MLB Baseball

History Of The MLB (Major League Baseball)

There are four major professional sports leagues in the US & Canada. Of these four, Major League Baseball is the oldest. There are two leagues, American (AL) and National (NL), each made up of 15 teams.
 
They played the first professional baseball game 1879. The two independent baseball leagues merged into one organization, the MLB, in 2000. 
 
The Commissioner of Baseball is Major League Baseball's Chief Executive. It now operates as a single league in a similar vein to the other three major leagues in the US.
 
Minor League Baseball, overseen by the MLB, contains around 240 teams.
 
Baseball grew more popular during the 1920s. The fans love of baseball survived the Great Depression and the Second World War.
 
After the war Jackie Robinson became the first black player to enter the 'white leagues'. This amazing contract by the Dodgers brought the end to the racial segregation in the baseball.
 
Within the league are 29 baseball teams from the United States and one team from Canada. Each baseball teams play 162 games per season. 
 
The top five teams, from each league, go on to play in a four-round tournament, post season. This tournament ends with the World Series. The World Series is a 'best of seven' championship between the two league champions.

American League

East

Baltimore Orioles

The baseball team now nicknamed 'The Birds' began life as the Milwaukee Brewers. Although just for one year before moving to St Louis and starting 'anew' as the St Louis Browns. After 52 not quite successful years they moved in 1953 and began a new life in Baltimore. They played their first game in 1954 as the Baltimore Orioles. They have won three World Series titles.

Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have played with this name since 1908. Before this, they used the Boston Americans.  They won the first World Series title in 1903 and went on to win another four by the time 1918 came around. After that came one of the worst droughts in baseball history. It would be 86 years before they won another Series title, in 2004. They won again in 2007 and 2013. 
 

New York Yankees

Based in the Bronx, New York City, the New York Yankees play in the AL Division. They are one of two teams that call New York home. The Yankees roster reads like a who's who in baseball history. From Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter, the Yankees have had many of the greatest ball players ever. The New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series Championships, winning 27 of them. 
 

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the newer franchises to professional baseball. They entered the AL in 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Their first decade was not a great start. They finished last in all but one season. They played in the World Series in 2008 but the Phillies took home the win. The Tampa Bay Rays play at Tropicana Field.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays started as an AL expansion team in 1977. They play in the Rogers Centre, the Sky Dome, until 1989. They are the only current franchise based in Canada. The Toronto Blue Jays have won the AL Pennant twice, and also the World Series twice.
 

Central

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have been playing baseball since 1901. The currently play at U.S. Cellular field, but called Comiskey Park home for the first 80 years. The Chicago White Sox have won six AL Pennants and three World Series Championships. 
 

Cleveland Indians

The Indians have been a member of the Central Division since 1994. The team itself is a member of the AL since 1901. The team's name went through a few changes before finally becoming the Indians in 1915. The Indians have taken the World Series twice and the Central Division seven times.
 

Detroit Tigers

Starting in the Western League in 1894, the Tigers started playing in the American League in 1901. The Tigers are the American League's oldest one-name and one-city franchise of all time. The Detroit Tigers have taken home the World Series Championship four times. They play all home games at Comerica Park.
 

Kansas City Royals

Established in 1969, 'The Blue Crew' plays at Kauffman Stadium, previously Royals Stadium. Playing in 4 World Series, the Royals have won it twice. They have won seven Division titles (Central once, West Division six times). For 28 seasons in a row ('86-'13) the Royals did not reach the post season. They made it to the World Series in 2014 and finished just short of the championship.  They returned the following year and became World Champions yet again.
 

Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins started in 1901 as the Washington Nationals. They moved in 1961 and changed their name to reflect the new area, the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.  The Twins have a long list of notable players like Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett. The Minnesota Twins currently play at Target Field.  They have changed stadiums many time through their years in Minnesota. The Twins have won the World Series a total of three times. They have picked up the AL Pennant six times as well.
 

West

Houston Astros

The Houston Astros started in 1962 as the Houston Colt 45s. They changed their name to the Astros when they moved into the great new Astrodome. Although they started in the NL, they now play in the AL since moving in 2013.  They have retired special numbers for great players.  These players include Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.  The Astros moved to Enron Field in 2000, it is now known as Minute Maid Park.  The Houston Astros have yet to win a World Series and have 1 pennant.
 

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels, created in 1961, as an expansion team. The team began playing at Dodger Stadium. But when they moved to their own stadium, the team name changed.  They played as the California Angels until 1996.  From 1997-2005 they played as the Anaheim Angels.  In 2006 they went back to their roots and now play as The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels play in Angel Stadium, which has gone through it's own name changes over time. The Angels have won the World series once and the AL pennant once.
 

Oakland Athletics

The Athletics began play in 1901 as one of the charter teams in Philadelphia.  They relocated to Oakland in 1968 after 12 years in Kansas City. With names like Reggie Jackson, and Catfish Hunter they won 3 World Series titles in the 70's. They have a total of 9 World Series Championships and 15 AL pennants.  The Oakland Athletics play their home games at Oakland Alameda Coliseum.
 

Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners have been in the American League since 1977. They have employed superstars like Ken Griffey, Jr and Alex Rodriguez. They have taken home three Division titles under the ownership of Nintendo of America. The Seattle Mariners currently play at Safeco Field.  Before 1999 they shared the Kingdome with the Seahawks. 
 

Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers, established in 1961, as the Washington Senators. After the 1971 season the team moved to Texas and began play as the Rangers. With players like Nolan Ryan and Alex Rodriguez it's hard to believe they have yet to win a World Series.  The Rangers have taken home 2 AL pennants. They currently play in Globe Life Park in Arlington. This is their second stadium to call home since moving to Texas. 
 

National League

East

Atlanta Braves

The Braves started playing baseball in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings. In 1941 they took the new name and played as the Boston Braves.  They moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and finally to Atlanta in 1966.  In the 90's the Braves dominated their division behind Cy Young pitchers. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz led the league in Cy Young wins in the 90s.  The Braves have won three World Series Championships and the NL pennant 17 times.  Their current home stadium is Turner Field.

New York Mets

The Mets began playing ball in 1962 as an expansion team to replace the two teams that moved to California. The team colors come from the 2 teams that left New York, blue for the Dodgers and orange for the Giants. They have won 5 NL pennants and 2 World Series Championships.  The 1969 Miracle Mets behind Cy Young winner, Tom Seaver stormed past the Orioles in 5 games to win the series. The Mets played at Shea Stadium until the 2009 season, when they moved to Citi Field.
 

Miami Marlins

The Marlins began play in 1993 as the Florida Marlins. The Marlins won the NL pennant twice in 1997 and 2003, as a wild card team. They completed each season as World Series Champions. In 2012 they moved to Marlins Park an changed their name to the Miami Marlins. 
 

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies started playing baseball in 1883 in Philadelphia. The Phillies have employed baseball greats like Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, and Roy Halladay. The Phillies have 7 NL pennants and 2 World Series wins.  They currently play at Citizens Bank Park, but played in 4 other parks since their start.
 

Washington Nationals

The Nationals began playing baseball in Washington DC in 2005. Before the move, the club had been playing ball since 1969 as the Montreal Expos. Starting as an expansion team they were the first MLB team in Canada. Behind number 1 picks, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, they are a force to contend with in the East. They have won the East Division 2 times since moving to DC. They currently play at Nationals Park. The Nationals played at RFK Stadium prior to the completion of the new field.
 

Central

Chicago Cubs

Chicago's beloved "Cubbies" were an original member of the NL and began play in 1876. Although they started as the White Stockings, they became the Cubs in 1903. They were the first MLB team to win back to back World Series' in 1907 & 1908. Since the "curse of the billy goat" in 1945 the Cubs have not returned to the World Series.  Even names like "Mr. Cub," Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo could not elevate them enough to play in the World Series. They have won the NL pennant 16 times. The Cubs have called Wrigley Field home since 1916.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds began as a charter member playing as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Although they started as the Red Stockings, they became the Reds in 1890. The "Big Red Machine" owned the pennant for most of the 70s. With players like Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, they slugged their way to 2 World Series wins.  They have won a total of 9 pennants and 5 World Series wins. They currently call Great American Ball Park home.
 

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers started in Seattle, playing as the Pilots, in 1969.  In 1970 the team moved to Milwaukee and started playing as the Brewers. With players like Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, and Paul Molitor it's a surprise they only have 1 pennant. For the first 30 years they played in Milwaukee County Stadium. They moved in 2001 to new state of the art Miller Park.
 

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates began in 1881, playing as the Alleghenys. A decade later, in 1891, they became the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell led the team to its last 2 World Series Championships in the 70s. They have won 9 pennants and have five World Series wins. They currently call PNC Park home, but have moved several times throughout the years.
 

St. Louis Cardinals

Baseball began (again) in St. Louis in 1883. They went through a few name changes before settling on the Cardinals in 1900. The Cardinals are second in World Series wins with 11. The Yankees hold the title with 27 World Series wins. Former Cardinals players include Stan "The Man" Musial and Ozzie Smith.  The St. Louis Cardinals have played at Busch Stadium since 2006.
 

West

Arizona Diamondbacks

Since they started as an expansion team in 1998, the D-backs have played in Phoenix, Arizona. They have 1 pennant one and 1 World Series win. Their World Series win was against the Yankees. Behind Cy Young Pitchers, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, they bested the Bronx Bombers. The Arizona Diamondbacks play at Chase Field which was previously Bank One Ballpark.
 

Colorado Rockies

Awarded to Denver as an expansion team, the Rockies began play at Mile High Stadium in 1993. They changed venues to Coors Field in 1995 and still play there today. The Rockies have won 1 pennant and played in the World Series, coming up short against the Red Sox. Though they are relatively young, as a team, they have had a list of notable players on their rosters. All-stars like Larry Walker, Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki have played for the Rockies.
 

Los Angeles Dodgers

Dating back to 1883, the Dodgers have had many few names. They permanently became the Dodgers in 1932. The Boys in Blue came to California from Brooklyn in 1958.  The team has long rivals with the New York Yankees and the other original New York team, the Giants. The Dodgers have a rich history, at the fore front, the signing of the great Jackie Robinson.  The league retired his number, 42, on July 4, 1972.  They have won 21 NL pennants and six World Series Championships. The Dodgers have called Dodger Stadium home since 1962.
 

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres began playing baseball in 1969. They played in Qualcomm Stadium from 1969-2003. In 2004 they moved to Petco Park. The Padres have won two NL pennants. Their all-time roster includes baseball greats like Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman and Dave Winfield.
 

San Francisco Giants

The Giants started playing baseball in New York City in 1883. The team moved to California in 1957, along with the Dodgers. They began playing as the San Francisco Giants in 1958. The baseball Giants have won 23 NL pennants and 8 World Series Championships. A few of the great names who have played for the Giants include; Willie Mays and Bobby Thomson. The San Francisco Giants currently play at AT&T Park.
 





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