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Useful Notes / MLB Teams
aka: Major League Baseball

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Major League Baseball has 30 teams, some more notable than others. Their notability tends to change from year to year due to some combination of their financial and/or game-play success, or lack thereof.

The current defending World Series (and, therefore, MLB) champions are the Houston Astros, who won the 2022 World Series, their second overall, having previously won in 2017.

Since late 2020, there have been rumblings around the majors of possible expansion, with Charlotte, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Montreal (for a potential Expos revival), Nashville, Orlando, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Vancouver among the top candidate cities for expansion or relocation. However, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that expansion would not be a proirty until the stadium situations of both the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays were settled, with the former all but confirming plans to move to Las Vegas by 2027.

Here are some things to know about the teams and, perhaps more importantly, their fanbases.

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American League:

    AL East 
  • The Baltimore Orioles: Although traditionally one of the flagship franchises of Baseball, they entered an Audience-Alienating Era that previously seemed to have no end under the "leadership" of Peter Angelos, who was considered the most reviled owner in baseball until Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria managed to take that title for himself with his 2012 fire sale. Since taking over the Orioles in 1993, Angelos' tremendous incompetence has turned a once proud franchise into the laughingstock of baseball. They had 14 consecutive losing seasons, topped only by the Pirates' streak of 20 seasons. In 2012, they finally seemed to make it back to respectability by making it to the playoffs and winning the first ever AL Wild Card game against the Texas Rangers. In 2014, they won their division in a runaway, despite sharing it with three of the previous season's strongest teams (Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays), and swept the heavily favored Tigers in the Division Series before falling to the upstart Royals in the ALCS. After being eliminated in the 2016 wild card game, though, the Orioles have since returned to their losing ways with a vengeance, with the 2018 squad being one of the worst teams in modern baseball history and the 2019 squad setting a new record for the most home runs given up in a season.note  The team's most famous players historically are super-fielder Brooks Robinson and "Iron Man" Cal Ripken Jr., both Hall-of-Famers who played their entire careers with the Orioles. The team's glory years were 1966-1983, when most of the franchise's best players were at their peak and the manager was the intelligent but famously hot-tempered Earl Weaver. They currently play at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, widely considered one of the most beautiful stadiums in the league. Camden Yards was, when built, a faux-retro baseball-only stadium that was, over the next decade or so, emulated league-wide by teams looking for a new stadium; previously, many teams (particularly the Braves, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, and Phillies) played in bland, circular concrete structures built for multiple sports.
    • From 1902 to 1953, the club was known as the St. Louis Brownsnote , and even then were mostly associated with losing, though they did manage a single World Series appearance in 1944 where they lost to in-town rivals the St. Louis Cardinals. During this era the Browns (owned at the time by the highly eccentric Bill Veeck) fielded the shortest player in baseball history, 3'7" midget Eddie Gaedel, who took one at-bat as a publicity stunt (and Veeck only got away with it by filing Gaedel's contract with the AL offices at the very end of the work week, ensuring it would get a quick approval and not be scrutinized until the following Monday; the league subsequently revised its rules to ensure all contracts are reviewed by the Commissioner before a player is eligible to take the field). The Browns years are something of an Old Shame for Baltimore, as the Orioles do not recognize or commemorate any of their statistics or records from their time in St. Louis, and instead leave it to the Cardinals to honor the "Brownies". Ironically, from 1920 to 1953, the Browns owned Sportsman's Park, and the Cardinals were their tenants, but the Cards' vastly greater popularity led to the Browns' eventual departure.
  • The Boston Red Sox are often considered by their fans — beg your pardon, Red Sox Nation — to be La Résistance to the Yankees' Evil Empire (a view not much shared by fans of other teams these days, given that they have effectively acted exactly like the Yankees since 2004). They've proven immensely successful early in centuries, winning one World Series in the 1900s,note  four in the 1910s,note  two in the 2000s, and two in the 2010s—but won no World Series at all from 1918 to 2004 (this is sometimes known as "The Curse of the Bambino", although despite what the American film version of Fever Pitch told you, barely any hardcore Sox fans believed that this curse was why they kept losing). That finally ended in 2004 when the Red Sox, coming off a Miracle Rally that saw them come back from an unprecedented 3 games to nothing hole to beat the Yankees, swept the Cardinals in the World Series (during a lunar eclipse, nonetheless). They've won three more championships since then, effectively ending their "loser" status for good, even becoming the second most successful sports team in the whole Northeast since then (not that the bar is too high), just behind the New England Patriots (also based in Beantown), although the team was accused of technological sign-stealing (intercepting the opposing team's messages) during its World Series-winning 2018 season.note  The Red Sox are Serious Business in Boston, and the rivalry between them and the Yankees is the biggest Fandom Rivalry in North American sports, if not sports period. When viewed from outside the rivalry, however, the Red Sox have since the end of the curse merely become the lesser of two evils (the result of adopting Yankee-like spending habits). For a while they were said to be "Moneyball on an unlimited budget", as their (then) general manager Theo Epstein used those ideas to great effect.
