Major League Stars by City - NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL Athletes Born Where You Live

Updated: 5948 Other

Major League Stars by City - NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL Athletes Born Where You Live
Steve Madgwick Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief with 20 years experience covering the betting angles to breaking news stories. Daily slots player, Portsmouth fan and League Snooker Player

The US is blessed with an incredibly rich history in sports. We have been graced with some fantastic teams, some dramatic games, and some iconic players. It takes so much hard work to make it into one of the major leagues, so much that it fills your heart with pride if a player makes it out of your hometown. 

We all have different ways of showing that pride, whether you buy their jersey, bet on their success on US betting sites, or visit the stadium to cheer them on. 

With so many players in the major leagues’ history, we wanted to know which city has produced the most athletes. We’ve looked at US-born athletes in football, basketball, baseball, and hockey to find out which cities are supplying the most talent. 

Chicago has produced over 1,000 major league athletes, more than any other city

Chicago

We’ve looked at every US-born player to play in the four major leagues, and looked at the city they were born in to reveal which city has produced the most athletes. 

Rank City State NFL Athletes NBA Athletes MLB Athletes NHL Athletes Total Number of Athletes born in City
1 Chicago Illinois 494 155 387 25 1,061
2 Los Angeles California 460 113 240 5 818
3 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 216 122 372 7 717
5 New York New York 169 104 262 11 546
6 Houston Texas 340 43 143 2 528
7 Detroit Michigan 275 71 126 41 513
8 Brooklyn New York 102 107 248 1 458
9 Dallas Texas 258 48 95 * 401
10 Cincinnati Ohio 175 20 204 1 400
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*means no players born here

Chicago - 1,061 major league athletes produced

Taking the top spot is Chicago in Illinois producing over 1,000 major league athletes. Chicago produced the most NFL, NBA, and MLB athletes, and the fifth-highest number of NHL athletes. Chicago is home to five teams in the major leagues and is one of ten cities to have at least one sports team in each of the four leagues. 


Los Angeles - 818 major league athletes produced

Los Angeles is the city that has produced the second highest number of major league athletes, with 818. Over half of this total made it to the NFL, with over 100 making it to the NBA, and over 200 making it to the MLB. Los Angeles has the second-highest number of sports teams with eight, just behind New York with nine. 


Philadelphia - 717 major league athletes produced

In third place is Philadelphia, where 717 major league athletes have been born. The Pennsylvania city proved to be a hotspot for MLB athletes, accounting for over half of Philadelphia’s total. Philly isn’t short of sports teams either, with one team in each major league in the US.

Almost 500 NFL athletes were born in Chicago, the most of any US city

NFL athletes Chicago

Rank City State Number of athletes born in city
1 Chicago Illinois 494
2 Los Angeles California 460
3 Houston Texas 340
4 Miami Florida 314
5 Detroit Michigan 275
6 Dallas Texas 258
7 New Orleans Louisiana 235
8 Cleveland Ohio 220
9 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 216
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Chicago - 494 NFL athletes produced

Out of all the US-born players to play in the NFL, almost 500 of them were born in Chicago, which gives them the top spot. Two of the NFL’s best, Dick Butkus and Charles Tillman, were not only born in Chicago but spent the majority of their careers playing for the Chicago Bears. 

Los Angeles - 460 NFL athletes produced

Following closely behind with 460 athletes produced, is Los Angeles which takes second place. Los Angeles is the birthplace of some great NFL players, including Bobby Wagner, Tyron Smith, and David Long. 

Houston - 340 NFL athletes produced

Houston completes our top three producing 340 NFL athletes. Vince Young, Payton Turner, and Jalen Hurts are some of the best players to be born in Houston and play in the NFL. The Houston Texans are Houston’s very own NFL team. Despite struggling during the early 2000s, the Texans experienced some success in 2011 winning a division championship. 

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155 NBA players were born in Chicago, more than any other US city

155 NBA players were born in Chicago

After looking at the birthplaces of all US-born NBA athletes, we can reveal the most common city that NBA athletes are born in. 

