Major League Baseball
Overview
 
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 and the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

. The two leagues
Sports league
League is a term commonly used to describe a group of sports teams or individual athletes that compete against each other in a specific sport. At its simplest, it may be a local group of amateur athletes who form teams among themselves and compete on weekends; at its most complex, it can be an...

 merged in 2000 into a single MLB organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 after 100 years as separate legal entities.

MLB constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada. It is composed of 30 teams
Current Major League Baseball franchises
Below is the information about the current Major League Baseball Franchise, including game times, team colors, etc.-Organizational Alignment:The Commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, has often floated the idea of international expansion and realignment of the major leagues...

 — 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.
Timeline

1876    The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball is formed.

1914    Babe Ruth makes his debut in Major league baseball.

1920    Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians is hit on the head by a fastball thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees, and dies early the next day. To date, Chapman is the second player to die from injuries sustained in a Major League Baseball game, the first being Doc Powers in 1909.

1935    The first night game in Major League Baseball history is played in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Crosley Field.

1939    The first Major League Baseball game is telecast, a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, in Brooklyn, New York.

1941    Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians throws the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.

1941    Joe DiMaggio hits safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as a MLB record.

1951    The "Shot Heard 'Round the World", one of the greatest moments in Major League Baseball history, occurs when the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson hits a game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to win the National League pennant after being down 14 games.

1958    Walter O'Malley's Los Angeles Dodgers host the first Major League Baseball game played on the West Coast of the United States.

1972    Hank Aaron becomes the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to sign a $200,000 contract.

Encyclopedia
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 and the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

. The two leagues
Sports league
League is a term commonly used to describe a group of sports teams or individual athletes that compete against each other in a specific sport. At its simplest, it may be a local group of amateur athletes who form teams among themselves and compete on weekends; at its most complex, it can be an...

 merged in 2000 into a single MLB organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 after 100 years as separate legal entities.

MLB constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada. It is composed of 30 teams
Current Major League Baseball franchises
Below is the information about the current Major League Baseball Franchise, including game times, team colors, etc.-Organizational Alignment:The Commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, has often floated the idea of international expansion and realignment of the major leagues...

 — 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. With the International Baseball Federation
International Baseball Federation
The International Baseball Federation is the worldwide governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee as overseeing, deciding and executing the policy of the bat-and-ball sport of baseball at the international level...

, MLB also manages the World Baseball Classic
World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is an international baseball tournament sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation and created by Major League Baseball , the Major League Baseball Players Association , and other professional baseball leagues and their players associations around the world...

.

MLB organizational structure

MLB is governed by the Major League Baseball Constitution
Major League Baseball Constitution
The Major League Baseball Constitution is a document under which the day-to-day operation of Major League Baseball are conducted. It was originally drafted in 1903 as the Constitution of the National League and has since been amended several times, most recently in June 2005.-1876 National League...

 that has undergone several incarnations since 1876 with the most recent revisions being made in 2005. Under the direction of the Commissioner of Baseball
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 (currently Bud Selig
Bud Selig
Allan Huber "Bud" Selig is the ninth and current Commissioner of Major League Baseball, having served in that capacity since 1992 as the acting commissioner, and as the official commissioner since 1998...

), Major League Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring
Umpire (baseball)
In baseball, the umpire is the person charged with officiating the game, including beginning and ending the game, enforcing the rules of the game and the grounds, making judgment calls on plays, and handling the disciplinary actions. The term is often shortened to the colloquial form ump...

 crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts
Major League Baseball television contracts
The following is a detailed description of the various television networks , rights fees, and announcers who have called Major League Baseball games throughout the years .-United States:...

. As is the case for sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the "closed shop" aspect of MLB effectively prevents the yearly promotion and relegation
Promotion and relegation
In many sports leagues around the world, promotion and relegation is a process that takes place at the end of each season. Through it, teams are transferred between divisions based on their performance that season...

 of teams into and out of Major League Baseball because of their performance.

Major League Baseball maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

. This is due in large part to a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League
Federal Baseball Club v. National League
Federal Baseball Club v. National League, , is a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sherman Antitrust Act did not apply to Major League Baseball.-Background:...

, which held that baseball is not interstate commerce and therefore not subject to federal antitrust
Antitrust
The United States antitrust law is a body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behavior and unfair business practices. Antitrust laws are intended to encourage competition in the marketplace. These competition laws make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both,...

 law. This ruling has been weakened only slightly in subsequent years.

Although there were several challenges to Major League Baseball's primacy in the sport between the 1870s and the Federal League
Federal League
The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs, known simply as the Federal League, was an American professional baseball league that operated as a "third major league", in competition with the established National and American Leagues, from to...

 in 1916, the last such challenge was the aborted Continental League
Continental League
The Continental League was a proposed third major league for baseball, announced in 1959 and scheduled to begin play in the 1961 season...

 in 1960.

Executives

The chief executive of MLB is the commissioner
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

. There are six executive vice-presidents in charge of the following areas: baseball development, business, labor relations and human resources, finance, administration (whose vice-president is MLB's Chief Information Officer), and baseball operations.

Multimedia and production

The multimedia branch of MLB is New York–based MLB Advanced Media
MLBAM
Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., is a limited partnership of the club owners of Major League Baseball, and is the internet and interactive branch of the league. The company operates the official web site for the league and 30 Major League Baseball club web sites via MLB.com, which draws...

, which oversees MLB.com
MLB.com
MLB.com is the official site of Major League Baseball and is overseen by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P. . MLB.com is a source of baseball-related information, including baseball news, statistics, and sports columns...

 and each of the thirty teams' websites. Its charter states that MLB Advanced Media holds editorial independence
Editorial independence
Editorial independence is the freedom of editors to make decisions without interference from the owners of a publication. Editorial independence is tested, for instance, if a newspaper runs articles that may be unpopular with its advertising clientele....

 from the League, but it is under the same ownership group and revenue-sharing plan. MLB Productions is a similarly structured wing of the league, focusing on video and traditional broadcast media.

League organization

As of the 2011 season, Major League Baseball is divided into the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 (14 teams) and the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 (16 teams).

Currently, each league is further subdivided into three divisions – labeled East, Central, and West. The three-division structure dates back to 1994, one season after the National League expanded to 14 teams. From 1969 through 1993 each league consisted of an East and West division. Before 1997, the two leagues met on the field only during the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 and the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

: regular-season interleague play
Interleague play
Interleague play is the term used to describe regular season Major League Baseball games played between teams in different leagues, introduced in . Before the 1997 season, teams in the American League and National League did not meet during the regular season...

 was introduced in 1997.

In March 1995, two new franchises—the Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field...

 and Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in , the club has played at Tropicana Field...

—were awarded by Major League Baseball, to begin play in 1998. This addition would bring the total number of franchises to 30. In early 1997, Major League Baseball decided to assign one new team to each league: Tampa Bay joined the American League and Arizona joined the National League. The original plan was to have an odd number of teams in each league (15 per league, with 5 in each division). Interleague play, introduced in 1997, would have had to be extended throughout the entire season to allow every team to play every day.

It was unclear though if interleague play would continue after the 1998 season, as it had to be approved by the players' union. For this and other reasons, it was decided that both leagues should continue to have an even number of teams; one existing club would have to switch leagues. The Milwaukee Brewers agreed in November 1997 to move from the American League to the National League, thereby making the National League a 16-team league.

Following the 2011 season, Major League Baseball announced its plan to move the Houston Astros
Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the National League Central division. The Astros are expected to join the American League West division in 2013. Since , they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, known as Enron Field...

 from the NL Central to the AL West for the 2013 season, resulting in both leagues having 3 divisions of 5 teams each and allowing all teams to have a more balanced schedule. (MLB required the Astros to accept this move as a condition of approving their sale to Jim Crane
Jim Crane
James Robert "Jim" Crane is a businessman from Houston, Texas. Crane is chairman and chief executive of Crane Capital Group and he is also the owner and chairman of the MLB team Houston Astros -Early life and education:...

.)

The two leagues were once separate, rival corporate entities, but that distinction has all but disappeared. In 1903, the two leagues began to meet in an end-of-year championship series called the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

. In 1920, the weak National Commission, which had been created to manage relationships between the two leagues, was replaced with the much more powerful Commissioner of Baseball
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

, who had the power to make decisions for all of professional baseball unilaterally. In 2000, the American and National Leagues were dissolved as legal entities, and Major League Baseball became a single league de jure, although it had operated as a de facto single entity for many years.

