Michigan is Fox Sports' No. 16 baseball state

Texas is No. 3, California No. 1

Photo of Dominic Genetti

Baseball is considered the great American pasttime, but of all the 50 states which ones have the best background, history, and notable players to make it big? 

Fox Sports took a look at that subject directly and listed all 50 states in order of their baseball background.

Low on the list

Coming in dead last is Wyoming. Interestingly enough, there's no high school baseball in the state, but there is American Legion Baseball and that's proven to be the segue to the majors for players from the Cowboy State. New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo is a native of Cheyenne.

The state with a professional team with the lowest ranking is Colorado at No. 25. Denver is home to the Colorado Rockies and they haven't won a World Series in their nearly 30 years of existence, however, they did win the National League Pennant in 2007.

There is collegiate baseball, yet the biggest institution, University of Colorado-Boulder, doesn't have a baseball team. Colorado Springs had a minor league affiliated team, but after the minors were restructured they weren't chosen and went independent. Also the NJCAA — that's junior college — has its Division I world series in Grand Junction annually. 

Love in the Midwest

Michigan comes in at No. 16. With a lot of history surrounding the Detroit Tigers there's plenty of baseball to love in the Great Lakes State. The College World Series was played in Michigan before heading west to Nebraska. The listing points out that Hall of Famer and World Series Champion Jim Kaat played college ball in Michigan as well. 

In two states where baseball is undoubtedly a hotbed, Illinois and Missouri, there are four combined MLB franchises with devoted fan bases. The Land of Lincoln and the Show-Me State make the Top 10 coming in at No. 9 and No. 8 respectively.

You can pretty much site the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox as the two main reasons for Illinoians north of the state capital in Springfield to have a strong love for baseball, but there are also minor league and independent teams that draw very well, making several communities great places to catch a baseball game.

There's also plenty of history as Hall of Famer Jim Thome hails from Peoria — which is also home to the Single-A Peoria Chiefs — and Rockford has a unique place in baseball history as the home of the Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

As for Missouri, both of the state's major cities — St. Louis and Kansas City — have a major league baseball team and an extensive history in regard to players and the game itself. St. Louis is considered the greatest baseball city in the country with fans rooting for the Cardinals beyond the banks of the Mississippi River and the Missouri Boot Heal in southern Illinois and Arkansas.

Kansas City has deep love for the Royals and draw several fans from surrounding communities in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. Kansas City is also home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum — one of the state's most visited museums — and its where a lot of Negro League players thrived with a numerous players getting a chance to play in the big leagues following Jackie Robinson's barrier breaking season in 1947.

Don't mess with Texas

The state that comes in at No. 3 on the list is Texas. There are only the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers as far as MLB is concerned, however, there are numerous minor league, independent, collegiate summer and collegiate programs across the state, so it's no wonder you see a lot of players that are natives of the Lone Star State making it big.

Fox Sports is quick to point out that there are 22 NCAA Division I baseball programs in Texas and there are also affiliated minor league teams in El Paso, Midland, Amarillo, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Frisco, Round Rock and more. The greatest of all the baseball stars and legends to come out of Texas would probably be Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who played for both the Astros and Rangers in his career.

I wish they all could be California players

California is No. 1 and it pretty much has the same features of Texas with just a little bit more. There are five MLB teams; Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Athletics and Padres and a plethora of minor league affiliates and independent leagues. There are numerous colleges and universities with some of the top baseball programs that see a good chunk of their players enter and get selected in the MLB draft every year.