[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
And there is my own dear South Carolina way down at the bottom, tied with Connecticut, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia with six ballplayers. And Georgia? Still further down the list with only five. Surely, I thought, this California- Pennsylvania-New York leadership must be a thing of recent development. We decided to try it again. This time we put together a roster of all major leaguers who were playing 20 years ago, during the season of 1934. Into the hopper went this list. Clank, clank, whirr, whirr. And who came out on top? CALIFORNIA!
Michigan and Wisconsin were tied with Georgia and Kansas at five each.
So, if California led in 1934 and again in 1954, it's only fair to assume that California has been the leading producer of baseball players in all of the intervening years.
A comparison of the two tables shows that there have been some changes. Both Pennsylvania and New York have made substantial gains. Michigan, with only five players in 1934, gave us 21 in 1954. And foreign-born players have increased from four to 18. Among the states that have lost ground are Massachusetts, Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Conclusion No. 1: the legendary gallus-snapping rube is a minor factor in major league baseball.
Conclusion No. 2: a barber shop is an excellent place to get a haircut.