The same rules
Baseball rules
The rules of baseball differ slightly from league to league, but in general share the same basic gameplay.-Codes:There are several major rules codes, which differ only slightly....

 and regulations
Regulation of sport
The regulation of sport is usually done by a regulatory agency for each sport, resulting in a core of relatively invariant, agreed rules. People responsible for leisure activities often seek recognition and respectability as sports by joining sports federations such as the International Olympic...

 are played between the two leagues with one exception: the American League operates under the Designated Hitter Rule
Designated hitter
In baseball, the designated hitter rule is the common name for Major League Baseball Rule 6.10, an official position adopted by the American League in 1973 that allows teams to designate a player, known as the designated hitter , to bat in place of the pitcher each time he would otherwise come to...

, while the National League does not. This difference in rules between leagues is unique to MLB; the other sports leagues of the US including the NFL, NBA, NHL each have all teams playing under the same rules.

Differing definitions of MLB's founding year

For its founding year, Major League Baseball (the current official organization) uses 1869—the year the first professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings
Cincinnati Red Stockings
The Cincinnati Red Stockings of were baseball's first fully professional team, with ten salaried players. The Cincinnati Base Ball Club formed in 1866 and fielded competitive teams in the National Association of Base Ball Players 1867–1870, a time of a transition that ambitious Cincinnati,...

, was established—and held official celebrations for its 100th anniversary in 1969 and its 125th anniversary in 1994, both of which were commemorated with league-wide shoulder patches. The modern Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 and Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 franchises trace their histories back to the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players
National Association of Professional Base Ball Players
The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players , or simply the National Association , was founded in 1871 and continued through the 1875 season...

 in the early 1870s. The first game in the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 of Base Ball Clubs—on Saturday, April 22, 1876 (at the Jefferson Street Grounds
Jefferson Street Grounds
Jefferson Street Grounds was a baseball field located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was also known as Jefferson Park and Athletics Park. It was home to the Philadelphia Athletics from 1871 to 1876, five seasons in the...

, Philadelphia)—is often pointed to as the beginning of Major League Baseball.

Founding

The first attempt at a national major league was the short-lived National Association
National Association of Professional Base Ball Players
The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players , or simply the National Association , was founded in 1871 and continued through the 1875 season...

, which existed from 1871 to 1875. Two current major league franchises, the Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 and the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

, can trace their origins to the National Association.

Currently, there are two major leagues: the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 (founded in 1876) and the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 (founded in 1901).

Other leagues

Several other defunct leagues are officially considered to be major, and their statistics and records are included with those of the two current major leagues. These include the Union Association
Union Association
The Union Association was a league in Major League Baseball which lasted for only one season in 1884. St. Louis won the pennant and joined the National League the following season...

 (1884), the American Association
American Association (19th century)
The American Association was a Major League Baseball league that existed for 10 seasons from to . During that time, it challenged the National League for dominance of professional baseball...

 (1882–1891, not to be confused with later minor leagues of the same name), the Players League
Players League
The Players' National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, popularly known as the Players' League , was a short-lived but star-studded professional American baseball league of the 19th century...

 (1890) and the Federal League
Federal League
The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs, known simply as the Federal League, was an American professional baseball league that operated as a "third major league", in competition with the established National and American Leagues, from to...

 (1914–1915). In the late 1950s, a serious attempt was made to establish a third major league, the Continental League
Continental League
The Continental League was a proposed third major league for baseball, announced in 1959 and scheduled to begin play in the 1961 season...

, but that league never played.

Several Negro League players have been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, the Negro Leagues are not officially considered major, primarily because the statistical record is incomplete.

The two leagues of Japanese professional baseball—the Pacific League
Pacific League
The or is one of the two professional baseball leagues constituting Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. The winner of the league championship competes against the winner in the Central League for the annual Japan Series...

 and the Central League
Central League
The or is one the two professional baseball leagues that constitute Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. The winner of the league championship plays against the winner of the Pacific League in the annual Japan Series. It currently consists of six teams from around the country,The Central League...

—are not officially considered major leagues. No Japanese players have been inducted into the Hall of Fame; however, Sadaharu Oh
Sadaharu Oh
Sadaharu Oh, or Wang Chenchih , is a retired Japanese-Taiwanese baseball player and manager. He batted and threw left-handed and primarily played first base. Oh, who was born in Sumida, Tokyo the son of a Taiwanese father and a Japanese mother, had originally signed with the powerhouse Yomiuri...

 is famous on both sides of the Pacific Ocean for holding the all-time unofficial world record for career home runs: 868.

Rise

In the 1860s, aided by the Civil War, "New York"-style baseball expanded into a national game and baseball's first governing body, The National Association of Base Ball Players
History of baseball in the United States
The history of baseball in the United States can be traced to the 18th century, when amateurs played a baseball-like game by their own informal rules using improvised equipment...

, was formed. The NABBP existed as an amateur league for twelve years. By 1867, more than 400 clubs were members, although most of the strongest clubs remained those based in the northeastern part of the country.

In 1870, a schism developed between professional and amateur ballplayers, after the 1869 founding of the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings
Cincinnati Red Stockings
The Cincinnati Red Stockings of were baseball's first fully professional team, with ten salaried players. The Cincinnati Base Ball Club formed in 1866 and fielded competitive teams in the National Association of Base Ball Players 1867–1870, a time of a transition that ambitious Cincinnati,...

. The NABBP split into two groups. The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was formed in 1871. Some consider it to have been the first major league. Its amateur counterpart disappeared after only a few years.

In 1876, the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 of Professional Base Ball Clubs—which still exists—was established, after the National Association proved ineffective. The emphasis was now on "clubs" rather than "players". Clubs could now enforce player contracts, preventing players from jumping to higher-paying clubs. For their part, clubs were required to play the full schedule of games, instead of forfeiting scheduled games when the club was no longer in the running for the league championship, which happened frequently under the National Association. A concerted effort was made to curb gambling on games which was leaving the validity of results in doubt.

The early years of the National League were tumultuous, with threats from rival leagues and a rebellion by players against the hated "reserve clause", which restricted the free movement of players between clubs. Competitive leagues formed regularly, and also disbanded regularly. The most successful was the American Association (1881–1891), sometimes called the "beer and whiskey league" for its tolerance of the sale of alcoholic beverages to spectators. For several years, the National League and American Association champions met in a postseason championship series—the first attempt at a World Series.

The Union Association
Union Association
The Union Association was a league in Major League Baseball which lasted for only one season in 1884. St. Louis won the pennant and joined the National League the following season...

 survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players League
Players League
The Players' National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, popularly known as the Players' League , was a short-lived but star-studded professional American baseball league of the 19th century...

 (1890). Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play (for a brief time anyway) and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major-league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major-league caliber.
There were dozens of leagues, large and small, at this time. What made the National League "major" was its dominant position in the major cities, particularly New York City. The large cities offered baseball teams national media distribution systems and fan bases that could generate revenues, enabling teams to hire the best players in the country.

The resulting bidding war for players led to widespread contract-breaking and legal disputes. One of the most famous involved star second baseman Napoleon Lajoie, who in 1901 went across town in Philadelphia from the National League Phillies to the American League Athletics. Barred by a court injunction from playing baseball in the state of Pennsylvania the following year, Lajoie was traded to the Cleveland team, where he played and managed for many years.

The war between the American and National leagues caused shock waves throughout the baseball world. At a meeting at the Leland Hotel in Chicago in 1901, the other baseball leagues negotiated a plan to maintain their independence. On September 5, 1901, Patrick T. Powers
Patrick T. Powers
Patrick T. Powers was an American baseball executive who served as president of the Eastern League and founding president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor leagues organization that celebrated its hundredth season in 2001...

, president of the Eastern League
Eastern League (U.S. baseball)
The Eastern League is a minor league baseball league which operates primarily in the northeastern United States, although it has had a team in Ohio since 1989. The Eastern League has played at the AA level since 1963. The league was founded in 1923 as the New York-Pennsylvania League...

, announced the formation of the second National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

, the NAPBL or "NA" for short.

Ban Johnson had other designs for the NA. While the NA continues to this day (known as "Minor League Baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

"), he saw it as a tool to end threats from smaller rivals who might some day want to expand in other territories and threaten his league's dominance.

After 1902, the three leagues—the NL, the AL, and the NAPBL—signed a new National Agreement. The new agreement tied independent contracts to the reserve-clause national league contracts. Baseball players became a commodity. The agreement also set up a formal classification system for independent minor leagues that regulated the dollar value of contracts, the forerunner of the system refined by Branch Rickey
Branch Rickey
Wesley Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League Baseball executive elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967...

 that is still used today.