    • The Red Sox play in Fenway Park note , which was built in 1912,note  making it the oldest stadium in Major League Baseball. Fenway itself is known for "The Green Monster", a ridiculously high left-field wall erected to compensate for its close relative proximity to home plate. (Short pop flies that would be easily caught in other parks can turn into home runs over the Green Monster, while hard liners that would fly out of other parks bounce off the Green Monster for doubles or sometimes even singles. In rare cases balls have come close to landing on the nearby Massachusetts Turnpike, and it is not unheard of for home runs to reach the nearby parking lot and break windshields. If you love your car, don't even attempt to park on Lansdowne Street.)
    • Because of the management after Jackie Robinson's debut, they were the absolute last team to integrate in baseball, passing on both Robinson and Willie Mays.
    • In another strange quirk, they've won at least three games in all thirteen of their World Series appearances, winning nine of them and losing the other four in the maximum seven games.
    • On the business side of things, the Sox are currently owned by a corporation called "Fenway Sports Group" (FSG for short). FSG is noted for turning their Red Sox proceeds into a sports empire, buying up teams in other sports (including Liverpool FC, who share a number of traits the Red Sox: a passionate fanbase, a rich history, a propensity for an epic Fandom Rivalry or two, and a deep love for the colour red) and establishing a massively successful sports-marketing consultancy (they handle LeBron James' rights for one thing note , and are also part owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins).
  • The New York Yankees: If you can name only one baseball team, it probably is this one. Being the most successful team in the World Series era (27 titles, the most for an American professional team) and the fact that it is based in the Big Applesauce have combined to make the Yankees the most popular team in America.... and the most hated team in America. You must, by internet law, either hate them with a passion that rivals the love you have of your own team or be an obnoxious, unpleasable pinstripe-wearer. An entire industry exists of anti-Yankee media, and although primarily centered in Boston, it thrives throughout North America, including New York itself (like the primarily pro-Mets Daily News). The same thing goes for pro-Yankee media (especially the New York Post). The play Damn Yankees, about a man who hates them so much he sells his soul to the Devil to beat them, was written over 60 years ago. After emerging in the 1920s with the "Murderers' Row" and dominating the league between the mid-1930s and the early 1960s (appearing in almost every single World Series between 1947 and 1964), the team underwent a long period marked by futility, only appearing in four Fall Classics between 1965 and 1995 (winning in 1977 and 1978, losing in 1976 and 1981). Then, manager Joe Torre took the team to three championships in the late 90s (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000), but since then, outside of a 2009 season compared to the 1969 "Miracle Mets" for unlikely success, the Yanks have endured a long period of declining quality and relevance (take in mind that the Red Sox and Astros have now since become contenders for the "most hated team" moniker), characterized by humiliating late-season or playoff collapses (not that they have been the only NY sports team to undergo this in the 21st century), choking horribly in the last game of the 2001 World Series against the fledgling Arizona Diamondbacks, and more infamously in the fourth game of the 2004 ALCS, allowing the Red Sox to make the first 0-3 comeback in baseball history and win their first Series title in 86 years. Red Sox fans will never let them forget this. They similarly collapsed on their four post-2009 ALCS appearances (2010, 2012, 2017, and 2019) as well as an embarrassing ALDS loss in 2018 to their hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox, who won that year's World Series (it should be noted, however, that the 2017, 2018 and 2019 AL seasons were eventually tarnished by the sign-stealing scandal involving both the Sox and the Astros)note . This made the 2010s the first decade in a century where the Bronx Bombers did not reach the Fall Classic. As a result, the team's current leadership under General Manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner has come under fire by media and fans, with critics citing Cashman's poor drafting history and tendency to give big contracts to underperforming players and Steinbrenner's refusal to fire Cashman despite team's poor postseason performance as detriments to the team.
