The geography of baseball: borderline rivalries


Here in New England, we live on a fault line that could result in earthquakes, yes — but there’s an everyday fault line that wreaks a certain amount of havoc every baseball season: We’re talking Red Sox vs Yankees, folks, it’s the stuff of legends. Now you can map that baseball rivalry out with a fantastic feature from the New York Times, Up Close on Baseball’s Borders. There’s a U.S. map, as well as 14 sectional maps detailing baseball’s biggest rivalries. They’ve aggregated Facebook data down not only to the county level, but also to ZIP codes to show how the fans and the borders breakdown. Always wondered whether Hartford and New Haven are Yankees or Sox fans?

Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated has called the line running through Connecticut that separates Yankee fans and Red Sox fans the Munson-Nixon line. Mr. Rushin came up with the name — in honor of the late Yankee catcher Thurman Munson and the retired Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon — in 2003, and he had to guess where the line ran: “north of New Haven but south of Hartford, running the breadth of central Connecticut.”

We don’t have to guess anymore.

And what’s all this got to do with insurance?

Well, here at Renaissance Alliance, we have independent agency members dispersed throughout New England. Most insurance shoppers pick a local agency to work with based on factors like convenience, service and reputation … but now with this interactive map, you have a new tool to target your agency selection — by geographic baseball team loyalty!

The deadliest U.S. roads


Fox news just issued their list of The Top Ten Deadliest Stretches of Road in America. To compile this list, they analyzed five years of crash reports to determine which roads had the highest number of deadly accidents. For those of us in New England, the good news is that none of those roads are located here. California has four roads on the list; Florida and Arizona both have two roads on the list; and Texas and Nevada both have one. See a comparison chart of all states auto fatalities and fatality rates.
But New England drivers shouldn’t relax. Nearly 60% of all highway deaths occur on rural roads, and two New England states appear on a 2005 report of states with the highest percentage of rural road fatalities:

  • Maine (92%)
  • North Dakota (90%)
  • South Dakota (89%)
  • Iowa (88%)
  • Vermont (88%)
  • Montana (86%)
  • Wyoming (84%)
  • South Carolina (83%)
  • Mississippi (82%)
  • Arkansas (81%)
  • West Virginia (80%)
  • Minnesota (72%)
  • Wisconsin (68%)

If you’d like to check the safety of the roads in your neighborhood or on your commuting route, there’s a terrific tool developed by University of Minnesota researchers which allows you to do just that. It combines information from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System with Google Maps to offer a visual representation of traffic safety across the U.S. You can enter an address and view the roads that have the highest number of traffic fatalities in a specified area, or you can view data for your state.
Most dangerous road in the world
As treacherous as some U.S. roads can be, they pale in comparison with Bolivia’s Death Road, a 60 to 70 kilometer mountainous stretch between La Paz and Coroico, which is often cited as the most dangerous road in the world. It’s been the subject of numerous televised reports – watch a 6 minute clip: