Major League Baseball


American "Major League Baseball" -- high-quality professional baseball in the US and Canada -- has existed since 1876, when the National Association was renamed the National League. The League contained 8 teams at the time, all of which represented towns and cities in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the country. Teams were added and eliminated yearly until 1900, the year which approximately defines the beginning of the modern Major Leagues.

Pre-1900 National League franchises

Note: When franchises are listed, those with multiple names / host cities will be pipelinked to the most recent city and name. For example, the Boston Red Caps franchise in the preceding list has metamorphosed into the modern Atlanta Braves in the past 125+ years, so clicking on Boston Red Caps will send you to the Atlanta Braves node.

The Birth of the Modern Major Leagues

In 1900, the National League was pared down to 8 franchises, each of which is still in existence today.

1900 National League franchises

However, a new league was forming. Taking its name from the defunct American Association, the American League officially came into existence on January 28, 1901. In its inaugural season it contained eight franchises, each of which is still in existence:

1901 American League franchises

At first, the two leagues competed directly with each other for fan attendance and recognition. However, by 1903 an agreement had been reached, leading to a World Series and the eventual merging of the two leagues into modern Major League Baseball.

Modern Major League Baseball

Modern MLB is basically an evolution of the league system of about 1906, with little of the major organizational changes that took place nearly yearly in the late 1800's. Some teams have been added and moved in order to reach the largest potential markets -- an uncommon but not unusual procedure. Also, the merging of the American and National Leagues continues to this day, with changes such as the consolidation of the League Commissioner positions and the introduction of interleague play. Major League players have joined together to form the Major League Baseball Players' Association, one of the strongest unions in the world. But the play on the field is still the same basic game: pitch, hit, catch, throw.

Modern Major League franchises


Other Major Leagues

Active Players (as of 07/25/2005)

Former Players



Fields and Stadia Or beer, phones, and politics

Rules and Statistics

History and Lore


Other teams

Other stuff


  • Baseball Almanac:
  • The Baseball Page:
  • Major League Baseball:
  • Major League Baseball History:
  • kthejoker, for giving me a long list of nodes to add

Please /msg me with any additions to this node -- especially links to other baseball nodes that exist on E2!