It also gave the NA great power. Many independents walked away from the 1901 meeting. The deal with the NA punished those other indies who had not joined the NA and submitted to the will of the 'majors.' The NA also agreed to the deal to prevent more pilfering of players with little or no compensation for the players' development. Several leagues, seeing the writing on the wall, eventually joined the NA, which grew in size over the next several years.

Dead-ball era


At this time the games tended to be low scoring, dominated by such pitchers as Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson
Walter Perry Johnson , nicknamed "Barney" and "The Big Train", was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Washington Senators...

, Cy Young
Cy Young
Denton True "Cy" Young was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. During his 22-year baseball career , he pitched for five different teams. Young was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937...

, Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson
Christopher "Christy" Mathewson , nicknamed "Big Six", "The Christian Gentleman", or "Matty", was an American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire career in what is known as the dead-ball era...

, Mordecai Brown
Mordecai Brown
Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown , nicknamed "Three Finger" or "Miner", was an American Major League Baseball pitcher at the turn of the 20th century. Due to a farm-machinery accident in his youth, Brown lost parts of two fingers on his right hand and eventually acquired his nickname as a result...

, and Grover Cleveland Alexander
Grover Cleveland Alexander
Grover Cleveland Alexander , nicknamed "Old Pete", was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Cardinals and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.-Career:Alexander was born in Elba, Nebraska, one of thirteen...

, to the extent that the period 1900–1919 is commonly called the "dead-ball era". The term also accurately describes the condition of the "baseball". A baseball cost three dollars, a hefty sum then, equal to $ today (in inflation-adjusted
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

 US dollars). Club owners were therefore reluctant to spend much money on new balls, if not necessary. It was not unusual for a single baseball to last an entire game, by the end of which, the ball would be dark with grass, mud, and tobacco stains, and misshapen from contact with the bat. Balls were replaced only if they were hit into the crowd and lost, and many clubs employed security guards solely to retrieve balls hit into the stands.

Home runs were thus rare, and "small ball"—singles, bunts, stolen base
Stolen base
In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a baserunner successfully advances to the next base while the pitcher is delivering the ball to home plate...

s, the hit-and-run play, and other tactics—dominated the strategies of the time. Hitting methods, like the Baltimore Chop
Baltimore Chop
The Baltimore Chop was a hitting technique used by batters during Major League Baseball's dead-ball era which was an important element of John McGraw's "Inside baseball." Popularized by and named after the original Baltimore Orioles, the batter would intentionally hit the ball downward to the hard...

, were used to increase the number of infield singles.

The foul strike rule was a major rule change that, in just a few years, sent baseball from a high-scoring game to one where scoring runs became a struggle. Prior to this rule, foul balls were not counted as strikes: a batter could foul off any number of pitches with no strikes counted against him; this gave an enormous advantage to the batter. In 1901, the National League adopted the foul strike rule, and the American League followed suit in 1903.

The World War II era

On January 14, 1942, Major League Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was an American jurist who served as a federal judge from 1905 to 1922 and as the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death...

 wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 regarding the continuation of baseball during the war, called the Green Light Letter. In this letter, the commissioner pleaded for the continuation of baseball in hopes for a start of a new major league season. President Roosevelt responds "I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going. There will be fewer people unemployed and everybody will work longer hours and harder than ever before. And that means that they ought to have a chance for recreation and for taking their minds off their work even more than before."

With the approval of President Roosevelt, Major League Baseball began its spring training in 1942 with little repercussions. Although some men were being pulled away from the baseball fields and sent to the battlefield, baseball continued to field teams.

Breaking the color barrier

In the mid-1940s, Branch Rickey
Branch Rickey
Wesley Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League Baseball executive elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967...

, president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, selected player Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947...

 from a list of promising Negro leagues players. After obtaining a commitment from Robinson to "turn the other cheek" to any racial antagonism directed at him, Rickey agreed to sign him to a contract for $600 a month. In what was later referred to as "The Noble Experiment", Robinson was the first black baseball player in the International League since the 1880s, joining the Dodgers' farm club, the Montreal Royals, for the 1946 season.

The following year, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Black baseball fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams which they had followed exclusively. Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. Manager Leo Durocher
Leo Durocher
Leo Ernest Durocher , nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by...

 informed his team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black... I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded." After a strike threat by some players, National League President Ford Frick
Ford Frick
Ford Christopher Frick was an American sportswriter and executive who served as president of the National League from to and as the third Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 to . He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970...

 and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler
Happy Chandler
Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr. was a politician from the US state of Kentucky. He represented the state in the U.S. Senate and served as its 44th and 49th governor. Aside from his political positions, he also served as the second Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1945 to 1951 and...

 let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players, including Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese
Pee Wee Reese
Harold Peter Henry "Pee Wee" Reese was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a shortstop for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from to . A ten-time All Star, Reese contributed to seven National League championships for the Dodgers and, was inducted...

 who said, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them."

That year, Robinson earned the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National League and American League rookie of the year honors weren't awarded until 1949).[128]

The next year, racial pressure on Robinson eased, as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby
Larry Doby
Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Doby was an American professional baseball player in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball....

 and Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige
Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige was an American baseball player whose pitching in the Negro leagues and in Major League Baseball made him a legend in his own lifetime...

 were signed by the Cleveland Indians, and the Dodgers added three other black players besides Robinson.

Expanding west, south and north

For half a century, from 1903 to 1953, the two major leagues consisted of two eight-team leagues. The 16 teams were located in just ten cities, all in the northeastern and midwestern United States: New York City had three teams and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Philadelphia and St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 each had two teams. St. Louis was the southernmost and westernmost city with a major league team. The longest possible road trip, from Boston to St. Louis, took about 24 hours by railroad.
The era of expansion and realignment began in 1953 when the National League's Boston Braves became the Milwaukee Braves. In 1954, the St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

. In 1955, the Philadelphia Athletics became the Kansas City Athletics. These were three of the least successful major league franchises, even though the Braves were usually an above-.500 team, and they and the Browns had each won a league championship during the 1940s. These three moves were not controversial. The next pair of franchise moves is still controversial.

Baseball experts consider the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers' boss Walter O'Malley
Walter O'Malley
Walter Francis O'Malley was an American sports executive who owned the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers team in Major League Baseball from to . He served as Brooklyn Dodgers chief legal counsel when Jackie Robinson broke the racial color barrier in...

 to be "perhaps the most influential owner of baseball's early expansion era." Before the 1958 Major League Baseball season
1958 Major League Baseball season
The Major League Baseball season of 1958 was the first season of play in California for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants...

, he moved the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles. When O'Malley moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn, the story transcended the world of sport and he found himself on the cover of TIME magazine. The cover art
Cover art
Cover art is the illustration or photograph on the outside of a published product such as a book , magazine, comic book, video game , DVD, CD, videotape, or music album. The art has a primarily commercial function, i.e...

 for the issue was created by sports cartoonist Willard Mullin
Willard Mullin
Willard Mullin was an American sports cartoonist. He is most famous for his creation of the "Brooklyn Bum", the personification of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team...

, long noted for his caricature of the "Brooklyn Bum" that personified the team. O'Malley was also influential in persuading the rival New York Giants
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

 to move west, to become the San Francisco Giants. The Giants were already suffering from slumping attendance records at their aging ballpark, the Polo Grounds
Polo Grounds
The Polo Grounds was the name given to four different stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used by many professional teams in both baseball and American football from 1880 until 1963...

. Had the Dodgers moved out west alone, the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

—1600 mi (2,575 km) away— would have been the closest National League team. The joint move would make West Coast road trips economical for visiting teams. O'Malley invited San Francisco Mayor George Christopher to New York to meet with Giants owner Horace Stoneham
Horace Stoneham
Horace C. Stoneham was the principal owner of Major League Baseball's New York/San Francisco Giants from the death of his father, Charles Stoneham, in 1936 until 1976. During his ownership, the team won National League pennants in 1936, 1937, 1951, 1954 and 1962, a division title in 1971, and a...

. Stoneham was considering moving the Giants to Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, but he was convinced to join O'Malley on the West Coast at the end of the 1957 campaign. The meetings occurred during the 1957 season and against the wishes of Commissioner of Baseball
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 Ford Frick
Ford Frick
Ford Christopher Frick was an American sportswriter and executive who served as president of the National League from to and as the third Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 to . He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970...

