|Current season, competition or edition:|
31px 1955 Major League Baseball season
(National League, 1876)
(American League, 1901)
|No. of teams||16|
|Countries||United States (16 teams)|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization that began in 1903 when the American League and National League merged to form one league. A total of 16 teams play in the league with them being split into two divisions (the American League and the National League). All of the teams are currently based in the United States.
|Cincinnati Reds||Cincinnati, Ohio||1882 (AA)||1943 (NL)|
|Chicago White Sox||Chicago, Illinois||1901|
|Cleveland Indians||Cleveland, Ohio||1901|
|Detroit Tigers||Detroit, Michigan||1901|
|New York Yankees||New York City, New York||1901*|
|Washington Senators||Washington, Washington DC||1901|
|Philadelphia Athletics||Philadelphia, California||1901|
|St. Louis Browns||St. Louis, Missouri||1901*|
|Milwaukee Braves||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||1871* (NA)||1876 (NL)|
|Chicago Cubs||Chicago, Illinois||1874 (NA)||1876 (NL)|
|Indianapolis Hoosiers||Indianapolis, Indiana||1932 (AL)||1943 (NL)|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||1883^|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||1882 (AA)||1887 (NL)|
|St. Louis Cardinals||St. Louis, Missouri||1882 (AA)||1892 (NL)|
|Brooklyn Dodgers||Brooklyn, New York||1884* (AA)||1890 (NL)|
|New York Giants||New York City, New York||1883*|
|Boston Red Sox||Boston, Massachusetts||1903–1919|
^ - The Phillies wern't part of the league between 1920 and 1932.
In 1901, the war between the AL and the NL kickstarted when four teams was dropped in the National Legaue (NL) which sparked out a war between the two federations in trying to keep the unity in baseball around North East America. This war which would last a whole year would finish in 1902 when NL and the AL (American League) decided to merge their leagues into one with what would be called a World Series at the post end of the season. In the first few seasons, the National League dominated the American League as they won seven of the first nine editions of the World Series with only the 1906 edition being a victory to the AL as the Chicago White Sox won the World Series 4-1 over fellow Chicago team the Cubs. During the run, the New York Giants became the first team to win back to back tournaments when they took out the 1904 and 1905 World Series before Chicago won the next three editions of the Series.
In 1911, the Philadelphia Athletics would win their first World Series as their main man in Cy Young who would become a famous pitcher for his heroics in the World Series which saw two shutouts of the Cubs. This, as well as the introduction of the foul-ball being strikes rule, saw runs plummet to record lows in what would be the called the dead ball era. The following year would see the Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the first time. This World Series would be significant as Game 2 of the series would see it go to a second day after it was called for bad light after 12 innings with the scores all tied up at 6-6. After another two innings, Larry Gardner hit the winning run to give Boston the game and what would be a critical win.
With America being neutral during the first World War, baseball started to rise in popularly with the Boston Braves winning their first World Series over the defending champions. In 1915, the Federal League was held for that single season with St Louis taking out the pennant but they weren't allowed in the World Series because of the American and National League agreement to not have any other major leagues being in the World Series which would be won by Boston as they would defend the title in the following year. The year after that, they would become the first team to win three World Series in a row after they defeated New York in the sixth game of the series as it would later be the last trophy that the team would win following on from the "Black Sox" scandal which would have the team fold in 1920 because of the scandal.
In the final season of the so-called dead-ball era, it was the Cincinnati Reds who would take out the World Series as they won the sixth game of a nine-game series to record their first MLB title. With the removal of the Boston Red Sox's because of the "Black Sox" scandal, this meant that there was an odd number of teams for the season. After a discussion which took over three hours it was said to drop the Philadelphia Phillies from the MLB for the 1920 season in which the Cleveland Indians would take home their first World Series by winning 5-2 in the nine-game series.
Baseball becomes popular
The 1921 season saw crowds starting to rise in popularity with the normal American which would see one of those games. It also saw the rise of the New York Giants who would win two consecutive World Series between 1921 and 1922 against their rivals in the New York Yankees. In 1923, the Yankees would get revenge as they dominated the 1923 World Series as they won the series 4-1 in the first of many series that had the World Series set to seven games which is what it currently is to today. Washington Senators would take the next two World Series titles as they defeated the Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates. 1926 would see Cincinnati Reds take out their first World Series with Bubbles Hargrave being their main man going at .355 batting average as they won their first World Series in the team's history.
After the New York Yankees won the following two World Series in a clean sweep, the Philadelphia Athletics would take out the next two series. In 1931, talks started to appear on bringing the lead back up to 16 with the introduction of the Indianapolis Giants and bringing back the Philadelphia Phillies. For New York, they didn't want another team having their same name as that team. The talk would still see them joining the league with the Phillies with the team becoming the Indianapolis Hoosiers which had competed in the Federal League in 1914-15. In their debut season, they would struggle to deliver as both teams fell to the bottom of their respective division.
The Great Depression though would stop the tracks and with the 1932 season seeing lower numbers than the previous seasons. Despite the Giants getting the National League first World Series in six years, finances for the teams were diminishing with players having to have a pay-cut as they tried to stay afloat by any means necessary. Throughout the seven years before World War II, none of the MLB teams moved or folded through that time but there were talks on a possible merger with Boston and Philadelphia being the main areas of interest but nothing would happen.
World War II
With the war happening in the Pacific, sport all across America was effected in some way. This included Baseball which saw over 500 MLB baseball players having to head to the battle lines. Restrictions were also another key factor during the war with the rules on the limit travel and night games that could be played. Despite the pleads from commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis to the United States president at the time Franklin Roosevelt, the 1942 season was called off and the first season of Baseball to be called off.
With baseball coming back in 1943, there was a change in the divisions with Cincinnati Reds and the Indianapolis Hoosiers having a straight swap in the divisions with Cincinnati heading to the American League while Indianapolis went to the National. This wouldn't at first be successful with a switch in the divisions seeing the teams lag down on the bottom of the ladder. But soon enough they would be challenging for the pennant with Cincinnati Reds getting into the World Series in 1956. While Indianapolis would have to wait until the 1960s for their best run to come. That season would also see the first World Series being won by the St. Louis Cardinals as they took out the 1943 and 1944 World Series.
Breaking the color code and Relocations
In 1946, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey brought in the first colored baseball player in Jackie Robinson with the experiment that would be later known as the "The Noble Experiment". The experiment which would see Robinson debut in the Major leagues saw a success in attendance with over twenty thousand people with most of them being colored who came from the Negro League and some would classify it as the fall of that league. With the success of attendances when the Dodgers in town, the line between color started to blur with it being evidently removed in the late 1950s with the deformation of the Negro League.
As the 1950s started to kick in, the domination of the American League continued with the New York Yankees taking four out of the next five World Series with only Cleveland being the odd team in that list. Rumors started to circulate about a possible expansion to the World Series especially with the Japanese creating their own series for the post-playoff series called the Japan Series. That plan though would be scrapped with the reason being that it was too expensive to get teams across the Pacific to play in the opposing territory. To date, this proposal hasn't been brought back up in the between the Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball.
In early 1953, talks started in Boston with the movement of the franchise because of lower attendances compared to the Red Soxes. This would be prove to be critical as June 1953 would see it confirmed that the Braves would move to Milwaukee and become the first baseball franchise to move instead of being defunct like the Boston Red Soxes were.