Red Sox rank No. 39 in FanSided Fandom 250 list

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Boston Red Sox fans cheer after a first inning solo home run by Xander Bogaerts
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Boston Red Sox fans cheer after a first inning solo home run by Xander Bogaerts /

The Boston Red Sox come in at No. 39 overall in the annual FanSided Fandom 250, which ranks the top fanbases around the world.

FanSided’s Fandom 250 reveals that the Boston Red Sox remain one of the most popular MLB teams in the world.

The Fandom 250 is divided into 16 categories: NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, Soccer, NCAA, Sports Figures, Celebrities, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Comics, Gaming, Brands, Internet Famous and Other. All 250 qualifying fandoms are ranked in their own categories and against the field.

The Red Sox landed at No. 39 on the list this year, falling from No. 29 in 2016. While the ranking may seem a bit disappointing for a Red Sox franchise with a passionate fanbase, it should be noted that only two MLB teams finished ahead of them – the New York Yankees (20) and Chicago Cubs (12).

The Cubs rode the wave of their first World Series title in over a century to the top spot in 2016. They fell out of the top 10 this year but remain the highest rated MLB team. Only 11 MLB teams made the list, including this year World Series champs, the Houston Astros (118). While the championship parade in Houston wasn’t enough to vault them anywhere near the top the way it did for the Cubs last year, it remains an impressive leap for a team that failed to make the list last year.

The Red Sox fared well compared to their fellow Boston-area franchises, ranking ahead of the Boston Celtics (63) and New England Patriots (45). Those are a pair of first-place teams with championship aspirations in the NBA and NFL respectively, so seeing the Red Sox ahead of them on this list shows that Boston remains a baseball town at heart.

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Falling further behind the Yankees stings a bit, especially after Boston fell short to their rivals in the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes. Adding the reigning NL MVP has certainly ignited the Bronx crowd, so the ranking seems fair, we’ll begrudgingly admit.

The top overall spot went to the Ohio State Buckeyes. Here in Boston, we have so many championships to count from our pro franchises that we often overlook the college teams. Aside from LeBron James (until he bolts to Los Angeles next year), there isn’t much for Ohio fans to be excited about with their pro teams so you can understand why they get behind the Buckeyes.

Alabama has zero investment in a team in any of the four major sports, which helps explain why the Crimson Tide rank highly at No. 8 on this list. Only one NFL team (Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 9) cracked the top-10, while every MLB, NBA and NHL team were left on the outside looking in, yet two college football teams were among the 10 most popular fanbases? That probably seems fair to a fan living in a state that has no allegiance to (successful) pro teams but it’s baffling to many of us in Boston.

Most Red Sox fans would expect a higher rating than No. 39 but when you consider the various teams, athletes, celebrities, etc. that made the list you start to realize how impressive Boston’s ranking is. Sure, the Red Sox have plenty of die-hards, but how can we compete with Netflix, Game of Thrones or The Rock?

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The Red Sox still rank admirably amongst their peers, proving that even in another season where the team came up short in the postseason they haven’t lost the support of their fanbase.