Major League Baseball released their list of the most popular jerseys on Thursday based on sales of official Majestic jerseys in 2011. The top 20 featured players from nine different teams (we’ll assume Hunter Pence made the list for sales of his jersey after his trade from Houston to Philadelphia in July). It is an eclectic group featuring: nine infielders, five pitchers, four outfielders and two catchers. There are 12 players under the age of 30 and 11 played in the American League last year. The Phillies and Yankees lead the way with four players each among the best sellers.
There were seven players new to the top 20 including Yankees Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera. Players on new teams, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Hunter Pence, made the cut as did World Series hero David Freese and American League Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander.
The common theme among almost all of these players: winners. Each of the top 20 players was on a team with a winning record last year save Joe Mauer from the Twins and 14 of the 20 making the postseason. Winning sells in baseball whether you are talking about merchandise or attendance. The top 10 in MLB attendance last year all had winning records outside of the Twins and Cubs
All of the teams below are in the top half of MLB spenders when it comes to payroll with the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies spending a combined $550 million this year on payroll. A high payroll hardly ensures a winning team or a best-selling jersey. The White Sox, Cubs and Mets ranked fifth through seventh last year in spending and all finished with losing records and no players among the best sellers.
(AP Photo) More From Forbes: Baseball's Highest Paid Players Baseball's Biggest Cable Deals The Baseball Fans Most Fired Up For Opening Day The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.