Baseball Hall of Famers from 40 States, Nine Countries

It’s Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown, New York. Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz will join an exclusive club of just over 300 former baseball players, managers, umpires, and executives elected by baseball writers over the last 79 years. With the help of Baseball Reference, we’ve compiled the birthplaces of every Hall of Famer, from Aaron (Hank) to Yount (Robin). Explore the map below and use BatchGeo’s group selection feature to narrow by election year, type, and role.

View Baseball Hall of Famers by Birthplace in a full screen map

The Hall of Fame originated in 1936. The first inductees were mostly from the northeast. The exceptions were Walter Johnson (1936, Kansas), Ty Cobb (1936, Georgia), and Tris Speaker (1937, Texas). The next 30 years saw a midwestern and southern expansion, with a handful of Californians thrown in here and there.

There are only 17 people elected from outside the US, including only one player from the eastern hemisphere (Bert Blyleven, born in The Netherlands). The first foreign induction overall was in just the third year of the Hall. Henry Chadwick, famous for cultivating America’s interest in baseball, was born in England and voted in posthumously. It would take until 1973 for a foreign-born player to be elected to the hall. Roberto Clemente was born in Puerto Rico in 1934, and elected in special circumstances after he died in an off season airplane crash.

The only other player who entered the hall with a special election is Lou Gehrig. The Iron Horse abruptly retired early in the 1939 season due to weakened muscles from ALS, now commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The typical five year waiting period was waived, and Gehrig was elected during December meetings of baseball writers that year.

Gehrig was born in New York City, along with seven other Hall of Famers. That city is second only to Chicago, which produced nine members of the Hall. If you consider the boroughs of Brooklyn (six) and Bronx (Frankie Frisch), the Big Apple is the leader. As a whole, The Empire State is tops with 31 Hall of Famers. Predictably, another populous state, California, comes in second at 24, followed by Illinois and Pennsylvania, both with 22.

Ten states have no natives in the Hall: Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, you have some work to do.

One Does Not Simply “Live in Washington”

George Washington was the first president of the United States, but that was not his last official role in government. Just over a year into retirement, the nation’s second president, John Adams, asked Washington to return to his military roots. On July 13, 1798, the former president became Senior Officer of the Army, a role he kept until his death in 1799. This lesser-known role is probably not responsible for the more than 350 cities, towns, and peaks named after Washington, as plotted on the map below.

View Places Named After George Washington in a full screen map

One Does Not Simply Live in WashingtonAs you can see, one does not simply live in Washington, with so many places containing that name. Almost every state has a Washington to call home, though I’m not sure life on one of the 15 Mount Washingtons has the comforts most seek.

Remarkably, a supermajority of states have a Washington County. The 31 represented states are mostly in the eastern half of the country, though Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon represent in the west. Washington County is the most common county name, with four more states than Jefferson County.

Of the original 13 colonies, 11 have one or more place named after Washington. Delaware and South Carolina are the colonies that come up empty. Pennsylvania has several dozen, mostly townships, by far the most of any of the original colonies. Iowa has the most of any state, with 50 places, bolstered by 48 Washington Townships, including one in Washington County, Iowa. Indiana (49) and Ohio (48) are right behind, also mostly townships, often unincorporated or too small to be considered cities.

The state with the most places named after Washington that don’t include townships is Wisconsin, with 11. Still, that state has eight towns named Washington, Wisconsin, which is at best confusing. Undoubtedly the most interesting Washington, Wisconsin, has to be the one on an island at the mouth of Green Bay.

It’s not enough that the state of Washington is named after our first president. The state also is home to four different Mount Washingtons in different counties. The eponymous state also has a city with the president’s full name: George, Washington.

Alaska and Hawaii have no places named after our first president. Perhaps that’s expected since they’re both geographically remote and were not states until 1959. That said, their immediate predecessors in statehood, Arizona and New Mexico (both 1912), each have a Mount Washington.

However, if you’re in a state well over 100 years old, you may need to consult the map above the next time someone says, “let’s go to Washington.”

Every US Shark Attack Fatality Since 1900 on a Map

It’s that time of the year again. No, not 4th of July. It’s Shark Week. The annual Discovery Channel event is now aired all over the world. This summer in North America also marks the 40th anniversary of the shark-themed movie Jaws, so this seems a good time to look at a record of shark attacks over time in the United States. There’s really no better way to visualize these reported fatalities by shark than on a map.

View US Shark Attacks in a full screen map

Obviously, this phenomenon is restricted to coastal states—you’re safe from this disaster, Kansas! Hawaii leads the way, with its reputation for surfing and other water sports. Logically, the next two states, Florida and California, are likely to also have a lot of people in the water.

Despite the many markers that adorn this map, these are relatively few shark attack fatalities given that the data goes all the way back to 1900. There are only about 75 shark attacks worldwide, with a very few being fatal, according to National Geographic. That said, the trend is rising, and recently North Carolina has seen a rash of incidents. The state is a distant fourth on the fatalities list, with just seven noted on the map.

New Jersey has a relatively few attacks, with only 15 attacks ever, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF). However, the Jersey Shore became synonymous with sharks during a two week stretch 99 years ago. The series of four fatalities over 12 days in 1916 put panic into residents and became the inspiration for the movie Jaws.

The 1975 movie created a fear of the Great White Shark, which can grow up to 20 feet long. Most shark attack victims, especially the fatalities plotted on this map, cannot identify specific. The Great White’s 17 confirmed fatalities is second to the Tiger Shark’s 26. Most Tiger Shark attacks are in Hawaii. The Great White tends to live in colder waters, with most attacks occurring in California. There is some speculation that Great Whites are mistaken for Bull Sharks, which account for nine of the fatalities mapped. The ISAF also tracks fatal and non-fatal attacks by species.

