NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A recent study looking into the listed birthplace for professional athletes across America’s baseball, basketball, football and hockey leagues indicates New Mexico has the fewest number of pros per 100,000 people who list the Land of Enchantment as their home state. The newly published analysis comes from a New York sports book website called NY.bet, which broke down information kept by Sports Reference, a popular online sports information database.
Analysts looked up the birthplaces of athletes across Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). In compiling the data, they found just 84 pro athletes in those four leagues have listed cities or towns in New Mexico as their place of birth. The data charts back to the late 1800’s, according to the analysis.
NY.bet’s analysis says the NFL has charted the most New Mexico-born athletes with 45 players in total. The MLB has seen 32 New Mexico-born players, followed by the NBA, which has charted 7 New Mexico-born athletes. The NHL, according to NY.bet and Sports Reference information, has never had a New Mexico-born player in its league.
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With 84 pro athletes in the big four leagues listing a New Mexico birthplace, it means New Mexico sees about 4 pro athletes per 100,000 people in the state. That ranking is the lowest of all 50 states.
To be clear, the figures don’t account for athletes that were born in another state, but went on to play professional sports via a New Mexico university, college or other institution. The study did not include Major League Soccer in its analysis, just the MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA.
Here are the three most recent New Mexico-born athletes to have played in the NFL, MLB and NBA. (Information via Sports Reference.com)
- Zach Gentry of Albuquerque – NFL – Pittsburgh Stealers tight end
- Chase Silseth of Farmington – MLB – Anaheim Angels pitcher
- Andre Roberson of Las Cruces – NBA – Brooklyn Nets (2020-21) shooting guard, small forward
While New Mexico charted the fewest number of pro athletes per capita having the Land of Enchantment as a place of birth (4 athletes per 100,000 people), Nevada came in second with 4.5 athletes per 100,000 people. Arizona came in third with 5.2 athletes per capita, followed by Alaska in fourth with 5.6 athletes per capita, and Colorado in fifth with 5.7 athletes per capita. Overall, Alaska charted the fewest pro athletes in the analysis, with 41.
At the top of the list, Mississippi has 35.4 pro athletes per capita, according to the analysis. They were followed by Louisiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania and Ohio. For a more detailed look at the analysis, view the full study on NY.bet’s website.