    • Notable for having not one (Ruth), not two (Gehrig), not three (DiMaggio), but four (Mickey Mantle) names in the argument for best baseball player ever. Not to mention the first player ever to have been unanimously elected by baseball writers to the Hall of Fame, Mariano Rivera in 2019.note . Twenty-three numbers (for 21 different players) are retired, another MLB record. With Derek Jeter's number retirement, the Yankees have retired every single-digit number except for 0, a number they didn't issue until 2019. Their current GM is Brian Cashman.
    • Fun fact: The Yankees once signed life-long celebrity fan Billy Crystal to a one-day contract and let him have an at-bat in a spring training game.
    • The Yankees nickname was not officially used until 1913, being previously referred to as the Highlanders. The AL's eighth team originated in Baltimore in 1901note , playing for two seasons before moving to New Yorknote .
  • The Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays: A relatively new team, they spent the first decade of existence losing a lot and generally coming in last. However, in 2008, they Took a Level in Badass: going worst-to-first, winning their division, defeated the much-higher-payroll Yankees and Red Sox, and made it all the way to the World Series, largely due to the emergence of a number of extremely talented younger players and lights-out relief pitching. Though they've displayed a Montreal Expos-like inability to hold onto their stars, they have remained surprisingly competitive; they won another division title in 2010, came out of nowhere to steal the wild card from the Boston Red Sox in 2011, and made it to the playoffs again in 2013, 2019, and 2020, winning the division and reaching the World Series in that last season. Before their resurgence at the end of The New Tens, they came back down to earth, but maintained a reputation for being capable of holding their own in any given game, even during a losing season. Their notoriously lukewarm fanbase and terrible stadiumnote  doesn't help their situation, not to mention the fact that they've had to share a division with perennial AL powerhouses Boston and New York, plus some strong Toronto and Baltimore squads. Furthermore, the Yankees' spring training complex and official team headquarters have long been located in Tampa, resulting in a large fan base and a great deal of media focus on the Yankees in the area, which wasn't helped by the Rays effectively fielding a team of minor leaguers and washed-up has-beens during their first decade while the Yankees were appearing in one World Series after another during the Joe Torre years. Their team name was originally based on the Atlantic Devil Ray, a species of ray common in Florida waters. The "devil" part was dropped and the name reworked to mean a burst of sunlight, although the devil ray from the old logo still appears on the sleeves of their current uniforms.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays are Canada's team. Their glory days were the early 90s when they put together an All-Star lineup and won two consecutive World Series ('92 and '93). They also got a stadium, first called SkyDomenote , which had this cool "futuristic" retractable roof that popularized the trend in bad-weather ballparks. The Jays tend to operate like a mid-market team, not because Toronto is a small city, but rather because some players refuse to play in Canada due to it having much higher taxes than the US, not to mention that they have to pay income taxes to both Canada and America, as opposed to if they signed for a team located in a US state with no income tax. (The financial issue runs both ways; salaries are difficult on the team management because salaries have to be paid out in US dollars but ticket revenue is charged in Canadian dollars.) They also have the misfortune of playing in the brutal American League East division, where they've been forced to compete against not just perennial powerhouses the Yankees and the Red Sox, but some pretty strong Rays and Orioles teams as well. In recent years, they've had a tendency to get off to a fast start only to fade halfway through the season. In 2015, they finally won the AL East again after a 22-year playoff drought, thanks to GM Alex Anthopoulos's acquiring of several all-star fielders and pitchers both during the off-season and the trade deadline. Roberto Alomar, who played a crucial role in the Jays' back-to-back championships, was inducted into the Hall of Fame wearing a Blue Jays cap. Paul Molitor, another Hall of Famer, also spent time in Toronto, and was the MVP of the Jays' 1993 World Series championship. Still another Hall of Famer, pitcher Roy Halladay, had most of his best years with the Jays before ending his career in Philadelphia, though his Hall of Fame plaque is logo-less.note  The Blue Jays are the only home team in the expansion era (post-1960) to win a game by forfeitnote ; in a game in their inaugural season at Exhibition Stadium, Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver protested the placement of rain tarps in the bullpen area (which was in foul territory and thus within the field of play), claiming they jeopardized his players' safety. The umpire disagreed, causing Weaver to pull his team off the field. When the Orioles refused to return to the field, the head umpire declared the game a forfeit. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all their home games were played in Buffalo, New York (as Canada enacted much stricter lockdown rules than the U.S., effectively banning sports events in the country for most of the year), the home town of their Triple-A team the Buffalo Bisons, becoming the first ever MLB team to play in that city after many years and advance to the postseason also after many decades (only to lose in the Wild Card series to the eventual AL champions the Tampa Bay Rays). That move christened a new name for their fanbase, the Jays Mafia, modeled and named after their temporary NFL brethren the Buffalo Bills, the new dark blue home uniforms used that season (which are similar in color to those of the Bills) and the usual fan adaptation of the Chris Berman phrase (Nobody circles the wagons/bases like the Buffalo Blue Jays). Due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, most notably a ban on most cross-border travel between the United States and Canada, the Jays started their 2021 season playing their home games in their Spring Training field in Dunedin, Florida; in June of that year, they moved back to Buffalo, and they returned to Toronto just before the end of July when the Canadian government gave them permission to regularly cross the border.

