Do you back the Nats, or the Orioles? It depends where you live.
A decade ago, many baseball fans in D.C. and Virginia didn't really have a choice: The closest local team was the Baltimore Orioles, so supporting the team was pretty much the default.
But with the Nationals' return to D.C. in 2005 after a three-decade absence of baseball in the nation's capital, team allegiances have started shifting. But where does one draw a line between Orioles and Nationals fandom?
The New York Times has an answer. Today the newspaper published a map of the geography of baseball fandom, using data from Facebook to determine which team is preferred by Zip code. (Facebook recently unveiled its own map, though it's based on counties.)
According to the map, support for the Orioles is strongest in the area around Baltimore down to Laurel, while it weakens marginally as it approaches the northern edges of D.C. Support for the Nationals, meanwhile, extends throughout the city and as far west as Front Royal and as far south as Fredericksburg.
There are some caveats, though. Large portions of Montgomery County and Prince George's County prefer the Nats to the Orioles, for one. And in an indication of longevity breeding passion, Orioles fandom is stronger than it is for the Nats. While the map finds that Nats support tops out at 40 percent in Zip code 22152 near Springfield, Virginia, support for the Orioles hits 75 percent in Zip code 21237 north of Baltimore.
Additionally, the somewhat transient population within D.C. shows in baseball fandom. Throughout the city and the Virginia suburbs, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox fight for second and third place.