Connecticut: Battleground State

Steve Goldman conducted an informal investigation into whether New Haven was a Yankee or Red Sox city. His conclusion:

Yesterday’s follow-up on New Haven’s partiality to pinstripes or
crimson hosiery provoked a bigger blizzard of mail than the initial
entry, all coming down on the side of the Yankees. I am told that though one can get both YES and NESN in New Haven, the Bombers long ago conquered the burg.

This is a question close to my heart because I was born in that great city, and anytime I meet a New Haven resident, it’s the first thing I ask him/her. It doesn’t matter the context. I have stopped strangers in the street to find out the answer to this question. During a Harold Bloom lecture, I interrupted the critic to get his take on things. He responded, "What’s a baseball?" And I was escorted off the Yale campus (that never happened). The pattern I’ve noticed is that most New Haven natives, the ones who’ve lived there longer than a decade, are Yanks fans. And most Yalies are Sox fans. Anyway, it heartens me to know that a Baseball Prospectus expert has proven it to be a Bombers town. Advanced metrics do not lie.

I went to college in Middletown, CT, which, and I’m basing this entirely on the name, is pretty much midway between Massachusetts and New York. Again, there seemed to be a split, with more of the natives liking the Yanks and more of the transient college kids liking Boston. In recent years, the YES and NESN networks have both extended their tentacles to all parts of the country, including all parts of Connecticut, making the fan loyalty split even more muddled. But I’m interested to hear from Connecticut residents and those that truly know (unlike, say, me) which counties and cities are Yanks ones and which are Sox ones.

Your responses, depending on their persuasiveness, could sway the state either way.

52 comments… add one
  • Nick. Go WES! (i assume) I’d have to agree that Middletown is pretty well split and as the half way point between Boston and New York. It seems to me that the Connecticut river is really the border between Yankeeland and Soxland. There was a NY Times article about just this subject last summer for those who are interested. They essentially came to this same conclusion abotu the CT river…

    sam YF February 15, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • ok. you can have new haven and middletown, we’ll take hamden, higganum, and a town to be named later.

    sf rod February 15, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • that’s funny because I just watched a video about different dialects in the US, and an expert said that the CT river was the dividing line between people saying “pahked” and “parked”. Maybe that’s it. And yes, Sam, I’m a Wes alum, class of 2000. You one as well?

    Nick-YF February 15, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • We’ll give you Hamden if you agree to pay for some of Middletown’s mental health care costs.

    Nick-YF February 15, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • I went to Quinnipiac and I was one of very few Yankee fans. But there sure were tons of saaawwwwx fans.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 15, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • trisk, I’m surprised to hear you say that. Quinny has essentially turned into a finishing school for NJ and NY kids that couldn’t get into Pace or Columbia. Now that the admission criteria (college v. University) has changed, but the tuition stayed at 30k, so went the reputation of being a decent school. There are a TON of NY fans over there now. We go to parties over there all the time, and the arguments are out of control. Same goes with Southern CT. State – a huge influx of kids from South of New Haven and the Valley.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • I live in New Haven now, and for what it’s worth, I think it’s pretty split evenly. If I had to give an edge, I’d say Sox, but I don’t think there is a distinct advantage either way. Trumbull and other towns just minutes south are clearly Yankee fans, as the Sox control the north and east, but New Haven is pretty even. I do know this, in a place where the fans are so split, you see a lot more Sox gear than Yanks gear. Maybe it has to do with the vulgar things they will hear all day!

    Brad February 15, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • Also, New Haven, where I live, is split pretty evenly. If an edge exists, it’s to Boston, but it’s as slit between Sox and Yanks as possible. This explains the violence in bars around Quinny and Southern Ct. It gets nice and ugly somtimes.
    When the Red Sox had thier trophy display here on the Green over at Yale (which was rediculously crowded), Theo said that New Haven was the tip of the spear pointed at New York. I agree.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • Nick I was class of 2001 myself. That means we were both there for the yankee glory years. Although I did get locked out of my intown once or twice during the month of October by my bitter red sox roommates!

    sam YF February 15, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • sorry for that double (almost). I thought the other one got deleted. Sorry to make a point twice.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • I graduated in ’97 when I was one of a few NJ kids. Glad to see that changed. Do you party at the Red House? Can’t still be standing!

