/07/18/190349428/korean-baseball-organization-holds-bunt-derby-at-all-star-game.
-Bat flips ! (Bat flips rule. ) Best Bat Flips in KBO (3:16 video uploaded in Nov 2016 by Yoriel Lalane at youtube.com).

-My first post on KBO League (from Feb. 2010) has lots of info on the culture of Korean baseball,
Korea Baseball Organization: the 8 teams, with teams’ parent corporations listed, and baseball stadium photos (billsportsmaps.com/February 2010).

-From Deadspin.com…[warning: unfortunately, link is wonky] How To Get Into The KBO, The Wildest, Most Outlandish Baseball League In The World (by Sung Min Kim on March 28 2017 at deadspin.com).

KBO League map-page…
The map-page features a location-map of the 10 KBO League teams, including an inset-map of Greater Seoul. Circular-cap-logos are sized to reflect 2017 average attendance…the larger the circular-cap-logo, the higher the team’s attendance. There are 3 charts to the right of the map/inset-map…one chart for 2017 KBO League Attendance Data, one chart for KBO League Titles List (1982-2017), and one chart that shows all the cities in South Korea with a population above 1 million and the KBO-League-representation there. Plus there is a section that shows KBO League teams’ mascots (via 2016 stamps that were issued by Korea Post). Mascots are big time in Korean baseball (as well as in Japanese baseball). And speaking of Japan, my next post [on the 25th of April] will be of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (2018 NPB location-map with NPB teams’ profile boxes, including mascots, etc./+ Illustration for: 2017 NPB champions, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks).


(Old-content-disclaimer: the next couple of paragraphs are almost verbatim from my last post on the KBO League {from 2015}.)

Demographics of South Korea
The population of South Korea is around 51.4 million {source: 2017 estimate, here at South Korea en.wikipedia page}. This puts South Korea as the 27th-most-populous nation on Earth. South Korea is very small, though: it is the 109th-largest country (at 100,210 km-sq or 66,690 mi-sq). That makes South Korea slightly smaller than Iceland, and slightly larger than Hungary. The largest city in South Korea (by far) is, of course, Seoul…which is absolutely gigantic, and has a metro-area population that is fifth-largest on the planet. Seoul has a special-city population of around 10.1 million, and metro-area population of around 25.6 million ! {2017 figures). Only Tokyo, Japan (at ~37.8 million), Shanghai, Jakarta, and Delhi have larger metro-area populations than does Seoul. {Source.} Basically, half of the population of South Korea resides in Seoul’s metropolitan area. South Korea has about the 30th-highest adjusted-GDP in the world {see this, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita).

KBO League est. 1982; 10 teams. Season: 144 games/5-team playoffs w/reg-season-winner getting bye to the 5-game Korean Series
Pro major-league baseball in South Korea began in 1982, with the institution of the KBO League as a 6-team league. A minor league was established eight years later in 1990 – the KBO Futures League. In 1986, the KBO League expanded to include a seventh team. In the first decade of its existence, the KBO League as a whole was only drawing in the 5 to 7 K range. By 1991, the KBO League had 8 teams. In 1995, cumulative attendance for the season finally topped 10 K per game, boosted by the exciting 1995 KBO season which saw three teams, the OB Bears, the LG Twins, and the Lotte Giants, go neck-to-neck for the pennant (the title in ’95 was won by the OB, now Doosan, Bears). However, this league attendance figure wasn’t surpassed for 14 years. After 1995, the KBO began to see dwindling fan interest that lasted for about a decade. What first helped reverse the gradual slide in attendances from 1996 to 2004 was the good showing that the South Korean national baseball team had in the first World Baseball Classic, in 2005, when they finished in third. Another boost to the game there came three years later, when South Korea narrowly lost to Japan in extra innings in the second World Baseball Classic, and then six months later, the South Korean baseball team won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. These results convinced many South Korean sports fans that KBO baseball was a product worth supporting. In 2008, league-wide attendance shot up 2.3 K per game to 10.4 K; the next year [2009] it was 11.1 K, and the KBO League has drawn above 11 K ever since. The health of Korean pro baseball these days can be seen in the fact that there has been recent expansion. The KBO League finally got to 10 teams with creation of a 9th team (the NC Dinos) in 2013, and a 10th team (the KT Wiz) in 2015.

And there is no doubt that the caliber of Korean baseball players has improved in the last 25 years or so. There is a large number of South Koreans playing in Japan, in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). And in the United States (and Canada), in Major League Baseball, there are currently 5 Korean-born players, of which I have brief profiles below.