. The dual moves broke the hearts of New York's National League fans but ultimately were successful for both franchises—and for Major League Baseball. The move was an immediate success as well, because the Dodgers set a major-league, single-game attendance record in their first home appearance with 78,672 fans.

In 1961, the "first" Washington Senators franchise moved to Minneapolis-St. Paul to become the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

. Two new teams were added to the American League at the same time: the Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name originates from the city in which the team started, Los Angeles...

 (who soon moved from downtown L.A. to nearby Anaheim
Anaheim, California
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was about 365,463, making it the most populated city in Orange County, the 10th most-populated city in California, and ranked 54th in the United States...

) and a new "second" Washington Senators franchise. The National League followed suit by adding the Houston Astros
Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the National League Central division. The Astros are expected to join the American League West division in 2013. Since , they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, known as Enron Field...

 and the New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

 in 1962. The Astros (known as the "Colt .45s" during their first three seasons) became the first southern major league franchise since the Louisville Colonels
Louisville Colonels
The Louisville Colonels were a Major League Baseball team that played in the American Association throughout that league's ten-year existence from 1882 until 1891, first as the Louisville Eclipse and later as the Louisville Colonels , the latter name derived from the historic Kentucky colonels...

 folded in 1899. The Mets established a reputation for futility by going 40–120 during their first season of play in the nation's media capital— and by playing only a little better in subsequent campaigns— but in their eighth season (1969
1969 New York Mets season
The New York Mets season was the eighth season for the Mets franchise, which played its home games at Shea Stadium. Managed by Gil Hodges, the team went 100-62, finishing first in the newly-established National League East by eight games over the Chicago Cubs...

) the Mets became the first of the 1960s expansion teams to win a World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

.

In 1966, Major League Baseball moved to the "Deep South" when the Braves moved to Atlanta
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

. In 1968, the Kansas City Athletics moved west to become the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

.

In 1969, the two major leagues added two teams each. The American League added the Seattle Pilots
Seattle Pilots
The Seattle Pilots were an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington for one season, . The Pilots played home games at Sick's Stadium and were a member of the West Division of Major League Baseball's American League...

 (who became the Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 after one disastrous season in Seattle) and the Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium...

. The National League added the first Canadian franchise, the Montreal Expos
Montreal Expos
The Montreal Expos were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec from 1969 through 2004, holding the first MLB franchise awarded outside the United States. After the 2004 season, MLB moved the Expos to Washington, D.C. and renamed them the Nationals.Named after the Expo 67 World's...

, as well as the San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball team based in San Diego, California. They play in the National League Western Division. Founded in 1969, the Padres have won the National League Pennant twice, in 1984 and 1998, losing in the World Series both times...

.

In 1972, the Washington Senators moved to Dallas–Fort Worth to become the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

. In 1977, baseball added a second Canadian team, the Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball 's American League ....

, as well as the Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

. This marked the end of the expansion era: no new teams were added and no teams moved until the 1990s. In 1993, the National League added the Florida Marlins in the Miami area
South Florida metropolitan area
The South Florida metropolitan area, also known as the Miami metropolitan area, and designated the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area by the U.S...

 (now the Miami Marlins with their 2012 move to the city of Miami proper) and the Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

 in Denver. In 1998, the Brewers switched leagues by joining the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 and two new teams were added: the National League's Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field...

 in Phoenix and the American League's Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in , the club has played at Tropicana Field...

) in St. Petersburg, Florida.

After the 2001 season, the team owners voted in favor of contraction. The Montreal Expos
Montreal Expos
The Montreal Expos were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec from 1969 through 2004, holding the first MLB franchise awarded outside the United States. After the 2004 season, MLB moved the Expos to Washington, D.C. and renamed them the Nationals.Named after the Expo 67 World's...

 and the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 were expected to be the two teams which would cease to exist. Due to lawsuits from various parties, this plan was first delayed and finally abandoned in June 2002. The Twins ironically finished in first place in 2002.

The Expos became the first franchise in over three decades to move when they became the Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball . The team moved into the newly built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium...

 in 2005. This move left Canada with just one team, but it also returned baseball to the United States capital city after a 33-year absence. This franchise shift, like many previous ones, involved baseball's return to a city which had been previously abandoned. Although there are a number of cities which permanently lost major league baseball in the 19th century, since 1901 only Montreal has lost its major league team without eventually getting another one. (This is not counting the short-lived Federal League
Federal League
The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs, known simply as the Federal League, was an American professional baseball league that operated as a "third major league", in competition with the established National and American Leagues, from to...

. However, the two established leagues have only passed over two Federal League markets— Buffalo
Buffalo Buffeds/Blues
The Buffalo Blues were a professional baseball club that played in the short-lived Federal League, which was a minor league in 1913 and a full-fledged outlaw major league the next two years. It was the last major league baseball team to be based in the city of Buffalo...

 and Indianapolis.)

Pitching dominance and rules changes

By the late 1960s, the balance between pitching and hitting had swung in favor of the pitchers. In 1968—later nicknamed "the year of the pitcher"—Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 player Carl Yastrzemski
Carl Yastrzemski
Carl Michael Yastrzemski is a former American Major League Baseball left fielder and first baseman. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. Yastrzemski played his entire 23-year baseball career with the Boston Red Sox . He was primarily a left fielder, with part of his later career...

 won the American League batting title with an average of just .301, the lowest in history. Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

 pitcher Denny McLain
Denny McLain
Dennis Dale "Denny" McLain is a former American professional baseball player, and the last major league pitcher to win 30 or more games during a season —a feat accomplished by only thirteen players in the 20th century....

 won 31 games, making him the first (and, as of 2011, the last) pitcher to win 30 games in a season since Dizzy Dean
Dizzy Dean
Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season. Dean was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953....

 in 1934. St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 starting pitcher Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson
Robert "Bob" Gibson is a retired American professional baseball player. Nicknamed "Hoot" and "Gibby", he was a right-handed pitcher who played his entire 17-year Major League Baseball career with St. Louis Cardinals...

 achieved an equally remarkable feat by allowing an ERA of just 1.12.

Following these pitching performances, in December 1968 the rules committee voted to reduce the strike zone from knees to shoulders to top of knees to armpits and lower the pitcher's mound from 15 to 10 inches, beginning in the 1969 season.

In 1973 the American League, which had been suffering from much lower attendance than the National League, sought to increase scoring even further by initiating the designated hitter
Designated hitter
In baseball, the designated hitter rule is the common name for Major League Baseball Rule 6.10, an official position adopted by the American League in 1973 that allows teams to designate a player, known as the designated hitter , to bat in place of the pitcher each time he would otherwise come to...

 (DH) rule.

Power age

Routinely in the late 1990s and early 2000s, baseball players hit 40 or 50 home runs in a season, a feat that was considered rare even in the 1980s. It has become apparent since that at least some of this power surge was a result of players using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Many modern baseball theorists believe that the need of pitchers to combat the rise in power could lead to a pitching revolution at some point. New pitches, such as the mysterious gyroball
Gyroball
A gyroball is a type of baseball pitch used primarily by players in Japan.-Overview:The gyroball pitch was first identified by the Japanese scientist Ryutaro Himeno , and later developed into a specific throwing technique by baseball instructor Gitau Kimani , who used computer simulations to create...

, could shift the balance of power back to the defensive side. A pitching revolution would not be unprecedented; several pitches have changed the game of baseball, including the slider
Slider
In baseball, a slider is a pitch that breaks laterally and down, with a speed between that of a curveball and that of a fastball....

 in the '50s and '60s and the split-fingered fastball in the '70s to '90s. Since the 1990s, the changeup
Changeup
A changeup is a type of pitch in baseball. Other names include change-of-pace, Bugs Bunny change-up, the dreaded equalizer, and simply change. The changeup is sometimes called an off-speed pitch, although that term can also be used simply to mean any pitch that is slower than a fastball...

 has made a resurgence, being thrown masterfully by pitchers such as Trevor Hoffman
Trevor Hoffman
Trevor William Hoffman is a former Major League Baseball right-handed relief pitcher. During his 18-year career from 1993 to 2010, he pitched for the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, and the Milwaukee Brewers, spending years of his career with the Padres. A long-time closer, he is the Major...

, Greg Maddux
Greg Maddux
Gregory Alan Maddux , nicknamed "Mad Dog" and "The Professor", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the first pitcher in major league history to win the Cy Young Award for four consecutive years , a feat matched only by Randy Johnson...

, Jamie Moyer
Jamie Moyer
Jamie Moyer is an American professional left handed baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. At the time of his last game to date , he was the oldest player in the major leagues and had the most wins, losses, and strikeouts of any active Major League pitcher...