Shark Fatalities by Year

When you consider the shark fatalities per year, as shown in the graph above, you realize just how rare it is for a human to have encounters with these large predatory fish. Most years see between zero and three shark fatalities. The blips in the chart showing more than usual attacks are 1905 (10), 1916 (4, all in New Jersey), and 1981 (4).

So, enjoy the shark-related programming this week, but don’t let it keep you from enjoying some time at the beach in the future.

4th of July: Not Just for the USA

In the United States, we’ll be celebrating Independence Day this weekend. July 4 marks the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence from England. However, the date is only one of 365 (or 366) dates in existence. Unsurprisingly, other things have happened on this date. If you’re looking for American patriotism, consider this map of over 300 places named after George Washington. For a change of pace, check out these lesser-known July 4 events.

View 4th of July Around the World in a full screen map

While American independence was about a colony separating itself from the rule of a king, there are several royal July 4th events that precede it. In 414, 13 year-old Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II passed the throne to his older sister to rule as regent. In 1120, Jordan II became Prince of Capua when his infant nephew died, in what is now Naples, Italy. About 400 years later, Christian III was elected King of Denmark and Norway. And another half a millennia after that, in 1918, Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI ascended to the throne. The first and the last of these royal events occurred in Instanbul.

July 4th isn’t just for princes, kings, emperors, and sultans. It’s also a day of wonder. In 1892, there were two July 4ths in Western Samoa, as the state changed the International Date Line. Similarly wondrous are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 1862, Lewis Carroll first told the story that three years later to the day would be published as the now-famous book.

The date also factors heavily into WWII history. In Lviv, Ukraine, Nazis massacred Polish scientists and writers. Meanwhile, in Riga, Latvia, saw the Burning of the Riga synagogues. A year later the 250 day Siege of Sevastopol ended with an Axis victory. In 1943, there was the largest full-scale battle in history in Kursk, Russia, as well as a Royal Air Force accident in Gibraltar, Spain.

A few years prior to those war events saw one of the most famous speeches in sports history. Lou Gehrig gave his “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech to a sold out crowd at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939.

Back in the US, there are a couple of American Revolution era events that aren’t the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In 1754 George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity during the French and Indian War. And on July 4, 1826, early presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day.

Explore the map above to see all 76 culled from this Wikipedia entry. You can also select specific year ranges on the map using BatchGeo’s grouping technology. Clearly, American Independence is not alone when it comes to major July 4 events.

Seven Wonders of the World? More Like 46 Wonders

Humans love lists. You’ll find them across your Facebook feed, and on numerous blogs, but they’re not new. In fact, one of the oldest lists in existence is that of the Seven Wonders of the World. Dating as far back to Ancient Greece, the original Seven Wonders list includes only sights near the Mediterranean, and only the pyramids have lasted these last 2,400 years. Luckily, there are multiple lists of the seven wonders, all available for you to peruse on this BatchGeo map.

View Seven Wonders of the World in a full screen map

The ancient wonders were apparently used as a sort of guidebook for Greek sightseers. Who knew such a thing existed? They included a temple and mausoleum in modern day Turkey, two statues in what is still called Greece, the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Egypt), Gardens of Babylon (Iraq) and the aforementioned Egyptian pyramids. You can still visit the location, ruins, or replicas of the six that no longer exist in their ancient glory.

The other Seven Wonders lists are more recent and most you are able to visit easily. Many are still clustered in Europe, but every continent except Antarctica is represented. Here are the lists themselves. You can use the grouping tool to choose the type of Wonder from the map above.

  • Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Seven Civil Wonders of the World
  • Seven Medieval Wonders of the World
  • New7Wonders Foundation Wonders of the World
  • Seven Natural Wonders of the World
  • Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
  • USA Today’s New Seven Wonders

Two lists have eight wonders. The New7Wonders list added the pyramids as an honorary candidate after controversy over the ancient wonder competing with 20 other finalists. USA Today’s New Seven Wonders added a viewer-chosen eighth wonder after the seven judge-chosen wonders were announced on Good Morning America. Viewers selected the Grand Canyon.

Four Wonders make two lists

Arizona’s sprawling landmark is one of a handful of wonders that make multiple lists. Grand Canyon is on the USA Today’s New Seven Wonders, as well as Wonders of the Natural World. The Great Wall of China and the Colosseum both make the Medieval and New7Wonders lists. The Panama Canal gets the nod for Civil and Industrial Wonders. The pyramids, of course, are an original Wonder, in addition to being on the New7Wonders list.

The farthest from continental land is Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. It also could lay claim to being the largest wonder, at over 140,000 square miles. It dwarfs the Grand Canyon, for example. However, not all Wonders can be measured in square miles. The Great Wall of China is 13,000 miles long.

There are a few Wonders that are difficult to map. Aurora is a naturally occurring phenomenon that causes beautiful light displays in the sky. That it occurs in the sky makes it difficult to map. On top of that, it typically is viewed at high latitude, but not any particular location. The Polar Ice Cap is at 90 degrees latitude and simultaneously at every longitude, making it easier to identify on a globe than a flat map. Lastly, USA Today’s Seven Wonders list included the Internet, which is not physical at all. However, since you’re reading this from the Internet, why don’t we all agree it’s well represented on the interactive map above.