List of Major League Baseball players from South Korea (en.wikipedia.org).
[Note on Korean nomenclature: first syllables are last-names in Korean (ie, Shin-soo Choo is Mr. Shin).]
Shin-soo Choo: (age 35) Texas Rangers OF, who also played for Mariners, Indians, and Reds (in MLB since 2005). Shin was born and raised in Busan, in southern South Korea. Shin-soo never played in the KBO League, because he was such a good prospect that he was signed out of high school by the Seattle Mariners, and went up through the MiLB farm system. He has hit over 20 HR five times (including 22 HR for the Rangers in 2017), and, as of 14 Apr 2018, has hit 177 HR and has a lifetime .277 BAvg.
Hyun-jin Ry: (age 31) Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Pitcher (LHP), since 2013. Hyun played for Hanwha Eagles in the KBO League (2006-12). He had two 14-win seasons for the LA Dodgers (in 2013 and ’14). Injuries held him back in 2015 and ’16, but this season, as of 14 Apr 2018, he is 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA.
Jung-ho Kang: (age 30) Pittsburgh Pirates 3B/SS. Jung played for the Hyundai Unicorns and the Nexen Heroes in the KBO League. He signed with Pittsburgh in 2015. (The Pirates have long had a vast overseas scouting network, and have a long history, goibng all the way back to the early 1960s, of unearthing and then utilizing talent from abroad.) As of 14 Apr 2018, Jung has amassed a 6.5 WAR, with a .273 BAvg.
Seung-hwan Oh: (age 35) Toronto Blue Jays Relief Pitcher (RHP) (in MLB since 2016). Seung played for the Samsung Lions in the KBO League (2005-13, with two KBO-title-wins in ’12 and ’13). Then he had a 2-year stint in Japan with the NPB team the Hanshin Tigers. Then after signing with St. Louis in 2015, Seung had 39 Saves in 2 seasons with the Cardinals, including a 2.26 ERA in 2016. He now works middle-relief for the Blue Jays.
Ji-man Choi: (age 26) Los Angeles Angels 1B/OF (in MLB since 2016), previously played for the NY Yankees and the Brewers. Ji-man Choi was born and raised in Incheon. Like Shin-soo Choo, Ji never played in the KBO League, because he was signed by an MLB club as a teenager. And also like Shin-soo Choo, Ji-man Choi signed with Seattle [in 2009]. (The Mariners have a pretty extensive scouting network in East Asia.)

Last season [2017], the KBO League averaged 11,668 per game (up 0.7% from 2016). Half the league (5 teams) averaged above 12-K-per-game last season.
Those five higher-drawing teams are listed below (all of whom were charter-members of the KBO League in 1982, except for the SK Wyverns)…
–The two big Seoul-base teams: the LG Twins (colors: Black-and-Magenta), and the Doosan Bears (Midnight-Blue-and-Red). The two have a stadium-share at the 25.5-K-capacity Jamsil Baseball Stadium. The LG Twins are classic under-achievers (with just 2 KBO titles, last in 1994), while the Doosan, and formerly OB, Bears are the third-most titled KBO club, with 5 titles (last in 2016).
-The southern-South-Korea-based Lotte Giants (of second-city Busan), who play in Korea’s largest ballpark, the 26.8-K-capacity Busan Sajik Baseball Stadium. The Lotte Giants are the oldest Korean ball club, formed as an amateur team in 1975. But, just like the LG Twins, they are a high-drawing club that can’t seem to win many titles…they also have only 2 KBO titles (last in 1992). The Lotte Giants used to wear black-and-orange like their namesakes from San Francisco, but switched this season to Navy-Blue-and-Red {see new logos on the map-page}.
-The reigning champs and all-time most-titled team, the Kia Tigers (of 6th-largest city Gwanju). The Bright-Red-and-Navy-clad Tigers have a relatively new ballpark, Gwangju-Kia Champions Field.
-And the SK Wyverns (est. 2000), of Incheon (which is on the north-west coast, about 18 miles west of Seoul, and is part of Greater Seoul, and is also the 3rd-largest city in the country). The Red-and-Orange-clad SK Wyverns have a pretty nice-looking ballpark, the 16-year-old/26-K-capacity Munhak Baseball Stadium. (Note: a wyvern is a half-dragon/-half-snake, as featured on Leyton Orient FC’s crest.) The SK Wyverns have won 3 KBO titles (last in 2010); 3 titles in 18 seasons is a decent trophy-haul.