    AL Central 
  • The Chicago White Sox, a charter member of the American League and Barack Obama's favorite team (to the point where he wore their logo-jacket to an All-Star Game in St. Louis, resulting in an awkward situation). They also had an era which began, it is said, in 1919 when eight of the team's players ("The Black Sox" or "the 8 Men Out"), including Shoeless Joe Jackson, either took, intended to take, or knew the others were taking, money to throw the World Series. All eight of them were kicked out. Forever. And then the White Sox didn't win anything until 2005 (except for the AL pennant in 1959), when Ozzie Guillén (who had starred for them as a shortstop during The '90s) guided them to a World Series championship. It still didn't make them more popular than the Cubs though, since the city hasn't really forgiven them for the 1919 scandal and, unlike Boston, this championship turned out to be a fluke; the team quickly returned to mediocrity, and has ended more often than not dead last or, in the best of times, blowing their pennant chances (it didn't help that other teams became the AL Central's powerhouses — the Twins in the late 2000s, the Tigers in the early 2010s, the Royals in the mid-10s, and the Indians at the end of the decade. The White Sox's fortunes seem to have improved in the early 2020s as they reached the Wild Card berth in 2020 and won the division in 2021). Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, the former player who served as the team's principal TV announcer for over 30 years, was well known for his memetic play-calling, open embrace of bias for the home team when even most local announcers at least try to present an impartial position, and signature catchphrases (including referring to the Sox as the "good guys", "He gone!" when an opposing player struck out, "can of corn" for any high pop-up, and his signature call for Sox home runs: "You can put on the boooaaaard, YES!").
    • The White Sox also had one of the most eccentric owners in MLB history, Bill Veeck (who also owned several other teams at different periods). After selling the Sox off to the Allyn brothers, he bought the team back prior to the 1976 season, and created arguably the first fauxback uniforms, with untucked, early 1900s-styled pullover jerseys with large flared collars (that only went up to the shoulder seam), paired with a modernized SOX on the cap to create a level of visual dissonance. The team also went so far as to experiment with shorts that year, but they were abandoned after appearing in only three games in August. The baggy pullovers were never particularly popular, and even as a modern throwback they were so disliked that pitcher Chris Sale destroyed the throwbacks prior to their scheduled appearance in 2016. Veeck would later oversee the infamous Disco Demolition Night fiasco, which was organized by his son Mike (promotions manager for the team) and shock jock Steve Dahl. Veeck sold the team again in 1981, this time to an ownership group featuring Jerry Reinsdorf, who would later purchase the Chicago Bulls. Under the new ownership, the Sox held a design-the-uniform fan contest to replace the Veeck-era pullovers, a move worthy of Veeck himself as it helped draw interest back to the team, and one that has not been duplicated by any other major-league teamnote . These pullover uniforms, featuring a wide stripe across the chest, lasted from 1982 to 1986, and have been a more popular throwback in recent years than the Veeck jerseys. The White Sox under Reinsdorf would hold the first official Turn Back the Clock game in 1990, wearing proper throwback uniforms based on the 1917 World Series championship team, before switching to their current black and silver look at the end of that season.
