Famous baseball players from every state
College football may be king in Alabama, but the state also produced one of baseball's greatest sluggers: “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron is a Mobile native, and locals are proud of each and every one of the 755 home runs he hit when he was suiting up for Milwaukee and Atlanta. That just goes to show that wherever you travel in the United States, baseball is a part of the nation's fabric.
Using baseball database Baseball Reference, Stacker located players from every state and ranked each locale's most famous major leaguer. Many included are Hall of Famers; some hail from small towns not known for sports, while others are homegrown heroes who went on to star for the big club. One example is Dave Winfield, from St. Paul, who played during the twilight of his career with the Minnesota Twins.
On this virtual road trip across America, each stop is full of interesting nuggets, like the fact that Brooks Robinson once delivered the local newspaper that would later hail him as a baseball hero. With baseball popular from the shores of California to the frigid temperatures of the Northeast, chances are that your home state birthed one of the game's legends. Some answers may be obvious—Cal Ripken in Maryland—while others seem a bit out of place. Did you know New York baseball royalty Yogi Berra originally hailed from Missouri or that Ralph Kiner, a player so synonymous with teams in the East, was actually from New Mexico?
Some of these players ended up moving back home after their careers, while others stayed nearby their former teams, taking desk jobs or heading to broadcasting. Almost all of these ballplayers, though, kept strong connections to their hometowns intact, even staying involved in the local community from afar. Curious about your state's top baseball export? Click through to see the lineup.
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Alabama: Hank Aaron
Visitors to Mobile, Ala., can enter Hank Aaron's childhood home, which serves as a museum for baseball's former home run king. Aaron, whose 755 career home runs are second all-time (behind Barry Bonds), was born in Mobile, and has lived most of his post-playing life near Atlanta, where he spent nine of his 23 seasons. Aaron, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, is the game's all-time leader in runs batted in, with 2,297 RBI.
Alaska: Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling is one of only 12 players to reach the majors from Alaska. Born in Anchorage, Schilling went to high school in Arizona before embarking on a 20-year career in the bigs where he won 216 games, was named a World Series most valuable player, and was an igniting force in the Boston Red Sox's historic 2004 championship. In retirement, Schilling worked as a broadcaster and attempted to launch a video game company, but has been criticized for his outspoken conservative views.
Arizona: Ian Kinsler
Arizona is known as a baseball hotbed for its strong college teams and spring training sites, but the most All-Star appearances anyone from the Copper State has is four, courtesy of Ian Kinsler. The current second baseman of the San Diego Padres hails from the Tucson area. During his career, Kinsler earned two Gold Glove awards and entering this season, needed two home runs to reach the 250 mark.
Arkansas: Brooks Robinson
Brooks Robinson once worked as a paperboy for the Arkansas Gazette. From those humble beginnings, Robinson emerged as one of the 20th century's best defensive players. The Hall of Famer won 16 Gold Gloves and later became a color commentator for the Baltimore Orioles, his beloved team of 23 years.
California: Randy Johnson
Perhaps the toughest state to choose just one baseball star, the nod for California goes to Randy Johnson, probably the most imposing figure to ever toe the rubber. Nicknamed “The Big Unit,” the native of Walnut Creek won 303 games and struck out 4,875 batters over a 22-year Hall of Fame career. Today, Johnson enjoys spending his spare time immersed in photography.
Colorado: Roy Halladay
Born in Denver, Roy Halladay emerged as one of baseball's toughest competitors. Nicknamed “Doc,” Halladay won Cy Young awards in both leagues and was considered by some to be the best pitcher of the 2000s. Tragically, Halladay died in a plane crash in November 2017; he will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.
Connecticut: Tommy Corcoran
Connecticut has produced some notable names in baseball (Mo Vaughn, Charles Nagy), but Tommy Corcoran was Connecticut through and through—he was born in New Haven and resided in Plainfield until his death. After a career that saw him amass over 2,200 hits, Corcoran became an umpire.
Delaware: Paul Goldschmidt
Folks from Delaware are often perceived to be unassuming and quiet, so it makes sense that Paul Goldschmidt was born in the nation's first state. Although Goldschmidt is far from loquacious, he makes more than enough noise with his bat. A career .297 hitter entering 2019, Goldschmidt has hit 30 or more home runs four times already, is a six-time All-Star, and three-time Gold Glove winner.
Florida: Chipper Jones
No batter was associated with the Atlanta Braves more than Chipper Jones over the past two decades, but Jones (real name Larry), is a native Floridian. Born in DeLand, Jones played 19 years with the Braves—collecting 2,726 hits, 468 home runs, and a spot in the Hall of Fame. Today, he is an avid tweeter and hunter.
Georgia: Ty Cobb
Who else to represent Georgia than Ty Cobb, also known as “The Georgia Peach.” Cobb's .366 career batting average still remains the best mark of all time, and his penchant for getting on base and overall surly attitude made him one of the game's top villains during the early 20th century. After baseball, he became a donor to several causes, but also held polarizing views that led to many opinions on his character.2018 All rights reserved.