Frequency of Letters in Team Names (Or, why does baseball hate “H”?)

While working on a completely different project (which I will announce later), I started looking at the letters in Major League team names and came up with this gem: “6 team names start with the letter “R.” No other letter has more than 3 teams that start with it.” (Seriously, why aren’t you following me on Twitter?). Immediately after posting this, the venerable Steve Slowinski says, “SSS. I want to know what’s the least used letter in all teams names.” Well Steve, I’ll do you one better by mapping the frequency of letters in team names (excluding city) against the frequency of letters used in the English language (according to Wikipedia). Boom:

Click to enlarge

The letter “S” is way overused (every team name ends in “s” with the exception of the Red Sox and White Sox) and “H” is barely used. Interestingly enough, of the nine commissioners in MLB history, six have had an “H” somewhere in their name: Happy Chandler, Ford Christopher Frick, Bowie Kuhn, Peter Ueberroth, Francis Thomas “Fay” Vincent and Allan Huber “Bud” Selig. The commissioners are stealing our fun and our “H”s!


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