  • The Cleveland Guardians (renamed from Cleveland Indians after the 2021 season) are a charter member of the American League, and are basically the Cubs of the AL, only with a modern stadium.note  No one really remembers just how they got their now-abandoned name (popular belief asserts that it came from an early Native American-descended player named Louis Sockalexis, who played for their predecessors the Cleveland Spiders in the 1890s), but some agree it's politically incorrect. They've won just two World Series championships in their history, the most recent of which was in 1948. Their previous stadium was cold, windy, and in general a horrible place to play.note  Their new stadium is still cold and windy, but it's at least pretty despite the occasional swarm of insects (which actually helped them win a key playoff game in 2007) and, in 2009, seagulls. An ill-conceived "Ten Cent Beer Night" promotion in 1974 caused them to forfeit a game after drunken fans stormed the field and began to attack the opposing players. They were perennial last-place finishers in the '80s, which led up to the movie Major League, in which a fictional version of the Indians overcomes their idiosyncrasies and ineptitude to win the pennant. Incredibly, a few years after the release of the movie, the franchise turned its fortunes completely around and became one of the most consistently successful teams in the American League for several years. After coming up one win short of the American League pennant in 2007, they fell into mediocrity for the next several years, but an improved farm system and some promising young players restored them to contention, culminating in an AL pennant in 2016 and a World Series matchup against MLB's other "black sheep" franchise: the Cubs, which ended with them choking a 3-1 series lead to give the Cubs their first title in over a century and take over as the team with the longest active championship drought in the majors. (To be fair, Cleveland was missing its best hitter all season and had two starting pitchers injured before even coming into the playoffs.) The team won AL Central titles in 2017 and 2018 but lost in the ALDS both years, ensuring that their championship drought would extend to 70 years and counting.
    • Prior to their rebranding, the team's iconography policy was mired in controversy. Chief Wahoo, one of their logos, is a caricature of a Native American who was first made in the 1946 and whose current version was drawn in 1951. He hasn't aged any too well, so the Indians quietly phased him out in favor of a rather bland block letter "C", all while denying that this is the case. Fans who see Wahoo as something whose time has passed have taken to boycotting merch that depicts him or removing him from their jerseys and hats.note  The team removed Wahoo from the uniforms in 2019, but still produces a limited amount of commemorative Wahoo merchandise in order to keep its trademark. The name itself was finally changed midway through the 2021 season, with the change taking effect after that season.note 
  • The Detroit Tigers are one of the charter American League teams.note  Historically, they've alternated between periods of brilliance and long dry spells of non-contention. After enduring one such dry spell for more than two decades following their 1984 World Series championship (an era which included losing 119 games in 2003, one shy of tying the Major League record for losses in 162 games), the Tigers came out of nowhere in 2006 to reach the Fall Classic again under then-manager Jim Leyland (only to wind up unexpectedly and swiftly defeated by the Cardinals). However, high expectations in ensuing seasons failed to bear fruit; in 2009, they suffered one of the worst September collapses in baseball history, becoming the first team ever to blow a three-game division lead with only four games to play. They turned things back around in 2011, reaching the ALCS with an excellent offense and one of the best pitching rotations in AL history (headed by Justin Verlander, with Jose "Papa Grande" Valverde serving as an absolute top-notch closer). The Tigers made the Fall Classic again in 2012, sweeping the Yankees in the ALCS (this time, the removal of Valverde, who'd started to choke badly in the ALDS, is given a great deal of weight; strange how this happens...) before suffering the indignity of getting swept themselves by the Giants in the Series. In 2013, they made it to the ALCS but were defeated by the Red Sox, who went on to win the World Series; in 2014, they were swept by Baltimore in the ALDS. These days they are probably best known for first baseman Miguel Cabrera, their star hitter and arguably one of the best right-handed ones in the history of the game; in 2012 he became the first hitting Triple Crown winner since the 1960s. After dealing Verlander to the Astros in 2017, among other moves, the Tigers began a rebuilding period; time will tell whether or not this marks the start of another long down period.
    • The Tigers have boasted several Hall of Famers in their history, including Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford in the 1900s and '10s, Hank Greenberg (the majors' first Jewish-American star) and Charlie Gehringer in the '30s and '40s, Al Kaline in the '50s and '60s, and Jack Morris and Alan Trammell in the late '70s and through the '80s. Another Tigers Hall of Famer is late manager Sparky Anderson, who after leading the Cincinnati Reds to two World Series crowns in the 70s spent 17 seasons managing the Tigers, leading them to their last World Series title to date in 1984.note  And the late radio/TV broadcaster Ernie Harwell, who called the team's games for over 40 years, is a recipient of the Hall's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence. (Although broadcasters are not eligible for Hall of Fame membership, fans usually call Frick Award recipients "Hall of Fame broadcasters".)