    Triskaidekaphobia February 15, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • Nick, are you still in Cali?

    Brad February 15, 2007, 2:21 pm
  • I was at a bar on that main road leading into QU…Mt. Carmel??, some italian place in ’96 when the Yankees won. Me and my buddy got wasted and needed a ride, so we called our buddy who was a Sox fan to come get us, he wasn’t happy…classic! When we got back to campus we threw 2 garbage cans down the hill and proceeded to get written up….ahhh the glory days.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 15, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • Sam, those were the glory days of Dougie B as well. Yeah, I found it tough to talk to my many Sox fan friends during the bitter Octobers. Intown, man you’re bringing back the memories. I wonder if I knew you. You didn’t happen to have red hair?
    Brad, I’m back in New York, actually Yonkers, and I’m studying at Teachers College at Columbia. I moved back from Cali in the fall.

    Nick-YF February 15, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • Ha. I’m heading to Quinnipiac in the fall most likely.
    Trisk, it’s so different now you wouldn’t notice it. There are all new dorms less the Frosh one. The Law School (where I’m heading) is all new and awesome looking. The houses up on the “hill” are still there, but now the dorms stretch all the way down both roads. You should head over the website – I think all the new construction is on there.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • Going to head back this summer/spring for baseball game. Can’t wait I loved that joint!

    Triskaidekaphobia February 15, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • I am a sox fan and just recently left new haven. There was an article/special about a year ago in a local CT paper that basically drew the line horizontally and not vertically as many here have done. That the closer North you get the greater percentage of sox fans you get and the closer south you go the more NY fans you have… and that Met fans just aren’t around really. The dividing line then is hartford… I felt that there were more NY fans in new haven than sox fans. agreed that transplanted folks-students, did tend to be Sox fans but indigenous CT’ers at that longitude

    jonathan February 15, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • trisk, drop a line, we’ll grab a beer.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 2:54 pm
  • Deal.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 15, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • Nick, you very well may have known me as the red hair is right. However, there were two Sam’s with red hair my year.

    sam YF February 15, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • I spent 18 years in New(/West/North) Haven, and it is clearly a Yankee city, though the first major city in which the division manifests itself. A few minutes north (North Haven, even) or east (Branford) and you’re in much, um, cleaner territory.
    It’s awesome to hear people throw around names like Hamden and Mt. Carmel again. My wife still hasn’t climbed Sleeping Giant. The next time I take her back to the homestead, it’s first on our to-do list.
    As to the direction of the dividing line, I’ve always drawn it diagonally, roughly following the Fairfield County line then bisecting New Haven County.

    Paul SF February 15, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • Wow….Sleeping Giant….Hiked it once in the dark, most terrifying and amzing thing I have ever done. Funny story had 3 roommates go to the mountain and eat some shrooms….not that I condone that…they didn’t come back for 3 days…they were terrified to cross the road….man I miss CT.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 15, 2007, 3:08 pm
  • If you are the Sam I knew (and not very well I should add), you had very long hair at one point and cut it. Myself, I was rather non-descript.

    Nick-YF February 15, 2007, 3:08 pm
  • Trisk, There’s now a path that stretches from downtown New Haven to Cheshire High school up Rt.10, and there’s a nice little area where you can jump off and go up. I run in there all the damn time. Those trails are so nice, and they go back for absolutely forever. I’ve been in ther for two hours of solid runnnig, and never looped. Actually, I ended up near Wallingford that time, and had to call my girl to come get me. Also, the golf course (Sleeping Giant) has come a long way as well.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • also, Quinnipiac has developed into quite the sports school. A brand new hockey and basketball rink across RT.10 is like going to see the Bruins. The baseball team had a couple of kids drafted pretty high last year, and the mens cross country team competes for the New England Title every year.
    Also, Nick, did you know a couple guys at Williams named Dusty Lopez or Tim Cambell? Both are pretty good pals of mine, well back in the day anyhow.
    I’ve been to Williams a few times for ball, and figure most of you know most of you!

