Last night, the smash musical Hamilton won an astounding 11 Tony awards, falling just short of the record set by The Producers. In honor of the show that continues to astound, I have assembled a comprehensive list of characters from the musical, and matched them to the American League team that best represents them. To make the connection, I considered things like World Series victories and prominent rivalries to provide to most accurate list I possibly could, and should be considered definitive. Hopefully, unlike Alexander Hamilton, you will leave this list feeling “satisfied.”
New York Yankees - King George III
The irony in this choice is simply too delicious to resist. The Yankees—led by a man named George Steinbrenner— established an AL East dynasty that lasted almost a decade. It took a coordinated effort from the other teams in this division to usurp the Bronx Bombers from their throne. Despite it all, with fans that stretch across the globe, the sun truly doesn’t set on the Yankees Empire.
In recent years, though, the team has struggled. With a mostly aging team filled with quality yet declining players, Yankees fans have to be asking: “What Comes Next?"
Boston Red Sox - George Washington
The resemblance between these two powerhouses is uncanny. For decades and decades, the Red Sox were lying in wait, a team ready to “take a shot” against a powerhouse Yankee team. Recently, they have finally capitalized, with an outstanding farm team feeding home-grown players into a lineup with the spending power that can finally rival New York. The Sox-Yanks rivalry is one of the most bitter in sports, and unlike in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, these redcoats are succeeding.
After being on the outside looking in, the Red Sox have won three World Series since 2004, and are finally in “The Room Where It Happens.”
Tampa Bay Rays - Philip Hamilton
The Tampa Bay Rays exploded into baseball’s consciousness in 2008, when the young, mohawk-clad team made it all the way to the World Series, losing in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies. As an expansion team, the Rays are the youngest team in the AL, much like Philip Hamilton, the youngest featured character in the musical. Both exploded onto the scene—be it major league baseball, or the Great White Way—and both are undeniably “young, scrappy, and hungry.”
Hamilton’s death in a duel with George Eacker in the second act provides the tragic fuel for the climax of the musical. Rays fans alike all hope that the late-00's push was not a simple flash in the pan, and that the Rays will soon be in “The Room Where It Happens.”
Baltimore Orioles - Martha Washington
A dark horse favorite for the AL East title in the past few years, the Baltimore Orioles seem to be the absolute masters of the power reclamation project. In 2014, they plucked Nelson Cruz from free agency, where he mashed 40 homers and came in sixth in MVP voting. This year, Mark Trumbo seems to be following that lead, crushing 20 home runs well before the half-way point of the season. Like the O’s, Martha Washington took a broken George Washington—devastated at the Battle of Staten Island—and convinced him to “rise up.”
Martha’s powerful presence can be felt throughout the musical, and many feel that it is Martha, not Hamilton, who was Washington’s true “Right Hand Man.”
Toronto Blue Jays - Marquis de Lafayette
Full of exciting and brash players like Jose Bautista, Kevin Pillar, and Edwin Encarnacion, the Toronto Blue Jays share quite a bit with their fellow expat Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette, in the musical, is portrayed as an immigrant wunderkind officer who almost single-handedly turned the tide in several key battles in the Revolutionary War. After the war, he returns to France to lead the French Revolution, and is denied aid promised by America, a deal Hamilton supports despite his friendship with him.
Lafayette, played by Daveed Diggs, is an explosive force who, in “Guns and Ships,” sings at a pace faster than any other song in Broadway history. The Blue Jays, with their thunderous core of home run hitters, hope to once again “take a shot” at the title.
Minnesota Twins - James Madison
The Twins are struggling with a down year in 2016, yet are still being buoyed by an apparently ageless Joe Mauer. Twins fans shouldn’t feel too “Helpless,” however, as Byron Buxton will inevitably lead a strong farm team to “Stay Alive” and become a future contender. One of the most significant future contenders in Hamilton was James Madison, who eventually became the fourth president of the United States past the events of the musical, which follows the life and death of Alexander Hamilton.
What’s more, Madison, Jefferson, and Hamilton famously worked together and agreed on both a strong central economy and a U.S. capital based out of Washington D.C, just as Minneapolis and St. Paul compromised to put a ball club in Minnesota. Despite it all, it appears that both James Madison and the Twins will just have to “Wait For It.”
Detroit Tigers - Aaron Burr
Ahhh, the Detroit Tigers: always the bridesmaid, never the bride. From 2011-2014, the Tigers consistently won the AL Central thanks to one of the greatest hitters of our generation: Miguel Cabrera. Aaron Burr can certainly relate. Burr graduated early from Princeton College and rose through the ranks of Washington's army, years later becoming a New York senator. For many, “That Would Be Enough,” but Burr was not “Satisfied.” Burr ran for President against John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in “The Election of 1800,” and lost when Hamilton endorsed Jefferson, his enemy, a man he despised since the beginning. Both the Tigers and Burr are tragically accustomed to defeat, and have come so close so many times.
The Tigers still have one of the best hitters on the planet in an Al Central that seems perpetually winnable, even against the reigning champs. Detroit wants to be in “The Room Where It Happens,” and they don’t want to “Wait For It."
Chicago White Sox - Benjamin Franklin
One of the most well-known founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin shares quite a bit with the South Siders. One of the defining moments of the first act of Hamilton, the Broadway musical, is the extended monologue Franklin gives when describing how he discovered electricity with a “mind as charged as my keys.” The White Sox play in U.S. Cellular Field, named after a device that would be completely useless without Franklin’s revelation. In addition, Franklin goes nowhere onstage without his signature high stockings, a costume choice that “netted” Hamilton a Tony for Best Costume Design.