Rank City State Number of athletes born in city
1 Chicago Illinois 155
2 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 122
3 Los Angeles California 113
4 Brooklyn New York 107
5 New York New York 104
6 Washington District of Columbia 76
7 Detroit Michigan 71
8 Atlanta Georgia 49
9 Dallas Texas 48
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Chicago - 155 NBA athletes produced

The city that produced the most NBA athletes is Chicago, with a total of 155 players, 30 more than any other city. Chicago has produced some fine talents, including Dwayne Wade, Reggie Jordan, and Terry Cummings. Chicago is, of course, home to the Chicago Bulls, where Michael Jordan spent most of his career. 

Philadelphia - 122 NBA athletes produced

In second place is Philadelphia which has produced 122 NBA athletes. Kobe Bryant, Kyle Lowry, and Wilt Chamberlain are some of the top picks among the 122 athletes produced. Wilt Chamberlain also went on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers for three seasons and was one of the star players during the 1966/67 season, a team that is considered one of the best the NBA has ever seen. 

Los Angeles - 113 NBA athletes produced

Los Angeles completes our top three, producing 113 NBA athletes. Los Angeles is home to two NBA teams, the LA Clippers, and the LA Lakers. Among the 113 athletes born in LA, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Baron Davis are some of the best, with Leonard and Thomspon playing for the Clippers at some point in their career. 

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Chicago is the main birthplace of MLB athletes, home to almost 400 athletes

400 MLB players were born in Chicago

We’ve looked at the birthplaces of US born MLB athletes to reveal the most common birthplaces.

Rank City State Number of athletes born in city
1 Chicago Illinois 387
2 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 372
3 St. Louis Missouri 317
4 New York New York 262
5 Brooklyn New York 248
6 Los Angeles California 240
7 Cincinnati Ohio 204
8 San Francisco California 180
9 Baltimore Maryland 178
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Chicago - 387 MLB athletes produced

Chicago is once again in the top spot, producing a total of 387 MLB athletes. Jim Clancy, Phil Collins, and Freddie Lindstrom are three of a selection of great MLB players born in Houston. There are two baseball teams in Chicago, the Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago White Sox. 

Philadelphia - 372 MLB athletes produced

Philadelphia takes second place as the birthplace of 372 MLB athletes. Philadelphia has a great history of producing baseball legends, with Roy Campanella, Bucky Walters, and Rubén Amaro Jr. on that list. The Philadelphia Phillies, the local team, have won two World Series. 

St. Louis - 317 MLB athletes produced

St. Louis completes our top three, with 317 MLB athletes born in the Gateway to the West. Bernard Gilkey, Ken Holtzman, and Pete Reiser are the best among the St. Louisans to make it to the MLB. St. Louis has just two teams competing in the major leagues. One of which is the St. Louis Cardinals in the MLB.

More NHL players were born in Detroit than any other US city

NHL players Detroit

Rank City State Number of athletes born in city
1 Detroit Michigan 41
2 Minneapolis Minnesota 38
3 Boston Massachusetts 35
4 St. Paul Minnesota 34
5 Chicago Illinois 25
6 Buffalo New York 22
7 Duluth Minnesota 15
8 Edina Minnesota 14
8 St. Louis Missouri 14
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Detroit - 41 NHL athletes produced

Detroit was the birthplace of 41 NHL athletes, which is enough to give them the top spot in our list. Detroit is home to Mark Howe, Kevin Hatcher, and David Legwand, who are some of the best players to come out of the city in Michigan. Hockey has always been huge in Detroit. The Detroit Red Wings were one of the six teams to form the NHL. 

Minneapolis - 38 NHL athletes produced 

Falling just three athletes behind Detroit, is Minneapolis, where 38 NHL athletes were born. Zach Parise, Jake Gardiner, and Dustin Byfuglien are some of the best to come out of Minneapolis. Despite having some great talent come out of Minneapolis, Minnesota Wild have only won one division championship. 

Boston - 35 NHL athletes produced

Just three athletes separate the places in our top three, with Boston producing 35 NHL athletes. Some of the top picks from Boston include Noah Hanifin, Colin White, and Jeremy Roenick. Not only has Boston produced some great players, but the Boston Bruins have won the Stanley Cup six times in their history. 

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Methodology

For the NFL we used Pro Football Reference to get the birthplaces of each US-born player.

For the NBA we used Basketball Reference to get the birthplaces of each US-born player.

We used Baseball Reference for the birthplaces of each US-born player.

Finally, we used Hockey Reference for the birthplaces of each US-born player. 

Players were removed from the data if no city was included. Only US-born players were included. 


*represents 0 players born here.

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