    • The Tigers also have an interesting pattern in their ownership history: they have the distinction of having been owned by the founders of Domino's Pizza (Tom Monaghan) and Little Caesars Pizza (Mike Ilitch). Both are from the Detroit area and life-long Tigers fans (Ilitch was a Detroit sports fan in general, and also owned the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League until his death in 2017).
  • The Kansas City Royals are the American League's equivalent of the Pirates, albeit without most of the history and with a management team that seems to give a crap. The franchise did enjoy some glory years in the late 1970s and early '80s (winning several division titles, two AL pennants in 1980 and 1985, and the 1985 World Series, and boasting eventual Hall of Famer George Brett at third base) before sliding into perennial non-contention over the ensuing three decades. Their home park of Kaufmann Stadium, which features a fountain just beyond the center field fence, is regarded as one of the nicest in baseball. (And just to clarify, they play in Missouri, not Kansas.) In The New '10s, baseball analysts thought that the Royals might finally be due for a turnaround in the next few seasons; years of losing enabled the team to stockpile quite a few high-ceiling prospects, and some of those prospects appeared to be on the verge of breaking through. The analysts were proven right in 2014, when the Royals made the wild-card game, won it, and then made the World Series, where they came within a single victory of winning it all (and probably would have won had it not been for the heroics of Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner). They responded to the heartbreak by playing even better the following season, winning not just their division and the American League pennant, but their second World Series championship. Made headlines early in the COVID-19-abbreviated 2020 season when Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomesnote  purchased a minority stake in the team, shortly after signing (at the time) the richest contract in NFL history. The Royals' primary radio play-by-play announcer, Denny Matthews, has been calling the team's games since the 1969 inception of the franchise, and has the longest current tenure (55 seasons and counting, as of 2023) among MLB broadcasters.
  • The Minnesota Twins: Originally the Washington Senators,note  and one of the original eight American League teams, the Twins (who had lost a World Series in 1965) won the World Series in 1987 and 1991 before entering a bad stretch that saw them nearly be disbanded (along with the Montreal Expos). The only thing that kept them from being contracted was the lease they had with the city of Minneapolis. Then, go figure, they started winning, and were a perennial threat in the AL Central during the 2000s, and an off-and-on threat at the end of the 2010s. However, success in the playoffs has been much harder to come by—they haven't won a postseason series since 2002, and haven't even won a postseason game since 2004. After the Houston Astros swept them out of the 2020 wild card round, the Twins' postseason losing streak is now at a record 18 games, with the New York Yankees being responsible for 13 of them. A common compliment said about the Twins is their seemingly bottomless farm system, which has allowed them to remain reasonably competitive even as star players leave town for big city riches. They are also often called "scrappy", with a habit of climbing back into things when least expected that led White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén to call them "The Piranhas", as their team at the time did not have one single "slugger" but a lot of "little" players chipping away at the edges.note 
    "All those piranhas — blooper here, blooper here, beat out a ground ball, hit a home run, they're up by four. They get up by four with that bullpen? See you at the national anthem tomorrow. When I sit down and look at the lineup, give me the New York Yankees. Give me those guys because they've got holes. You can pitch around them, you can pitch to them. These little guys? Castillo and all of them? People worry about the catcher, what's his name, Mauer? Fine, yeah, a good hitter, but worry about the little [guys], they're on base all the time."