While never presiding in office, Franklin remains incredibly influential in the musical, acting as one of three father figures for Hamilton as he navigates the Revolutionary War. The White Sox, too, are currently trying to win influence in Chicago over the rival Cubs, thanks to Todd “the ToddFather” Frazier. To do so, it will remain impossible for the White Sox to “Take A Break.”
Cleveland Indians - John Adams
Ahhh, the ever-maligned John Adams. The second president has a pretty tough turn in Hamilton, as Adams and the titular character of “Alexander Hamilton” clash over ideological differences. One of the greatest burns in the show comes during “The Adams Administration,” when Hamilton calls Adams a word not fit for print. A fun fact: this was only a small portion of the original slam Miranda wrote. The full rap can be found below, but be forewarned: the song is uncensored, and if your boss or your kids are nearby you should probably “Say No To This.”
Like Adams, the Indians have had some hard luck, not making it past the ALDS since 2007. Currently in a 68-year World Series drought, the Indians are nevertheless perhaps one of the most underrated teams on this list. Currently at 35-27, the Tribe is sitting pretty at the top of the AL Central. Both are far better than they get credit for, and deserve a little more recognition, even if they have to “Wait For It.”
Kansas City Royals - George Washington
The irony in this choice is simply too delicious to resist. For a team named after a monarchical ruling body, it’s surprisingly fitting that their appropriate Hamilton doppelganger is a “modern major general” who overthrew British power in the colonies, as depicted in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-award-winning musical Hamilton. After “lying in wait” for 30 years, the Royals stunned the world by turning around their fortunes in 2015 on the backs of an incredible bullpen, clutch hitting, and defensive specialists. Washington, too, rode clutch performances from his subordinates to defeat the British in the Battle of “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down).”
The resemblance here, frankly, is uncanny. If you're a fan of the Royals, you’ll be glad you have “Washington On Your Side."
Los Angeles Angels - Ronald Reagan
The Los Angeles Angels have in their possession the best baseball player on the planet in Mike Trout, and it seems increasingly likely that the Angels will reach into their deep pockets to sign him to a long-term deal when it becomes necessary to do so. Knowing this, the choice to associate The Gipper to the Halos is mind-numbingly obvious.
Reagan appears in the final moments of the play, as a part of the long line of presidents that enter from stage left to shake Hamilton’s hand and ruffle his hair.
Manuel’s choice to cast Donald Trump as the 45th president seemed bizarre when the musical opened in 2015, yet now is oddly prescient. Reagan, in the play’s final moments, leads the Presidential Procession Choir in a song that celebrates Hamilton’s achievements, pleading with the audience to sign the procured petition—present at every show—to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill, and also how Andrew Jackson has bad teeth and should be kicked in the groin until all his bad teeth fall out.
The Angels have a lot of money, and Ronald Reagan presided over and America which also had a lot of money. Fans of small-market teams would agree “That Would Be Enough.”
Texas Rangers & Houston Astros - Zeke and Zach MacDinnet
The Texans/Astros rivalry has been reignited recently since Houston moved to the AL West, and there exist no better Hamilton characters to portray the proximate yet vastly different teams than Zach and Zeke MacDinnet, the Dueling Twins of the Republic of Texas. The older Texas Rangers, weighed down by hefty contracts match well with Zach MacDinnet, who struggles with the overwhelming debt of his principality. On the other hand, the (slightly) younger and smart-as-a-whip Zeke pairs well with the analytically-minded Astros.
The third act of the musical takes a dark turn when Aaron Burr flees south in an attempt to form an army of the Republic of Texas, but runs smack dab into the Master Duelers of the Desert. In the last of the play’s six duels, but Burr surprises both men by pulling out a second pistol and firing the two simultaneously, striking both men in their chest. Burr collects the final two duel badges from the bleeding MacDinnets, taking his place as the fastest gun in the West. The MacDinnet Twins have time to belt out only a final few lines before both collapse, ironically mere inches from the country’s border.
If the two Texas teams can find a way to not obliterate each other through greed and avarice, they have a chance to be in “The Room Where It Happens.”
Seattle Mariners - Eliza Hamilton
Unless the Chicago Cubs have anything to say about it this year, the Seattle Mariners maintain the record for most wins in a season in MLB history. And yet, they have tragically under-performed since then, to the point that they are often overlooked. Hamilton makes an active attempt to never overlook the accomplishments of Eliza Hamilton, dedicating the musical’s final song to what she has done since Hamilton’s death. Despite the setbacks and tragedies she encounters, she pushes through to accomplish arguably even more than the musical’s titular character.
With Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano on the roster, the M’s should never be overlooked, and yet often are. Both Eliza and the Mariners have ample time to “Blow Us All Away.”
Oakland A’s - Billy Beane
The general manager of a baseball team normally doesn’t get a lot of attention in the media, and most fans certainly couldn’t name their GM. That’s what makes the character of Billy Beane so interesting and unique. Unbeknownst to many casual theatergoers, the Billy Beane that calls Hamilton “young, scrappy, and hungry”—after saving him from drowning in the icy Potomac during Washington’s crossing of the Delaware—is actually a direct reference to current Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane. The subtle nod continues Miranda’s trend of slipping in references to the Oakland A’s in his work. In his previous musical In the Heights, the main character of Usnavi wears an over-sized A’s jersey that none of the characters ever mention or even acknowledge.
This connection might seem like a stretch, but if you really think about it, you’d realize that the character of Beane best represents the A’s in the musical. Personally, knowing all that I know about it, I’m “Satisfied."