BY TOM HESTER SR.
New Jerseyans love major league baseball but when it comes to their favorite team, their hearts are split three ways.
It's a blowout for the Yankees in heavily populated North Jersey where they are the favorites of 44 percent of the fans but in less populated South Jersey, it's a walk off for the Phillies where they have the support of 75 percent of the people polled by Quinnipiac University. Statewide, 21 percent love the Mets but 20 percent follow the Phillies.
And get this, statewide 5 percent of fans follow the Red Sox.
"Dress New Jersey baseball fans — men and women, young and old — in Yankee pinstripes,'' said Clay F. Richards, Quinnipiac poll assistant director. "There are just about as many Yankee fans as there are Phillies and Mets backers combined. Only in the Philadelphia suburbs to the Phillies dominate."A total of 52 percent of New Jersey adults are "very interested'' or "somewhat interested'' in major league baseball, according to the poll. That includes 58 percent of men and 47 percent of women. Among these fans, the Yankees dominate in heavily urban and suburban areas of North Jersey, while the Phillies have the loyalty of fans in South Jersey.
Statewide, 2 percent of fans support the Atlanta Braves, 1 percent follow the Los Angeles Dodgers and 1 percent follow the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pollsters surveyed 1,502 New Jersey adults to come up with the statistics.