    Brad February 15, 2007, 3:22 pm
  • Brad, Williams is SF’s domain. I went to Wesleyan.

    Nick-YF February 15, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • Oh jeez. Sorry, bro. I must’ve known that which is why I made the connection. My bad.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 3:29 pm
  • I too went to QU and it was a pretty even split, but I think New Haven is more suited to be a Red Sox town (insert intelligent vs. not-so intelligent baseball fan comment here). Joe Castiglione even spoke at my graduation, it was great, half of the students stood to applaud him, the other half booed.
    Quinnipiac is rapidly becoming a big player in the academic circle of the North East, it is very competitive and has many excellent programs.

    Shawn February 15, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • What year Shawn?

    Triskaidekaphobia February 15, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • The chances that I know someone from the class of 2001 at Williams is pretty low – I was ’90 myself. My knowledge stretches from ’86 through the mid ’90s, due to family who also attended. My sis went to Wesleyan, though she finished in ’88. I’m old.

    SF February 15, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • Quinnipiac is rapidly becoming a big player in the academic circle of the North East, it is very competitive and has many excellent programs.
    It’s not nearly as good as it was five years ago, speaking for undergrad purposes, but the graduate programs and Law school have made great strides toward competing with the other institutions. It’s still not as good as UCONN on any level, but it does very well to compete with Wesleyan, Trinity, Sacred Heart, and Fairfield. Changing to a University from a private college watered down the admissions practices of the undergraduate programs. They do, however, have an excellent health care program which includes a great PA undergrad/grad combo that a TON of people try to get into.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 4:31 pm
  • ’86 through the mid ’90s,
    Gotcha. For some reason, I did not think you were older than me.

    Brad February 15, 2007, 4:34 pm
  • My wife and I went (both Yanks fans) went to Yale during the Giamatti era. Despite being a huge Yanks fan, I found his wearing Sox hats on campus endearing….

    Fred Vincy February 15, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • I lived in Connecticut for seven years, including four years in New Haven.
    My roommate, who grew up amidst an old Irish family in New Haven, was a Yankees fan.
    The New York Times actually did a very entertaining video report on this subject last year, in which their reporter drove around trying to find the Mason/Dixon line of Sox/Yanks fandom. I seem to recall the line traversing diagonally through Connecticut, starting a little south of Litchfield, continuing southeast toward East Haddam or so.

    Hudson February 15, 2007, 7:10 pm
  • Here’s a link to the Times article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/18/sports/baseball/18fans.html?ei=5088&en=6f3f651e40bd2179&ex=1313553600&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print
    I grew up in North Haven and most of my friends were Yanks fans. I knew one guy who had a Red Sox jacket and he got a lot of shit for it. These two girls I grew up with had seats right behind Derek Jeter’s Dad. And just to start a new debate, Pepe’s pizza rules.

    Carolyn February 15, 2007, 9:30 pm
  • No debate there, Carolyn. Where in North Haven? I was on Beach Street, between Maple and Spring, near the railroad tracks (used to walk down them before I had my license. They led right behind Circuit City, where I would always go to get new CDs when they were released during the summer.

    Paul SF February 15, 2007, 10:27 pm
  • Well, looking at another long day on the job tomorrow. Time to go up to bed to read some before lights out. Trisky, thanks for engaging me in conversation. That was nice of you after I questioned your Yankee loyalty earlier. I’ll remember that. Take it easy.

    Whatever February 15, 2007, 11:02 pm
  • Damn, wrong thread.

    Whatever February 15, 2007, 11:04 pm
  • I’m a Yanks fan at NYU, but I grew up in Trumbull, CT, which is in Fairfield County. In my high school, there were probably more Yankee fans than Sox fans, but not by much. It’s definitely currently a closer margin than 55-14 among young people in the area, I think. It’s probably a bandwagon thing. The Yankees haven’t won a championship since 2000 and the Red Sox have, so that’s who young people without much baseball knowledge in the gray areas will root for.

    Jordan February 16, 2007, 10:04 am
  • Living in New London County for my whole life and growing up a Sox fan, Connecticut is a fairly even split between Yankees and Red Sox fans. My mother grew up in New Haven. Her family is comprised of Yankees fans. My father’s family spent most of their years in New London County. They’re all Sox fans. So, I have no doubt that New Haven is a Yankees town. This area seems to be more Red Sox turf.

    MrBlackthorne February 16, 2007, 10:32 am
  • CT – born and raised. Rocky Hill – the EXACT half point between the two stadiums.
    Rocky Hill growing up was very split, but it fluctuated because during the 80’s the Sox were the better team. So my most formative years (esp. late 80’s and early 90’s) were spent on the defensive and I learned to hate all things Sox.
    I imagine things have bounced around a little bit in the 90’s depending on whether the formative years (12-18) for the little bastards were 1995-01 or 2003-now.
    I also lived in New Haven for two years (2004-05) and it’s definitely a Yankee town. Unfortunately I lived right next to Christopher Martins and that’s a slightly tilted Sox bar. The 2004 series sucked so much more because of it.

    Jim Dean February 16, 2007, 11:19 am
  • lived right next to Christopher Martins and that’s a slightly tilted Sox bar. The 2004 series sucked so much more because of it.
    ahhh. East Rock: still a great bar there. Awesome wings. Finally, the only guy with a brain (less Nick and YFIB) stops by YFSF.

    Brad February 16, 2007, 11:25 am
  • I’m joking of course.

    Brad February 16, 2007, 11:28 am
  • Jeez, I forgot the BB part of that statement. Holy crap, it’s going to be one of those days.

    Brad February 16, 2007, 11:29 am
  • Qu Class of 05

    Shawn February 16, 2007, 11:43 am
  • Fairfield County, the southwestern spout of Connecticut, which spills toward New York City, belongs to the Yankees, 55 percent to 14 percent.
    When I was a kid in Darien, we watched the games on WPIX, listened to the games on WABC, and could get to the Stadium in about 45 minutes. Obviously, Sox fans were transplants. Cable has changed that some, but it’s 3 hours or more to get to Fenway.
    SF, you’re young.

    john February 16, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • I have a house in upstate New York, about 12 miles west of Great Barrington, MA. GB is Sox territory, but my town, Hillsdale, just a few miles across the state border in NY, is deep Yankee territory, the local tavern featuring pics of Joe D, Guidry, and I think Munson, behind the bar. The towns are just a handful of minutes apart, but that stretch of Rt. 23 is like a DMZ.

    SF February 16, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Thanks for thinking of me that way, John. I was more commenting on my place within the thread – seems like most of the commenters are really young!

    SF February 16, 2007, 12:31 pm
  • Seems to me that we’re all about 25 thru 30ish, I think. Most of us anyhow. I know there are a few that post from their dormrooms!

    Anonymous February 16, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • Sorry, was I.

    Brad February 16, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • Interesting, SF, that you’ve chosen TWICE to live in Yankeeland. Driving from NYC, you can get off the Taconic at the diner in Hillsdale and slip over the mountain to Lenox in no time.
    Maybe you should listen to what your higher self is trying to tell you and become a YF.
    And don’t I recall that YF spent his summer in the Massachusetts Berkshires?

    john February 16, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • My first car was a Ford Geo. Thing was a piece of junk.
    Got me to point A to B so I guess that’s all that matters. my current car is a chevy silverado. I
    was lucky to get a good 60 second auto quote on that sucker so I’m happy with it. My dream
    car is a Lamborghini Galllardo. Anyone see the new Reventon? Anyway what’s your story?

    jjbondjr October 4, 2007, 11:20 pm

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