Where Does Montana Rank Based on Its Baseball Background?
I saw an article from Fox Sports today that ranked every state based on their baseball background. It took a bunch of different things into consideration: how many MLB players came from each state, how many teams and leagues each state has, notable baseball events for each state, etc. I immediately thought this list wasn't going to be very friendly to Montana since we don't have any pro teams, also no major college teams, and the lower the population means fewer chances of success in the big leagues. So it didn't come as a big surprise to find Montana on the bottom end of the list.
The good news is we didn't rank dead last as that honor went to Wyoming. We also ranked better than South Dakota at #49 and North Dakota at #42. But overall, we were in the bottom 10. Montana was #41 on the list. But they did mention Missoula when they discussed Montana's place on the list.
One of the great tragedies of the recent shrinking of MiLB was the discontinuation of the historic Pioneer League as an affiliate. It still exists as an independent MLB partner league, but gone are the days when some of the game’s best prospects would head to Missoula for a couple of months and slug .700 in some of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in America.
Overall, Montana has a baseball stat line of 26 players making it to Major League Baseball, a total of 1 player on an MLB roster last year (Codi Heuer from Missoula,) and 0 Hall of Famers. And if you were wondering - California was #1 on the list.