The most successful ball club in Korea is the aforementioned Kia Tigers, who have won 10 of the 36 KBO titles, including the 2017 title (see illustration further below). Second-most successful club in the KBO is the Samsung Lions, another small-market team that over-achieves: the Lions, of fourth-city Daegu, have won 8 KBO titles (including 4 straight Korean Series titles from 2011-15). Like their Detroit-Michigan-based namesakes, the Samsung Lions wear Cornflower-Blue. Samsung Lions drew 9.7-K in 2017; they have a new ballpark, the 24-K-capacity Daegu Samsung Lions Park, which opened in 2016.

I will round out the rest of the KBO League teams not mentioned above [ie, the 4 lowest-drawing teams], via the bracketed parts within the full list of KBO League teams below…
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBO_League#Teams
The KBO League is, in 2018, comprised of the following…
5 teams from Greater Seoul/Incheon/Suwon (metropolitan-area Greater Seoul)
3 teams from Seoul’s core-city-region: the Doosan Bears, the LG Twins, and the Nexen Heroes.
[Nexen Heroes, est. 2008, wear Maroon; they have won no titles (see note on map-page titles list for franchise-change-history of Unicorns/Heroes).]
2 teams from Greater Seoul, with one team in South Korea’s third-largest city of Incheon, the SK Wyverns, and
1 team located about 19 miles south of Seoul-city-center in Suwon [the Black-clad KT Wiz, est. 2015].
5 KBO teams from the rest of South Korea
The other 5 teams in the KBO League are comprised as follows [clockwise on the map]…
1 team from the fifth-largest city, Daejon [the Black-and-Orange-clad Hanwah Eagles, est. 1985, who won the 1999 title];
1 team from the the fourth-largest city, Daegu, the Samsung Lions;
1 team from the second-largest city, Busan, the Lotte Giants;
1 team from the 8th-largest city, Changwon [the Dark-Blue/Light-Blue-and-Gold-clad NC Dinos, est. 2013]; and
1 team from the sixth-largest city, Gwanju, the KIA Tigers [see illustration below]).

Kia Tigers, 2017 Korean Series champions (their 11th KBO League title; most in league)
2017-korea-series_kbo-league_kia-tigers_2017-champions_gwangju-kia-champions-field_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Yang Hyeon-jong (LHP), photo by Yonhap at english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Roger Bernadina (OF), photo by Yonhap at english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Choi Hyoung-woo (OF), photo by Yonhap at english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Kia Tigers players celebrate, photo by Yonhap via koreatimes.co.kr. Kia Tigers cap, photo from vjkorea.com. Gwangju-Kia Champions Field, aerial photo unattributed at dutchbaseballhangout.wordpress.com. Screenshot of Kia Tigers cheerleaders & mascot on dugout roof, image from video uploaded by K.L. Jin at youtube.com. Kia Tigers fans with flags and banners, photo by Yonhap via shinailbo.co.kr. Kia Tigers players [and mascot] bow to their fans, photo by hgryu77@newsis.com at isplus.live.joins.com.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Globe-map of South Korea, by Ksiom at File:South Korea (orthographic projection).svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank map of South Korea, by NordNordWest at :FileSouth Korea location map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Attendance…koreabaseball.com/Record/Crowd/History (koreabaseball.com).
-Lotte Giants’ official shop, lottegiantsshop.com/[new 2018 cap], thanks for photo of the brand-new Lotte Giants’ deep-navy-blue-and-wine-red ball cap logo.
-KBO teams’ K-stamps (2016) [KBO-team-cap-with-mascot], by Shin Jaeyong/Korea Post stampworld.com/stamps/South-Korea/Postage-stamps/g3144/.
-Thanks to Dan @MyKBO, for the re-tweet.

March 31, 2018

MLB: Paid-Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2017 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2016 and percent-capacity figures./+ Illustration: The Houston Astros – 2017 World Series champions.

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball >paid-attendance — admin @ 7:01 pm

mlb_2017-attendance_tickets-sold_map_w-percent-cap_change-from-2016_post_b_.gif
MLB: Paid-Attendance (tickets-sold) map for 2017 (home/regular season average tickets-sold), including change from 2016 and percent-capacity figures


By Bill Turianski on 31 March 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Official site…mlb.com.
-Teams, etc…Major League Baseball (en.wikipedia.org).
-[Current] MLB attendance at ESPN…MLB Attendance Report [also with team attendance figures for past 17 seasons] (espn.go.com).