    • This was for a long time a driving philosophy of theirs in the organizational level—former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who started his career with the Twins, noted that he was only able to become the power hitter he was after he'd left them. It is therefore perhaps ironic that in 2019, the Twins set a new major league record for team home runs in a season with 307, narrowly holding off the Yankees who would finish the season with 306. note 

    AL West 
  • The Houston Astros (originally the Colt .45snote ): Began play in 1962, after owners unable to obtain expansion teams decided to form their own league, the Continental League. The league was intended solely to bluff MLB into awarding their cities MLB franchises; the Astros were awarded in response along with the Washington Senators (now Texas Rangers), Los Angeles Angels, and New York Mets. They are the world record holders for the ugliest uniforms (worn from 1975 through 1986), often referred to by fans as the Tequila Sunrise or Rainbow Guts jersey - a look that has become popular through the Nostalgia Filter, and is often imitated by teams at other levels of play. A National League team for their first half-century of existence, the Astros are responsible for both the domed stadium (the Astrodome) and, because grass doesn't grow indoors,note  for artificial turf, better known as AstroTurf. The team often contends, but just as often fizzles out, with their most notable streak of success coming in the late 1990s and early 2000s (which includes their first World Series appearance in 2005, where they got swept by the Chicago White Sox). Moved into Enron Field in 2000, just in time for Enron to have a major Enron-killing scandal; the stadium was quickly rebranded into Minute Maid Park two years later. In 2011, Jim Crane officially decided to buy the team, in exchange for their move into the AL West (Pacific) division in 2013 and the expansion of interleague play to a year-round schedule; this makes them the second team to have switched leagues in the modern era. While they were the worst team in all of baseball from 2011 to 2013 (losing an average of 108 games per season during those years), by 2015 they had reestablished themselves as a force to be reckoned with; in 2017, they not only had over 100 wins, but went on to finally win their first World Series (and becoming the first and only team to go to the World Series as both an AL team and an NL team), also winning the pennant in 2019 (losing the World Series to the Nationals)... but by 2020 shortly before the 2019 World Series concluded, it was discovered that these victories were partly because the Astros illegally stole catchers' signs to guess the opposing team's next pitchnote , which led to numerous sanctions (and the firing of both their GMs and manager and banning them for the entire 2020 season) and made them the most hated team in baseball. Yes, even more hated than the Yankeesnote . With COVID-19 forcing the Astros to play in empty stadiums for the entire 2020 season, meaning an extra year for rival teams' fanbases to bottle up their resentment, the biggest question facing the team post-pandemic was how loudly they'd get booed once they could finally play on the road in a full stadium. Which eventually happened in 2021 (see their division rival, the Texas Rangers). The Astros got all of the expected hate and then some... though it didn't prevent them from clinching the AL pennant and another trip to the World Series, even though they ended losing a second time on their home turf, this time to the Braves, in 2021. The 'Stros won the pennant again in 2022, getting a bye into the Division Series and proceeding to sweep both the Division Series and ALCS, before going on to defeat the Phillies in the World Series for their second championship (and the first for their 73-year-old manager Dusty Baker).
    • If you're any kind of player and have a last name starting with B, join the Astros and you're the next Killer B, a reference to a period when the team had several very good players whose last names all began with the letter B (Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman, and several lesser names).
  • The Los Angeles Angels: The other team in the Greater Los Angeles area. Originally playing at LA's Wrigley Field and then at Dodger Stadium (referred to as Chavez Ravine during Angels games), they changed their name to the California Angels in 1965, and moved to a new stadium in Anaheim in 1966. They spent most of their history living in the shadow of the more popular and successful Dodgers and being a place where past-their-prime players spent their final years. From the team's inception in 1961 until his death in 1998, the team was owned by Gene Autry, a famous Western film actor and singer who had become even wealthier with radio, TV, and real estate investments. In the late '90s, the team was bought by Disney (which had begun to pour money into the club earlier in the decade, starting with the production of a remake of Angels in the Outfield focused on the Angels instead of the Pirates). Upon the company's acquisition of the franchise, they changed the name to the Anaheim Angels and made the team one of the Dominant teams in the American League West, eventually winning their first (and so far only) World Series title in 2002. In 2004 Disney would eventually sell the team. New owner Arte Moreno, the first and only minority owner in MLB history, decided to rename the team the Los Angeles Angels for marketing purposes, but because the team's contract with Anaheim contained a stipulation that "Anaheim" had to be part of the team name, this led to the rather cumbersome moniker "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim"; much to Anaheim's (and the city the team borrowed without domicile, Los Angeles') dismay,note  there isn't a rule about two cities being used in a team's name, and the new name obeyed the Exact Words of the contract. As a Bilingual Bonus, Los Angeles means 'The Angels' in Spanish, so the name was effectively "The The Angels Angels of Anaheim." The stipulation was dropped following the 2015 season, so the team reverted to its original name sometime around then. Moreno's tenure has been up and down; it didn't get off to a good start with the city name change. Anaheim is its own city and its residents don't like being called a suburb of L.A. On the other hand, the team reached the 2005 ALCS, but lost in five games to the eventual World Series Champion White Sox, after winning Game 1. Game 2 featured a controversial call that led to a Sox rally and eventual victory. Moreno has opened his wallet to create a winner by handing out huge contracts. Unfortunately, the results mostly haven't been a return on investment. Josh Hamilton's career was derailed by substance abuse and while Albert Pujols set many records in an Angels uniform, injuries led to a decline and he was released in 2021, the last year of his ten year contract. Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani, a player who can bat and pitch, has been worth the money when healthy, but missed significant time thanks to Tommy John surgery. The Angels drafted fellow generational talent Mike Trout in 2009, but have only reached the playoffs once with him, a three game sweep at the hands of the eventual A.L. Champion Royals in the 2014 ALDS. Trout, a New Jersey native who grew up a Phillies fan, committed to the team with a contract extension with no opt out through the 2030 season. Angels fans are noted for using Thunder Sticks, and being generally loud and enthusiastic (although the "leave early to beat traffic" thing still does occur every once and awhile). The team's mascot is the Rally Monkey (a capuchin monkey dressed in team apparel whose appearances are usually on videotape) who made his debut during the 2002 title run. Their biggest rivals are the Oakland Athletics and as of the 2020 season, the Houston Astrosnote , though they also have a strong inter-league rivalry with the Dodgersnote .