, Tom Glavine
Tom Glavine
Thomas Michael Glavine is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher.With 164 victories during the 1990s, Glavine was the second winningest pitcher in the National League, second only to teammate Greg Maddux's 176...

, Johan Santana
Johan Santana
Johan Alexander Santana Araque is a Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher who is currently playing for the New York Mets. He is a native of Venezuela....

, Pedro Martinez
Pedro Martínez
Pedro Jaime Martínez is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He is an eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and 2004 World Series champion...

 and Tim Lincecum
Tim Lincecum
Timothy Leroy Lincecum is an American professional baseball starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. He was nicknamed "The Freak" and "Big Time Timmy Jim" and "The Franchise." He throws right-handed and bats left-handed....

. Recently, pitchers such as Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez
Jonathan Sanchez
Jonathan O. Sánchez is a Puerto Rican Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals....

, and Ubaldo Jimenez
Ubaldo Jimenez
Ubaldo Jiménez García is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. He pitched the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history on April 17, 2010, against the Atlanta Braves.-Colorado Rockies :...

 have been throwing changeups with a split-finger grip, creating a dropping movement, dubbed the "split change."

MLB uniforms


A baseball uniform
Baseball uniform
A baseball uniform is a type of uniform worn by baseball players. Most baseball uniforms have the names and uniform numbers of players who wear them, usually on the backs of the uniforms to distinguish players from one other. Baseball shirts , pants, shoes, socks, caps, and glove are parts of...

 is a type of uniform
Uniform
A uniform is a set of standard clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are worn by armed forces and paramilitary organizations such as police, emergency services, security guards, in some workplaces and schools and by inmates...

 worn by baseball players
Position player
In baseball, a position player is a player who on defense plays as an infielder, outfielder, or catcher. This is generally all players on a team except for the pitcher, who is considered separate from the position players; in the American League, there is also a designated hitter, who bats but...

, and by some non-playing personnel, such as field managers
Manager (baseball)
In baseball, the field manager is an individual who is responsible for matters of team strategy on the field and team leadership. Managers are typically assisted by between one and six assistant coaches, whose responsibilities are specialized...

 and coaches. It is worn to indicate the person's role in the game and — through the use of logos, colors, and numbers
Uniform number (Major League Baseball)
As in many sports, a baseball player's uniform number has the purpose of identifying the player. However, it has come over time to have a much more significant meaning to the player and fans. A number can be symbolic of a player's legacy, and has resulted in all kinds of superstition...

 — to identify the teams and their players, managers, and coaches.

The New York Knickerbockers were the first baseball team to use uniforms, taking the field on April 4, 1849, in pants made of blue wool, white flannel
Flannel
Flannel is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness. Flannel was originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, but is now often made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fibre. Flannel may be brushed to create extra softness or remain unbrushed. The brushing process is a mechanical process...

 shirts (jerseys) and straw hat
Straw hat
A straw hat is a brimmed hat that is woven out of straw or reeds. The hat is designed to protect the head from the sun and against heatstroke, but straw hats were also used in fashion and as a decorative element of a uniform.- Manufacture :...

s. The practice of wearing a uniform soon spread, and by 1900, all major league teams had adopted them. By 1882, most uniforms included stockings, which covered the leg from foot to knee, and had different colors that reflected the different baseball positions
Baseball positions
There are 9 fielding positions in baseball. Each position conventionally has an associated number which is used to score putouts...

. In the late 1880s, the Detroit Wolverines
Detroit Wolverines
The Detroit Wolverines were a 19th century baseball team that played in the National League from 1881 to 1888 in the city of Detroit, Michigan. In total, they won 426 games and lost 437, taking their lone pennant in 1887. The team was disbanded following the 1888 season.-Franchise...

 and Washington Nationals of the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

 of the American Association
American Association (19th century)
The American Association was a Major League Baseball league that existed for 10 seasons from to . During that time, it challenged the National League for dominance of professional baseball...

 were the first to wear striped uniforms.

Caps
Baseball cap
A baseball cap is a type of soft cap with a rounded stiff brim. The front of the cap typically contains designs or logos of sports teams ,...

, or other types of headgear with eyeshades, have been a part of baseball uniforms from the beginning. Baseball teams often wore full-brimmed straw hats or no cap at all since there was no official rule regarding headgear. Completing the baseball uniform are cleats and stockings, both of which have also been around for a long time.

By the end of the 19th century, teams began the practice of having two different uniforms, one for when they played at home in their own baseball stadium
Baseball park
A baseball park, also known as a baseball stadium, ball park, or ballpark is a venue where baseball is played. It consists of the playing field and the surrounding spectator seating...

 and a different one for when they played away (on the road) at the other team's ballpark. It became common to wear white pants with a white color vest at home and gray pants with a gray or solid color vest when away. Most teams also have one or more alternate uniforms
Third jersey
A third jersey or alternate jersey is a sports team's alternate and/or throwback design for the previously established other two jerseys, the home and away outfits. Alternate jerseys are used in all four of the North American major professional sports leagues as well as college sports, semipro...

, usually consisting of the primary or secondary team color on the vest instead of the usual white or gray. Teams on occasion will also wear throwback uniform
Throwback uniform
Throwback uniforms and jerseys are one-time or limited-time variations on a sports team's uniforms styled to resemble uniforms from that team's past. They have proven popular in all major pro and college sports in the USA, not only with fans, but with the teams' marketing and merchandising...

s.

Traditionally home uniforms have displayed the team name on the front, while away uniforms have displayed the name of the city (or state) that the team is from. There are many exceptions to that rule, however.

Spring training

Spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 allows new players to audition for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break
Spring break
Spring break – also known as March break, Study week or Reading week in the United Kingdom and some parts of Canada – is a recess in early spring at universities and schools in the United States, Canada, mainland China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the United...

 for many college students. Autograph seekers also find greater access to players during Spring Training.

Spring training typically lasts almost two months, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day (and often right at the end of spring training, some teams will play spring training games on the same day other teams have opening day of the season), traditionally the first week of April. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period due to the exhaustive nature of the position. A week or two later, the position player
Position player
In baseball, a position player is a player who on defense plays as an infielder, outfielder, or catcher. This is generally all players on a team except for the pitcher, who is considered separate from the position players; in the American League, there is also a designated hitter, who bats but...

s arrive and team practice begins.

Regular season

The current MLB regular season consists of 162 games per team, which typically begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the first Sunday in October. Each team's schedule is organized typically into 3-game series, with occasional 2- or 4-game series, and the rare 5-game series. Postponed games or continuations of suspended games can result in an ad hoc 1-game or 5-game series. A team's series are organized into homestands and road trips that group multiple series together. Teams generally play games six days per week, commonly having Monday or Thursday as an off day. Frequently, games are scheduled at night, but during the vacation months of June, July, and August, more day games are played. Sunday games are generally played during the afternoon, allowing teams to travel to their next destination prior to a Monday night game.

In one weekend in mid-May and in the last two thirds of June, teams participate in interleague play
Interleague play
Interleague play is the term used to describe regular season Major League Baseball games played between teams in different leagues, introduced in . Before the 1997 season, teams in the American League and National League did not meet during the regular season...

, allowing fans to see infrequent team matchups between teams in different leagues. Use of the DH rule is determined by the home team's league rules.

Over the course of a season, teams compete for one of the four playoff berths in their league. They can win one of these berths by either winning their division, or by capturing a wild card spot. In many seasons, post-season teams are not determined until the very end of the season, while in other years, a post-season team can be decided as early as August.

Infrequently, after the conclusion of the 162-game season, an additional tie-breaking
One-game playoff
A one-game playoff, sometimes known as a pennant playoff or play-in game, is a tiebreaker in certain sports—usually but not always professional—to determine which of two teams, tied in the final standings, will qualify for a post-season tournament...

 game (or games) may be needed to determine postseason participation.

All-Star Game

In early July — just after the midway point of the season — a three-day break is taken and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

 is held. The All-Star game features a team of players from the National League (NL) — led by the manager of the previous NL World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 team — and a team of players from the American League (AL), similarly managed, in an exhibition game. From 1959 to 1961, two games were held, one in July and one in August. The designated-hitter rule was used in the All-Star game for the first time in 1989. Following games used a DH when the game was played in an AL ballpark. As of 2010, the DH rule has been in effect regardless of venue.