-2018 Team-by-Team MLB Logo and Uniform Preview (by Chris Creamer at news.sportslogos.net).

-MLB attendance dropped off slightly in 2017, going below 73 million for the first time in 14 seasons. A lack of pennant-races in September 2017 was one of the reasons cited for the 0.67% drop-off in tickets sold…{Another fall puts MLB attendance below 73M (by Eric Fisher on Oct 9 2017 at sportsbusinessdaily.com).}

-In April 2017, at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, the Oakland Athletics reduced their tarp-covered upper-deck seats by 12,000; there are now about 8,000 seats at the stadium which are still covered by tarps, primarily in the egregious and looming “Mount Davis” stand behind centerfield (which was built to accommodate the NFL’s Raiders…who will soon be leaving Oakland [again])…{A’s take tarps off; upper-deck tickets $15 (by Susan Slusser on April 11 2017 at sfchronicle.com).}

-Thanks to their new suburban-Atlanta-based ballpark (the 41.5-K-capacity SunTrust Park, which is located 10 miles NW of central Atlanta), the Atlanta Braves increased their average paid-attendance in 2017 by an MLB-best 5,980 per game. (The Braves’ crowd-size improved from 24.9 K in 2016, to 30.9 K in 2017.)…{Braves attendance jumps 28% in 2017 (Video) (bizjournals.com/atlanta).}

-The Cleveland Indians had the second-best paid-attendance increase in 2017, up 5.3 K per game (to a league-22nd-best 25.2 K-per-game). Located in an economically wracked and shrinking city, and one year after winning the 2016 AL pennant and taking the Cubs to the 7th game of the World Series, the Cleveland Indians have finally seen an attendance increase…{Cleveland Indians reach 2 million in tickets sold for first time since 2008 (from Sep. 20 2017 at cleveland.com).}

The map…
The circular-cap-logos on the map page are all each MLB teams’ 2017 home cap logo. That is, except with respect to Baltimore’s circular-cap-logo, which is of their all-black road cap, because the Orioles wear their white-paneled cap at home, and I wanted to maintain a uniformity to all 30 of the circular-cap-logos on the map. The circular-cap-logos were then sized to reflect crowd size, utilizing a constant gradient (the larger the team’s average paid-attendance, the larger their circular-cap-logo is on the map). If you are unsure about the term “paid-attendance”, my post on MLB paid-attendance from 2015 can clear that up for you {here, 2014 MLB paid-attendance map}. The chart at the right-hand-side of the map page shows 5 things: Attendance-Rank, Average Paid-Attendance, Venue Capacity, Percent-Capacity, and Numerical Change in Average Paid-Attendance from Previous Season [2016].

(Note: in late-May 2018, I will post a chart showing MLB teams within the context of the largest metro-areas in the USA and Canada, entitled Baseball: MLB representation in the largest metropolitan statistical areas (USA & Canada). As a teaser of sorts, here are the primary lists I used for that, List of metropolitan statistical area [in the USA]; List of census metropolitan areas and agglomerations in Canada.

I will just leave you with this…the seven largest major cities (in USA and Canada) without MLB teams are:
Montreal, QC, Canada (16th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Charlotte, NC (24th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Vancouver, BC, Canada (25th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Orlando, FL (26th-largest city in USA/Canada);
San Antonio, TX (27th-largest city in USA/Canada);
Portland, OR (28th-largest city in USA/Canada);
San Juan, Puerto Rico, [unincorporated territory of the USA] (29th-largest city in USA/Canada).

…And there are 5 MLB teams that are located in cities smaller than those listed above…Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Milwaukee.)

    The Houston Astros: 2017 World Series champions – the Astros’ first MLB title (which took 56 years) (and which occurred just 5 weeks after Hurricane Harvey)…

