Oct 30, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox fans from left Doreen Wrick , Liz Arangio , Rich Paglia and Nancy Culliford pose with their tickets before game six of the MLB baseball World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

What do these word clouds tell us about baseball fans?


Check out these word clouds made by a Redditor named Niehaus, summarizing the conversations held on Reddit among baseball fans during the 2013 season.

Niehaus not only made word clouds for the main baseball subreddit r/baseball, he also went to each team’s subreddit and made word clouds for them.

The result is maybe not totally scientific, but it is fascinating. I should warn you that these word clouds contain swear words. It turns out baseball fans like to swear. A lot.

A sociologist doing a study of baseball fans might find this data very useful. I’m not a sociologist but I was able to draw some general conclusions:

1. As already stated, baseball fans like to swear. Per Niehaus’s own run down, “s**t” was the 8th most-used word overall. “F**k” was #13. “F**king” came in at #24. Hell was the fourth most popular curse, way down the list at #82. The relatively benign “ugh” could only manage a ranking of #1474.

2. Which fanbase swears the most? I don’t have the exact numbers, but after looking at the word clouds, I’m saying the top contenders are Pirates fans, Red Sox fans, Cardinals fans, Orioles fans and Giants fans.

3. All fanbases are apparently obsessed with the Yankees.

4. Dodgers fans really really talked about Yasiel Puig a lot. Angels fans really talked about Mike Trout a lot. Brewers fans really talked about Ryan Braun a lot. Orioles fans really talked about Manny Machado a lot, mostly referring to him by his first name.

5. Diamondbacks fans are split pretty evenly on whether to call their team the Diamondbacks or the Dbacks.  Nationals fans are equally split between the full nickname and “Nats.”

6. “Tribe” is a very popular alternate nickname for the Indians.

7. Cubs fans spent as much time talking about their ballpark as they did their players. Which makes sense.

8.  A’s fans spent almost as much time talking about the Giants as they did the A’s. Which I guess makes sense given geographical proximity, but aren’t the A’s pretty solid? Don’t A’s fans have things on their own team to talk about?

9.  “Money” was the 29th most popular word. It has been ruining baseball for the last 30 years or so.

10. A random observation: The word “butt” comes up exactly as many times as “Canseco.”

I leave it to the true scientists to make sense of it all.

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