The 2002 contest in Milwaukee controversially ended in an 11-inning tie. Since 2003, the league which wins the All-Star game gets home-field advantage in the World Series: the league champion hosts the first two games at its own ballpark as well as the last two (if necessary.) 2010 marked the first time that a National League champion benefited from this rule. The National League did, however, manage to win three out of the seven World Series played between 2003 and 2009.

The first All-Star Game was held as part of the 1933 World's Fair
Century of Progress
A Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of a World's Fair held in Chicago from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial. The theme of the fair was technological innovation...

 in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois, and was the brainchild of Arch Ward
Arch Ward
Arch Ward was the sports editor for the Chicago Tribune and personal friend of the owner, Robert R. McCormick. He created the MLB All-Star Game, the All-America Football Conference , the Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament and the College All-Star Game. Ward was twice offered the job as...

, then sports editor for The Chicago Tribune. Initially intended to be a one-time event, its great success resulted in making the game an annual one. Ward's contribution was recognized by Major League Baseball in 1962 with the creation of the "Arch Ward Trophy", given to the All-Star Game's most valuable player
Most Valuable Player
In sports, a Most Valuable Player award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests...

 each year. (In 2002, this was renamed the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award.)

Beginning in 1947, the eight position players in each team's starting lineup have been voted into the game by fans. The fan voting was discontinued after a 1957 ballot-box-stuffing scandal in Cincinnati: seven of the eight slots originally went to Reds
Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division. The club was established in 1882 as a charter member of the American Association and joined the National League in 1890....

 players, two of whom were subsequently removed from the lineup to make room for Willie Mays
Willie Mays
Willie Howard Mays, Jr. is a retired American professional baseball player who played the majority of his major league career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. Nicknamed The Say Hey Kid, Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his...

 and Hank Aaron. Fan voting was reinstated in 1970 and has continued ever since, including Internet voting in recent years.

From the first All-Star Game, players have worn their regular team uniforms, with one exception: In the first game, the National League players wore uniforms made for the game, with the lettering "National League" across the front of the shirt.

Postseason

World Series Records
Rank Team World
Series
won
Last
Series
won
Pennants
Pennant (sports)
A pennant is a commemorative flag typically used to show support for a particular athletic team. Pennants have been historically used in all types of athletic levels: high school, collegiate, professional etc. Traditionally, pennants were made of felt and fashioned in the official colors of a...

1st New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 (AL)
27 2009 40
2nd St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 (NL)
11 2011 18
3rd Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

 † (AL)
9 1989 14
4th Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 † (AL)
7 2007 11
5th Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

 † (NL)
6 1988 18
San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

 † (NL)
6 2010 18
7th Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division. The club was established in 1882 as a charter member of the American Association and joined the National League in 1890....

 (NL)
5 1990 9
Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions...

 (NL)
5 1979 7
9th Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

 (AL)
4 1984 10
10th Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 † (NL)
3 1995 9
Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

 † (AL)
3 1983 7
Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 † (AL)
3 1991 6
Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

 (AL)
3 2005 5
14th Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 (NL)
2 1908 10
Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 (NL)
2 2008 7
Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

 (AL)
2 1948 5
New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

 (NL) *
2 1986 4
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball 's American League ....

 (AL) *
2 1993 2
Miami Marlins (NL) * 2 2003 2
20th Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium...

 (AL) *
1 1985 2
Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field...

 (NL) *
1 2001 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name originates from the city in which the team started, Los Angeles...

 † (AL) *
1 2002 1
23rd San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball team based in San Diego, California. They play in the National League Western Division. Founded in 1969, the Padres have won the National League Pennant twice, in 1984 and 1998, losing in the World Series both times...

 (NL) *
0   2
Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

 † (AL) *
0   2
Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 † (AL to NL, 1998) *
0   1 [AL]
Houston Astros
Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the National League Central division. The Astros are expected to join the American League West division in 2013. Since , they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, known as Enron Field...

 † (NL) *
0   1
Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

 (NL) *
0   1
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in , the club has played at Tropicana Field...

 † (AL) *
0   1
Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in , the Mariners are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July...

 (AL) *
0   0
Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball . The team moved into the newly built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium...

 † (NL) *
0   0
AL = American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 (62 victories)
NL = National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 (45 victories)
* joined the American or National League after 1960
(9 victories in 19 World Series out of 48 since 1960)
† Totals include a team's record in a previous city or under another name
(see franchise list below).
‡ Have not yet played in a World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

.
More detail at World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 and List of World Series champions 
Source: MLB.com


When the regular season ends after the first Sunday in October (or the last Sunday in September), eight teams enter the post-season playoffs. Six teams are division champions; the remaining two "wild-card" spots are filled by the team in each league that has the best record but is not a division champion (best second-place team). Three rounds of series of games are played to determine the champion:
  1. American League Division Series
    American League Division Series
    In Major League Baseball, the American League Division Series determines which two teams from the American League will advance to the American League Championship Series...

     and National League Division Series
    National League Division Series
    In Major League Baseball, the National League Division Series determine which two teams from the National League will advance to the National League Championship Series...

    , each a best-of-five-games series.
  2. American League Championship Series
    American League Championship Series
    In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series , played in October, is a round in the postseason that determines the winner of the American League pennant...

     and National League Championship Series
    National League Championship Series
    In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series is a round in the postseason that determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to Major League Baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series. The reigning...

    , each a best-of-seven-games series played between the surviving teams from the ALDS and NLDS. The league champions are informally referred to as the American and National League pennant winners.
  3. World Series
    World Series
    The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

    , a best-of-seven-games series played between the pennant winners of each league.


Within each league, the division winners are the #1, No.2 and No.3 seeds, based on win–loss records. The wild-card team is the fourth seed—regardless of its record—and is paired with the highest seed outside of its own division in the first round of the playoffs, while the remaining two division champions play each other. In the first two rounds, the better-seeded team has home-field advantage, regardless of record.
The team belonging to the league that won the mid-season All-Star Game
All-star game
An all-star game is an exhibition game played by the best players in their sports league, except in the circumstances of professional sports systems in which a democratic voting system is used...

 receives home-field advantage in the World Series.

Because each postseason series is split between the two teams' home fields, home-field advantage theoretically does not play a significant role unless the series goes to its maximum number of games, in which case the final game takes place on the field of the team holding the advantage. Home-field advantage, however, can play a role, if the team with home-field advantage wins the first two games (at home), thereby gaining some momentum for the rest of the Series.

Use of the DH rule in the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 is determined by the home team's league rules.

International play

Since 1986, a team of Major League Baseball All-Stars has made a biennial end-of-the-season tour of Japan, playing exhibition games against the Nippon Professional Baseball All-Stars in the MLB Japan All-Star Series
Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series
The Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series is a set of games between All-Star teams from North America's Major League Baseball and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. The series takes place every even numbered year in the Tokyo Dome and other NPB home stadiums...

. Starting in 1992 and continuing intermittently, several Major League Baseball teams have played exhibition games against Japanese teams.

In 2008, Major League Baseball played the MLB China Series in the People's Republic of China. It was a series of two spring-training games played by the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. The games were an effort to popularize baseball in China.

In November 2011, Major League Baseball played the MLB Taiwan Series in Taiwan. It was a series of five exhibition games played by a team made up of MLB players called the MLB All-Stars and the Chinese Taipei National Team. The MLB All-Stars swept the series, five games to zero.

At the end of the 2011 season, it was announced that the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics would play their season openers in Japan.

MLB steroid policy

The original steroid policy provided for a 10-game suspension for a first positive test, a 30-game suspension for a second positive test, a 60-game suspension for a third positive test, a one year suspension for a fourth positive test, and a penalty at the commissioner’s discretion for a fifth positive test. Players were tested at least once per year, with the chance that several players could be tested many times per year.

A former Senate Majority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

, federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 prosecutor
United States Attorney
United States Attorneys represent the United States federal government in United States district court and United States court of appeals. There are 93 U.S. Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands...

, and ex-chairman
Chair (official)
The chairman is the highest officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office is typically elected or appointed by the members of the group. The chairman presides over meetings of the assembled group and conducts its business in an...

 of The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

, George Mitchell was appointed by Commissioner of Baseball
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 Bud Selig
Bud Selig
Allan Huber "Bud" Selig is the ninth and current Commissioner of Major League Baseball, having served in that capacity since 1992 as the acting commissioner, and as the official commissioner since 1998...

 on March 30, 2006 to investigate the use of performance-enhancing drugs in MLB. Mitchell was appointed during a time of controversy over the 2006 book Game of Shadows
Game of Shadows
Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports is a bestselling non-fiction book published on March 23, 2006 and written by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle...

by San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
thumb|right|upright|The Chronicle Building following the [[1906 San Francisco earthquake|1906 earthquake]] and fireThe San Francisco Chronicle is a newspaper serving primarily the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, but distributed throughout Northern and Central California,...

investigative reporters
Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism...

 Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada
Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada
Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada co-authored the book Game of Shadows while they were reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle...

, which chronicles alleged extensive use of performance enhancers, including several different types of steroids and growth hormone
Growth hormone
Growth hormone is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. Growth hormone is a 191-amino acid, single-chain polypeptide that is synthesized, stored, and secreted by the somatotroph cells within the lateral wings of the anterior...

 by baseball superstar
Superstar
A superstar is a widely acclaimed celebrity.Superstar or superstars may also refer to:-People:* Warhol Superstar, associates of Andy Warhol* WWE Superstar, the term used to refer to entertainers from the WWE...

s Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds
Barry Lamar Bonds is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. Bonds played from 1986 to 2007, for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He is the son of former major league All-Star Bobby Bonds...

, Gary Sheffield
Gary Sheffield
Gary Antonian Sheffield , nicknamed "Sheff", is an American retired Major League Baseball outfielder. He played for eight major league ball clubs from 1988 to 2009, primarily as an outfielder.-Biography:...

, and Jason Giambi
Jason Giambi
Jason Gilbert Giambi is an American professional baseball first baseman with the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball.He was the American League MVP in 2000 while with the Oakland Athletics, and is a five-time All-Star who has led the American League in walks four times, in on base percentage...

. The appointment was made after several influential members of the U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 made negative comments about both the effectiveness and honesty of MLB's drug policies
Major League Baseball drug policy
Major League Baseball's drug policy—the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program—was established by agreement between the MLB Players Association and the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in order to deter and end the use by baseball players of banned substances, including anabolic steroids...

 and Commissioner Selig.

According to the report, after mandatory random testing began in 2004, HGH Treatment for Athletic Enhancement
HGH treatment for athletic enhancement
Growth hormone in sports refers to the use of human growth hormones for athletic enhancement, as opposed to growth hormone treatment for medical therapy. Use for this purpose is illegal in most jurisdictions, including the United States of America and Europe....

 became popular among players, as HGH is not detectable in tests, though the Mitchell report was careful to point out that HGH is likely a placebo with no performance enhancing effects. Also, at least one player from each of the thirty Major League Baseball teams was involved in the alleged violations.

On December 12, 2007, the day before the report was to be released, Bud Selig said, regarding his decision to commission the report, "I haven't seen the report yet, but I'm proud I did it."

According to ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

, some people questioned whether Mitchell being a director of the Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 created a conflict of interest
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other....

, especially because no "prime [Sox] players were in the report." Mitchell described his role with the team as that of a "consultant". Despite the lack of "prime" Boston players, the report had named several prominent Yankees who were parts of World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 clubs. This made some people feel that there was a conflict of interest on Mitchell's part, due to the fierce rivalry between the two teams. Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

 pitcher Paul Byrd
Paul Byrd
Paul Gregory Byrd is an American professional baseball right-handed starting pitcher who is currently a free agent. He pitched in Major League Baseball from 1995 to 2009. He is known as being the "nicest guy in baseball"...

, along with his teammates, felt the timing of publicizing Byrd's alleged use was suspicious, as the information was leaked
News leak
A news leak is a disclosure of embargoed information in advance of its official release, or the unsanctioned release of confidential information.-Types of news leaks:...

 prior to the deciding Game 7 of the 2007 American League Championship Series
2007 American League Championship Series
-Game 1:Friday, October 12, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, MassachusettsIn Game 1, the Cleveland Indians took the lead when Travis Hafner hit a home run to deep right field in the first inning against Josh Beckett. Beckett retired the next ten batters in a row, finishing by striking out seven while...

 between the Indians and the Red Sox. Former U.S. prosecutor John M. Dowd
John M. Dowd
John M. Dowd , an American lawyer. He received his J.D. from Emory University School of Law.-Career:As of 2010 Dowd is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.-Pete Rose investigation:...

 also brought up allegations of Mitchell's conflict of interest. Dowd, who had defended Senator John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 of Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 during the Keating Five
Keating Five
The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators – Alan Cranston , Dennis DeConcini, John Glenn , John McCain , and Donald W. Riegle,...

 investigation in the late 1980s, cited how he took exception to Mitchell's scolding of McCain and others for having a conflict of interest with their actions in the case and how the baseball investigation would be a "burden" for him when Mitchell was named to lead it. After the investigation, Dowd later told the Baltimore Sun that he was convinced the former Senator has done a good job. The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

reported that Mitchell acknowledged that his "tight relationship with Major League Baseball left him open to criticism". Mitchell responded to the concerns by stating that readers who examined the report closely "will not find any evidence of bias, of special treatment of the Red Sox".

The current MLB drug policy provides for a 50-game suspension for a first positive test, a 100-game suspension for a second positive test, and a lifetime suspension for a third positive test.

Since the opening of the 2009 season, Major League Baseball and its fans have been rocked by the steroid allegations against Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez
Alexander Emmanuel "Alex" Rodriguez is an American professional baseball third baseman with the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. Known popularly by his nickname A-Rod, he previously played shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers.Rodriguez is considered one of the best...

 and David Ortiz
David Ortiz
David Américo Ortiz Arias , known as David Ortiz, nicknamed "Big Papi", is a Dominican American professional baseball player who is currently a free agent. Previously, Ortiz played with the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox...

 and the positive test result and 50-game suspension of Manny Ramirez
Manny Ramírez
Manuel "Manny" Arístides Ramírez Onelcida is a retired Dominican-American professional baseball outfielder. He was recognized for great batting skill and power, a nine-time Silver Slugger and one of 25 players to hit 500 career home runs. Ramirez's 21 grand slams are third all-time, and his 28...

, three of baseball's biggest stars. In early April of 2011, Manny Ramirez retired from baseball rather than face a 100 game suspension for his second positive steroid test.

Blackout policy

Major League Baseball has several blackout
Blackout (broadcasting)
Blackout usually relates to the broadcasting of sports events, television programming, that is prohibited in a certain media market.The purpose is theoretically to generate more revenue by obliging certain actions from fans, either by making them buy tickets or watch other games on TV...

 rules.
A local broadcaster has priority to televise games of the team in their market over national broadcasters. For example, at one time TBS showed many Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 games nationally and internationally in Canada. Fox Sports Net
Fox Sports Net
The Fox Sports Regional Networks, or simply Fox Sports Net , are a collection of cable TV regional sports networks in the United States owned and operated by News Corporation.- Beginnings :...

 (FSN) also shows many games in other areas. If the Braves played a team that FSN or another local broadcaster showed, the local station will have the broadcast rights for its own local market, while TBS would have been blacked out in the same market during the game. A market that has a local team playing in a weekday ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 or ESPN2
ESPN2
ESPN2 is an American sports cable television network owned by ESPN. The channel debuted on October 1, 1993.Originally nicknamed "the deuce," ESPN2 was initially branded as a network for a younger generation of sports fans featuring edgier graphics as well as extreme sports like motocross,...

 game and is shown on a local station will see ESPNews
ESPNEWS
ESPNEWS , launched on November 1, 1996, is a 24-hour-a-day sports news television channel...

, or, in the past, another game scheduled on ESPN or ESPN2 at the same time (if ESPN or ESPN2 operates a regional coverage broadcasting and operates a game choice), or will be subject to an alternative programming feed. MLB's streaming Internet video service is also subject to the same blackout rules.

MLB on television

It was announced on July 11, 2006 that Fox Sports
Fox Sports (USA)
Fox Sports is a division of the Fox Broadcasting Company . It was formed in 1994 with Fox's acquisition of broadcast rights to National Football League games...

 will remain with MLB through 2013 and broadcast Fox Saturday Baseball throughout the entire season, rather than the previous May to September format. Fox will also hold rights to the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

 each season. Fox will also alternate League Championship Series broadcasts, broadcasting the American League Championship Series
American League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series , played in October, is a round in the postseason that determines the winner of the American League pennant...

 in odd-numbered
Even and odd numbers
In mathematics, the parity of an object states whether it is even or odd.This concept begins with integers. An even number is an integer that is "evenly divisible" by 2, i.e., divisible by 2 without remainder; an odd number is an integer that is not evenly divisible by 2...

 years and the National League Championship Series
National League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series is a round in the postseason that determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to Major League Baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series. The reigning...

 in even-numbered
Even and odd numbers
In mathematics, the parity of an object states whether it is even or odd.This concept begins with integers. An even number is an integer that is "evenly divisible" by 2, i.e., divisible by 2 without remainder; an odd number is an integer that is not evenly divisible by 2...

 years as part of the new contract. Fox will continue to broadcast all games of the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

, which will begin on a Wednesday evening rather than the current Saturday evening format.

ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

 will continue to broadcast Major League Baseball through 2013 as well, beginning with national Opening Day coverage. ESPN will continue to broadcast Sunday Night Baseball
Sunday Night Baseball
Sunday Night Baseball is the Major League Baseball exclusive game of the week that is televised Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN during the regular season...

, Monday Night Baseball
Monday Night Baseball
Monday Night Baseball is a live game telecast of Major League Baseball that airs most Monday nights during the regular season on ESPN and is also available in high definition on ESPNHD. The official name of the game is Monday Night Baseball presented by Vonage. The game starts at 7 p.m...

, Wednesday Night Baseball
Wednesday Night Baseball
Wednesday Night Baseball is a live game telecast of Major League Baseball that airs every Wednesday night during the regular season on ESPN and is also available in high definition on ESPNHD...

, and Baseball Tonight
Baseball Tonight
Baseball Tonight is a program that airs on ESPN. The show, which recapitulates the day's Major League Baseball action, has been on the air since 1990.-Air times:...

. ESPN also has rights to the Home Run Derby
Home Run Derby
The Home Run Derby is an event played prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It is a contest among the top home run hitters in Major League Baseball to determine who can hit the most home runs. The event is currently sponsored by State Farm Insurance...

 at the All-Star Game each July.

TBS will air Sunday afternoon regular season games (non-exclusive) nationally from 2008 to 2013. In 2007, TBS began its exclusive rights to any tiebreaker games that determine division or wild card champions at the end of each regular season in the event of a tie with one playoff spot remaining and exclusive coverage of the Division Series
Division Series
In baseball, the Division Series is the official name for the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Currently, a total of four series are played in this opening round, two each for both the American League and the National League.-1981 season:...

 round of the playoffs. TBS carries the League Championship Series
League Championship Series
The League Championship Series is the official name for a round of postseason play in Major League Baseball which has been conducted since 1969...

 that are not included under Fox's television agreement; TBS shows the National League Championship Series
National League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the National League Championship Series is a round in the postseason that determines who wins the National League pennant and advances to Major League Baseball's championship, the World Series, facing the winner of the American League Championship Series. The reigning...

 in odd-numbered
Even and odd numbers
In mathematics, the parity of an object states whether it is even or odd.This concept begins with integers. An even number is an integer that is "evenly divisible" by 2, i.e., divisible by 2 without remainder; an odd number is an integer that is not evenly divisible by 2...

 years and the American League Championship Series
American League Championship Series
In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series , played in October, is a round in the postseason that determines the winner of the American League pennant...

 in even-numbered
Even and odd numbers
In mathematics, the parity of an object states whether it is even or odd.This concept begins with integers. An even number is an integer that is "evenly divisible" by 2, i.e., divisible by 2 without remainder; an odd number is an integer that is not evenly divisible by 2...

 years as part of the new contract through 2013.

In January 2009, MLB launched MLB Network
MLB Network
MLB Network is an American television specialty channel dedicated to professional baseball. It is primarily owned by Major League Baseball. Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications have minority ownership of the new network, with MLB retaining a controlling two-thirds share...

, which aired 26 live games that year.

In Canada, all Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball 's American League ....

 games are broadcast nationwide over Rogers Sportsnet
Rogers Sportsnet
Sportsnet was launched on October 9, 1998 as CTV Sportsnet. The name was chosen to match the regional "Fox Sports Net" operations across the United States...

.

MLB on radio

ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio is an American sports radio network. It was launched on January 1, 1992 under the original banner of "SportsRadio ESPN." ESPN Radio is located at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut...

 holds national broadcast rights and broadcasts Sunday Night Baseball
Sunday Night Baseball
Sunday Night Baseball is the Major League Baseball exclusive game of the week that is televised Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN during the regular season...

 weekly throughout the season in addition to all playoff games. The rights to the World Series are exclusive to ESPN.

In addition, each team employs its own announcers, who broadcast during the regular season. Most teams operate regional networks to cover their fan base; some of these supposedly regional networks (such as the New York Yankees Radio Network) have a national reach with affiliates located across the United States.

Major League Baseball has an exclusive rights deal with XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio
XM Satellite Radio is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional...

, which includes the channel MLB Home Plate
MLB Home Plate
MLB Network Radio is an American sports talk radio station on XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio that features Major League Baseball related talk shows, as well as archives and live reports....

 and live play-by-play of all games.

International broadcasting

  • ESPN America televises a large number of games in Europe.
  • ESPN Deportes
    ESPN Deportes
    ESPN Deportes is a cable television and radio network dedicated to broadcasting sports-related programming 24 hours a day to the Spanish-speaking community in the United States...

     televises a large number of Major League Baseball games in Spanish and Portuguese, which air throughout Latin America.
  • Five previously screened MLB on Sunday and Wednesday in the United Kingdom, (including the All-Star Game
    Major League Baseball All-Star Game
    The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

     and the postseason games, but not including Spring Training
    Spring training
    In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

    ) usually starting at 1 am BST
    British Summer Time
    Western European Summer Time is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in the following places:* the Canary Islands* Portugal * Ireland...

    . It was most recently presented by Johnny Gould and Josh Chetwynd
    Josh Chetwynd
    Joshua Stephen Chetwynd is a journalist, broadcaster, author and former baseball player.-Journalism:Chetwynd has worked as a staff reporter for USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter and U.S. News & World Report...

     as "MLB on Five
    MLB on Five
    MLB on Five was a sports television programme on the British Five Network featuring live coverage of Major League Baseball games. It was usually broadcast on Sunday and Wednesday nights...

    ". Their coverage began on the channel's opening night in 1997, but for financial reasons, the decision was made not to pick up MLB for the 2009 season. As of June 2009, no decision has been made by Five about the 2010 season. As of July 2009, no free-to-view channel in the UK shows MLB.
  • ESPN America and ESPN UK show live and recorded games several times a week — it is available with Sky Digital
    Sky Digital (UK & Ireland)
    Sky is the brand name for British Sky Broadcasting's digital satellite television and radio service, transmitted from SES Astra satellites located at 28.2° east and Eutelsat's Eurobird 1 satellite at 28.5°E. The service was originally launched as Sky Digital, distinguishing it from the original...

     and (on a subscriber-basis) Virgin Media in the UK.
  • Rogers Sportsnet
    Rogers Sportsnet
    Sportsnet was launched on October 9, 1998 as CTV Sportsnet. The name was chosen to match the regional "Fox Sports Net" operations across the United States...

     televises Toronto Blue Jays games in Canada as well as numerous other regular season Major League Baseball games, the All-Star Game, most playoff games, and the World Series
    World Series
    The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

    .
  • TSN
    The Sports Network
    The Sports Network, commonly abbreviated as TSN, is a Canadian English language Category C specialty channel and is Canada's leading English language sports TV channel. TSN premiered in 1984, in the first group of Canadian specialty cable channels...

     carries ESPN
    ESPN
    Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

     Sunday Night Baseball
    Sunday Night Baseball
    Sunday Night Baseball is the Major League Baseball exclusive game of the week that is televised Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN during the regular season...

    in Canada.
  • MLB Network.
  • In Australia, MLB games are regularly shown on ESPN Australia
    ESPN Australia
    ESPN Australia is a 24 hour sports channel offered in Australia and New Zealand.Initially, ESPN was known as Sports ESPN on the Optus Vision cable television system, and focused on sports aired by its home network in the United States, including American football, baseball, and basketball...

     (subscription), Fox Sports
    Fox Sports (Australia)
    Fox Sports is an Australia group of sports channels. They are owned by the Premier Media Group, which is in turn owned by News Corporation, and Consolidated Media Holdings. Its main competitors are ESPN, which has little local content and the free-to-air digital channel One HD...

     (subscription) and One HD (free-to-air).
  • Digital+ broadcasts several matches (mostly delayed) a week in Spain.
  • Wapa 2
    WAPA-TV
    WAPA-TV is an independent television station located in San Juan, Puerto Rico transmitting over digital channel 27, virtual channel 4. The station is owned by InterMedia Partners and is branded as WAPA Television....

     In Puerto Rico.

Current major league franchises



Notes

See also


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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