-The Unprecedented Flooding in Houston, in Photos (by Alan Taylor on 28 Aug. 2017 at theatlantic.com).
-How the Houston Astros Finally Hit on a Formula That Worked for Them (by Tyler Kepner on 3 Nov. 2017 at nytimes.com/baseball).
houston-astros_2017-w-s-champions_harvey_a-j-hinch_jose-altuve_carlos-correa_george-springer_dallas-keuchel_justin-verlander_charlie-morton_brian-mccann_f.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Is Hurricane Harvey a harbinger for Houston’s future?“, photo by Richard Carson/Reuters via theconversation.com. Rte. #45 road-sign, illustration from redbubble.com. Houston skyline with Minute Maid Park in foreground, photo by Jackson Myers at flickr.com/j-a-x. Aerial shot of Minute Maid park at dusk, photo by Jim Olive via cdn.c.photoshelter.com; photoshelter.com. View from upper-deck stands, game 3 of 2017 WS at Minute Maid Park, photo by Tim Donnelly/AP via [Orange County Register] ocregister.com. Dallas Keuchel, photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via fanragsports.com. Justin Verlander, photo by Tony Gutierrez/AP via al.com. Houston manager AJ Hinch at the mound with Justin Verlander and the Astros’ infield [2017 ALDS v Red Sox], photo unattributed at mlb.com. Correa and Altuve with celebratory handshake (ALCS game 7 following Altuve’s solo HR), photo by Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle at houstonchronicle.com/sports. 2017 WS MVP George Springer rounds the bases (after hitting his 5th HR of the series), as LA’s YU Darvish looks away (2017 WS, game 7), photo by David J. Phillip/AP via businessinsider.com. 2017 WS, game 7, journeyman Pitcher Charlie Morton, who pitched 4 scoreless innings in relief, is hugged by Catcher Brian McCann, after making the final out; Astros beat the LA Dodgers 5-1, and 4 games-to-3, to win their first World Series title; photo by Getty Images via sportsonearth.com. Celebrating fans at watch-party in Minute Maid Park in Houston later that evening, photo by Reuters via dailymail.co.uk. Astros fans watch as players roll by during the World Series Victory parade (Friday, Nov. 3, 2017), in downtown Houston, photo by Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle at “Editor’s choice: Photos from the Astros championship parade” (houstonchronicle.com/[Gallery]). 1975 Houston Astros jersey logo via sportslogos.net/Houston Astros].

___
Thanks to NuclearVacuum for the blank map, File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to ESPN for attendances, espn.go.com/mlb/attendance.
Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos.net, for several (~17) of the cap logos, sportslogos.net.
Thanks to Baseball-reference.com, for stats.
Thanks to the contributors at en.wikipedia.org, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball#Current_teams.

March 21, 2018

2018 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament: the 16 teams that qualified. With 2017-18 attendance data, and all-time Titles-&-Frozen-Four-appearances list./ +Update: the teams that qualified for the 2018 Frozen Four: Notre Dame, Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan, Ohio State.

Filed under: Hockey,NCAA, ice hockey — admin @ 12:46 pm

ncaa_mens-ice-hockey_tournament_2018_16-teams_w-2017-18-attendance_all-time-D1-titles-and-frozen-four-list_post_b_.gif
2018 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament: the 16 teams that qualified. With 2017-18 attendance data. + All-time D1 Titles-and-Frozen-Four list



By Bill Turianski on 21 March 2018. twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament (en.wikipedia.org).
-Here is the bracket with game times (uscho.com).
-Live scores…ncaa.com/scoreboard/icehockey-men/d1 .
-USCHO.com.
-D1 Hockey attendance [2017-18 regular season/all 60 teams] (uscho.com).
-Top ten Frozen Four moments from the past 25 years {twitter.com/NCAAIceHockey/status/978270577860411393}.

    Update: the teams that qualified for the 2018 Frozen Four (shown alphabetically)…
    Michigan, Minnesota-Duluth, Notre Dame, Ohio State

Michigan Wolverines (their 25th Frozen Four appearance [all-time most]) (and first since 2011)…
michigan-wolverines_2018-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Michigan players celebrate first goal of the game (5 minutes in), photo by Michael Dwyer/AP via mlive.com/wolverines. Brendan Warren celebrates after scoring, photo by Associated Press via toledoblade.com. Michigan players celebrate the victory, photo by Michael Dwyer/AP via freep.com. Michigan Flying-wing hockey helmet, image by billsportsmaps via photo of Bauer helmet at hockeyworld.com.

Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (back-to-back Frozen Four appearances)…
minnesota-duluth-bulldogs_2018-frozen-four_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Freshman Joey Anderson celebrates with teammates after opening the scoring against Air Force (1st Period/9:03), photo unattributed at twincities.com. Defenseman Nick Wolff scores with wrist-shot from top of left face-off circle, screenshot from video at ncaa.com/video. Players celebrating with traveling fans after victory, photo by Jim Rosvold at uscho.com. Jersey logo, photo by totalhockey.com/product/Minnesota-Duluth_Bulldogs_Jersey. Jersey shoulder-patch-logo (Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge shoulder patch.), image from theumdstatesman.com/blog.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (back-to-back Frozen Four appearances)…
notre-dame-fighting-irish_2018-frozen-four_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Andrew Ogelvie celebrates ND’s equalizing 1st goal with teammates, photo by Matt Dewkett at uscho.com. Dylan Malmquist scores winning goal with 0:27 left in game, photo by Jessica Hill/AP via ndinsider.com/hockey. Notre Dame Main Building’s golden dome, which is symbolized by the blank-gold Notre Dame Fighting Irish football helmet [and the blank-gold Notre Dame Fighting Irish ice hockey helmet], photo by Know1one1 at File:The Golden Dome.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org), via collegemagazine.com/cms-guide-university-notre-dame. Notre Dame shamrock-on-hockey-pants-logo (2017-18 gear), drawn from template at licensing.nd.edu. Notre Dame teams’ colors: drawn from template from licensing.nd.edu.

Ohio State Buckeyes (their 2nd Frozen Four appearance, and their first one in 20 years)…
ohio-state-buckeyes_2018-frozen-four_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Kevin Miller scoring the first of his two goals, photo by Rich Schultz/AP via denverpost.com. Goalie Sean Romeo made 30 saves for the Buckeyes, photo by Omar Phillips at uscho.com. Players celebrate win, photo unattributed at twitter.com/Bucknuts247. Buckeyes hockey helmet, photo from ohiostatebuckeyes.cbsi-auctions.com. 2017-18 jersey, photo from shop.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

The map…The map page shows the 16 D1 hockey teams that qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division I Hockey Tournament. Each team is placed on the map in their venue-location, with a circular device which shows the teams average attendance in graphic form (the larger the circle, the higher the attendance). Alongside the team’s school-name is their attendance-rank within the 60-team D1 level. The 16 teams’ 2017-18 attendance data (listed by attendance-rank), can be seen at the top-right of the map page. The attendance-data-list includes: average attendance, venue-capacity, percent-capacity, and numerical-change-in-average-attendance from the previous season. (The highest-drawing team in D1 hockey is North Dakota; you can see the whole attendance list at USCHO.com, here: Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2017-2018.) At the lower-left of the map page is the complete list of NCAA D1 hockey titles & Frozen Four appearances (1948-2017). And at the top-center of the map is a banner showing, in alphabetical order, alternate logos of the 16 teams. (Note: In case you’re wondering, I made that Michigan Wolverines hockey-helmet-logo. No one online, to my knowledge, has ever tried out that sort of an illustration for any of the D1 hockey teams that sport helmet-logos which are the same design as their schools’ football-helmet-logos [ie, Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Penn State Nittany Lions]. Which is a mystery to me, because those schools’ hockey-helmet-logos are awesome, and deserve more recognition. Heck, for that matter, why don’t NHL teams sport football-helmet-style hockey-helmet-logos? Like this. I think it is a marketing opportunity that has gone wasted all these years. But I digress.)


The tournament…{Tournament Watch (collegehockeynews.com).} The first two rounds of the tournament will be played on the weekend of Fri-Sun March 23-25, in four locations (Sioux Falls, SD; Allentown, PA; Bridgeport, CT; Worcester, MA). The winners of each sub-bracket will comprise the Frozen Four, who will reconvene two weeks later on the weekend of Fri-Sun April 6-8, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, at the 17,950-capacity Xcel Energy Center (which is the home of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild).

#1-seeds: St. Cloud State Huskies (1), Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2), Cornell Big Red (3), Ohio State Buckeyes (4).
There were a few unheralded teams winning the five conference tournaments, most notably the Princeton Tigers, who won the ECAC for only the 3rd time (in 67 seasons). Four of the six teams that won their conference tournaments were so low-ranked in the polls that, for the first time ever (since 1983), all four of the #4-seeds were conference-tournament champions (Princeton, Air Force, Michigan Tech, Boston U). Those four teams would not have qualified for the D1 tournament had they not won their conferences. {See this, 2018 NCAA Tournament: First Look (collegehockeynews.com).} So that threw a wrench into the post-season plans of some big programs, including Minnesota and Boston College, and, most notably, North Dakota…North Dakota were shut out of the D1 tournament for the first time in 15 years (North Dakota had qualified for the D1 tournament every season from 2003 to 2017).


