It's Opening Day for Major League Baseball, and with ticket prices soaring to new heights this year, that's great news for team owners—and the lawmakers who receive their political donations. According to a new report from the Sunlight Foundation, people affiliated with Major League Baseball teams have contributed more than $8 million to different state and federal level political campaigns since 1990.
More than half of that money came from the Baltimore Orioles. Their politically-active owner, Peter Angelos, donated almost $2.1 million to different political campaigns in the 2002 election cycle alone. During that time, preliminary discussions about moving the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C. were starting, but it seems that any political influence Angelos was able to win did not stop the team from moving to the nation's capital.
Angelos has continued to give ever since, and if he was hoping his political donations would create good karma for his team, he was wrong. The Orioles lost almost 100 games in 2011, finishing dead last in the American League's Eastern Division. The champions of that division, the New York Yankees, have given around $576,000 to politicians since 1990, a paltry sum considering their payroll has been over $200 million every year since 2007.
People affiliated with the Yankees' arch-nemesis, the Boston Red Sox, whose average ticket price has ballooned to $105 this season, gave $380,000 to politicians over the surveyed period.
Other top political donors include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. See a list of baseballs top 10 top political givers below:
|MLB's Top Political Spenders|
|Baltimore Orioles||$4.5 million|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||$1.16 million|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||$617,000|
|San Diego Padres||$592,000|
|New York Yankees||$576,000|
|San Francisco Giants||$563,000|
|Source: Sunlight Foundation|