Most Minor Leaguers grew up rooting for Braves, Yankees
Chipper Jones (left) and John Smoltz became fan favorites in Atlanta. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
By Danny Wild / MLB.com | August 31, 2012 1:40 PM ET
During Spring Training, we surveyed hundreds of Minor Leaguers on a variety of questions, from favorite players and post-game snacks to video games and dream teammates. Check back this season as we find out what prospects really think.
When you think of the two most notable teams of the 1990s, the Braves and Yankees probably come to mind. And if you, too, grew up in the 90s watching baseball, the results of our player poll won't surprise you.
We surveyed 382 Minor Leaguers earlier this season, asking "What was your favorite Major League team growing up?"
The Braves, with a stronghold on fans in the southern U.S., cruised to a win, earning 17 percent of the vote. The Yankees, who faced off against Atlanta in the 1996 and '99 World Series, came in second, while the Red Sox, Cardinals and Dodgers all earned over 20 votes apiece.
"We're honored that so many young professional ballplayers considered the Braves to be their favorite team growing up," said Braves president John Schuerholz. "One of the exciting developments for us, and for baseball during our remarkable fourteen consecutive division championships, was the impact it had on the explosion of youth baseball throughout the Southeast and the remarkable interest generated nationwide."
The Braves' popularity is also shown in another one of our questions in which Minor Leaguers listed Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and John Rocker among their dream teammate in the Majors.
"Youth baseball is the life's blood of our great game and, we're happy to learn, the birthplace of young Braves fans!" Schuerholz said.
The biggest loser in this poll? Not one Minor Leaguer who took our questionnaire listed the Milwaukee Brewers as his favorite childhood team. Even the defunct Montreal Expos earned more votes (five) than the Crew.
One player named a Negro League team that ended play in 1950 as his favorite club, while another listed a Dominican Winter League team as his choice. It's unclear if one players' answer, the "Senators," referred to the old Washington team or the Nats' current Double-A affiliate. A handful of players did not respond.
Here's the full breakdown:
What was your favorite Major League team growing up?
Other non-Major League teams that received one vote: Homestead Greys, Team Cuba, Estrellas Orientes, Senators.
Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.