In 2018, Big Ten-hockey has supplanted Hockey East, as the conference with the most teams into the D1 tournament…
Ever since the re-organization of D1 hockey of 2013/14, which saw the demise of the CCHA, and the creation of two new D1 conferences (the NCHC and the Big Ten D1-hockey-conference), the D1 conference with the most teams in the D1 tournament was Hockey East (in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) as well as the relatively-brand-new NCHC (which also had 4 teams into the tournament in 2017). But this season, the 5-year-old Big Ten D1-hockey conference has the most qualified teams (four: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State). And two of them are #1-seeds (Notre Dame & Ohio State).

So the 7-team Big Ten D1 hockey conference has just placed more than half its members into the D1 hockey tournament…
-Notre Dame: who were in the CCHA, but then jumped that sinking ship with a temporary move over to Hockey East (for four seasons), and are now in their first season of Big Ten D1-hockey. [Notre Dame has won zero D1 hockey titles/3 Frozen Four appearances (last in 2017).]
-Ohio State: [Ohio State has won zero D1 hockey titles/1 Frozen Four appearance (in 1998).]
-Michigan: [Michigan are winners of the all-time-best 10 D1 hockey titles (last in 1998)/all-time-best 24 Frozen Four appearances (last in 2012).]
-Penn State: who are a long-time Big Ten school in other sports, and who are in only their 6th season of D1-hockey. [Zero D1 hockey titles/zero Frozen Four appearances.].

Here is the breakdown of the 16 teams that qualified for the 2018 D1 Hockey Tournament, by conference…
Big Ten – 4 teams…conference-winner (Notre Dame/#1-seed, + 3 at-large bids (Ohio State/#1-seed), (Michigan/#2-seed), (Penn State/#3-seed).
NCHC – 3 teams…conference-winner (Denver/#1-seed) + 2 at-large bids (St. Cloud State/#1-seed), (Western Michigan/#2-seed).
Hockey East – 3 teams…conference-winner (Boston University/#4-seed) + 2 at-large bids (Providence/#2-seed), (Northeastern/#3-seed).
ECAC – 3 teams…conference-winner (Princeton/#4-seed), + 2 at-large bids (Cornell/#1-seed, (Clarkson/#3-seed).
WCHA – 2 teams…conference-winner (Michigan Tech/#1-seed), + 1 at-large-bid (Minnesota State/#2-seed).
Atlantic – 1 team…conference-winner (Air Force/#4-seed).

___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to Two Hearted River at en.wikipedia.org/[each teams' page at Wikipedia], for small segments of jersey illustrations of some teams (Minnesota-Duluth, Cornell, Boston U), such as at File:ECAC-Uniform-Cornell.png.
-Thanks to hockeyworld.com, for image of hockey helmet used to make the Michigan Wolverines banner logo (of Michigan’s sublime flying-wing hockey helmet).
-Thanks to WCHA online shop, for photo of Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks banner logo, unrl.co/collections/mankato/products/mavericks-hockey-basefit-hat-white.
-Thanks to USCHO site for attendance data, Men’s Division I Hockey Attendance: 2016-2017 (uscho.com).
-Thanks to CollegeHockeyNews.com, for articles and info.

March 11, 2018

2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) – the 68 teams: map, with team locations & 2016-17 average attendances listed.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball — admin @ 9:01 pm

2018_ncaa-bk-tournament_march-madness_68-teams_map_post_d_.gif
2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) – the 68 teams: map, with team locations & 2016-17 average attendances listed



By Bill Turianski on 11 March 2018; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams, etc…2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.
-Scores…Div I college bk scores (espn.go.com).

The 68 Teams which qualified for the 2018 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament [aka March Madness]
Listed by: Name. Conference. Location of arena(s)…
Alabama Crimson Tide. SEC. Tuscaloosa, AL.
Arizona Wildcats. Pac-12. Tucson, AZ.
Arizona State Sun Devils. Pac-12. Tempe, AZ.
Arkansas Razorbacks. SEC. Fayetteville, AR.
Auburn Tigers. SEC. Auburn, AL.
Bucknell Bison. Liberty. Lewisburg, PA.
Buffalo Bisons. Mid-American. Amherst, NY.
Butler Bulldogs. Big East. Indianapolis, IN.
Cal State Fullerton Titans. Big West. Fullerton, CA.
Charleston Cougars, Colonial. Charleston, SC.
Cincinnati Bearcats. American Athletic. Cincinnati, OH.
Clemson Tigers. ACC. Clemson, SC.
Creighton Bluejays. Big East. Omaha, NE.
Davidson Wildcats. Atlantic-10. Davidson, NC.
Duke Blue Devils. ACC. Durham, NC.
Florida Gators. SEC. Gainesville, FL.
Florida State Seminoles. ACC. Tallahassee, FL.
Georgia State Panthers. Sun Belt. Atlanta, GA.
Gonzaga Bulldogs. West Coast. Spokane, WA.
Houston Cougars. American Athletic. Houston, TX.
Iona Gaels. Metro Atlantic [MAAC]. New Rochelle, NY.
Kansas Jayhawks. Big 12. Lawrence, KS.
Kansas State Wildcats. Big 12. Manhattan, KS.
Kentucky Wildcats. SEC. Lexington, KY.
Lipscomb Bisons. Atlantic Sun. Nashville, TN.
LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds. Northeast. Brookly, NY.
Loyola-Chicago Wolves. Missouri Valley. Chicago, IL.
Marshall Thundering Herd. Conf-USA. Huntington, WV.
Miami Hurricanes. ACC. Coral Gables, FL.
Michigan Wolverines. Big Ten. Ann Arbor, MI.
Michigan State Spartans. Big Ten. East Lansing, MI.
Missouri Tigers. SEC. Columbia, MD.
Montana Grizzlies. Big Sky. Missoula, MT.
Murray State Racers. Ohio Valley. Murray, KY.
New Mexico State Aggies. M Las Cruces, NM.
Nevada Wolf Pack. Mountain West. Reno, NV.
North Carolina Tar Heels. ACC. Chapel Hill, NC.
North Carolina Central Eagles. Mid-Eastern [MEAC]. Durham, NC.
North Carolina State Wolfpacks. ACC. Raleigh, NC.
Ohio State Buckeyes. Big Ten. Columbus, OH.
Oklahoma Sooners. Big 12. Norman, OK.
Penn Quakers. Ivy League. Philadelphia, PA.
Providence Friars. Big East. Providence, RI.
Purdue Boilermakers. Big Ten. West Lafayette, IN.
Radford Highlanders. Big South. Radford, VA.
Rhode Island Rams. Atlantic-10. Kingston, RI.
Saint Bonaventure Bonnies. Atlantic-10. St. Bonaventure [Olean], NY.
San Diego State Aztecs. Mountain West. San Diego, CA.
Seton Hall Pirates. Big East. East Orange, NJ/Newark, NJ.
South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Summit. Brookings, SD.
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. Southland. Nacogdoches, TX.
Syracuse Orange. ACC. Syracuse, NY.
TCU Horned Frogs. Big 12. Fort Worth, TX.
Tennessee Volunteers. SEC. Knoxville, TN.
Texas Longhorns. Big 12. Austin, TX.
Texas A&M Aggies. SEC. College Station, TX.
Texas Southern Tigers. SWAC. Houston, TX.
Texas Tech Red Raiders. Big 12. Lubbock, TX.
UCLA Bruins. Pac-12. Los Angeles, CA.
UMBC Retrievers. America East. Catonsville, MD.
UNC-Greensboro Spartans. Southern. Greensboro, NC.
USC Trojans. Pac-12. Los Angeles, CA.
Villanova Wildcats. Big East. Villanova, PA / Philadelphia, PA.
Virginia Cavaliers. ACC. Charlottesville, VA.
Virginia Tech Hokies. ACC. Blacksburg, VA.
West Virginia Mountaineers. Big 12. Morgantown, WV.
Wichita State Shockers. Missouri Valley. Wichita, KS.
Wright State Raiders. Horizon. Fairborn, OH.
Xavier Musketeers. Big East. Cincinnati, OH.

___
-Thanks to AMK1211 for blank map of USA, ‘File:Blank US Map with borders.svg”>File:Blank US Map with borders.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament’.
-Thanks to CBS Sports.com, for several of the logos-with-transparent-backgrounds (which are hard to find wrt smaller schools); cbssports.com/college-basketball.
-Thanks to CBS Sports.com for actually listing the qualified teams in alphabetical order: cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/ncaa-bracket-2018-printable-march-madness-tournament-bracket-seeds-games/
-Thanks to NCAA for attendance figures, from 2017 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ATTENDANCE (For All NCAA Men’s Varsity Teams) [pdf].
-And Thank You, CBS/TBS, for finally announcing all the qualified teams at the START of the Selection-Sunday broadcast.

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