  • The Oakland Athletics are one of the league's oldest teams (being descended from earlier franchises in Philadelphia and Kansas City, not to be confused with either of the short-lived American Association's Philadelphia Athletics teams or the National League Philadelphia Athletics that got expelled in the League's first year for refusing to play out the full schedule) and also one of the current sufferers of "small-market syndrome". However, their stretch of unexpectedly strong teams with tiny payrolls in the early 2000s led to writer Michael Lewis writing the book Moneyball on Oakland general manager Billy Beane. Beane's "Moneyball" approach to the game emphasized new statistics, computerized analysis, and unconventional means of analyzing players. And for a while, it worked, proving that baseball really is the Game of Nerds. Many other teams, most notably the Red Sox, then began adopting Moneyball-style strategies, relegating Oakland to the back end again, though the A's have still managed to scrounge several winning seasons thanks to "Moneyball 2.0" strategies. The franchise as a whole has won nine World Series, tied for the third most in baseball with the Red Sox and trailing the Yankees and the Cardinals (although only one of those titles has come in the last 40 years, in the 1989 World Series that was infamously interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake which occurred prior to the originally scheduled Game 3 in San Francisco).
    • In Philadelphia, they were managed (and either partially or wholly owned) by Cornelius McGillicuddy, better known as Connie Mack, for their first fifty years. Mack led the A's to five World Series titles in that time, and Shibe Park was renamed Connie Mack Stadium in his honor during its later years. Age forced Mack to step down as manager following the 1950 season, and he sold the team in 1954, leading to their relocation to Kansas City. Infamously, during this time, the Athletics became a de facto farm team for the Yankees. New A's owner Arnold Johnson was a close friend of the Yankees owners of that era, and repeatedly made bad trades to give his best young players to the Yankees in exchange for older veterans whose skills had declined, as well as providing a convenient place for promising young Yankees prospects to stay in game shape until roster space opened for them. When Johnson suddenly died in 1960, the eccentric Charles O. Finley bought the team from his estate, put an immediate end to the "special relationship" between the A's and Yankees, and soon changed the team colors from blue and red to his favorite color scheme, green and gold. Finley didn't have much interest in keeping the team in Kansas City, however, and moved them to Oakland once the other AL owners let him. He did build a winning team, though, as the Oakland A's won three straight World Series in 1972, 1973, and 1974.
    • Their current stadium, the Oakland Coliseum (also known by several corporate names), was also home to the Oakland Raiders NFL team through 2019, making the A's the last team with this arrangement. This fact coupled with some disrepair at the Coliseum has the ownership wanting to get a new stadium built specifically for them, preferably in nearby San Jose. San Jose wants the team and has land available for that purpose, but Byzantine league rules with regard to team relocation note  coupled with Oakland's competing efforts to build a new stadium in Oakland have those plans in Development Hell. note  In 2021, the Athletics began considering plans to relocate to Las Vegas, much like their erstwhile stadium-mates, the Raiders, before them. A Las Vegas move became even more likely when the team announced in April 2023 it had agreed to purchase land for a new ballpark near the Las Vegas Strip (no doubt to avoid upsetting the Raiders by sharing their stadium again), all but confirming they are moving to Las Vegas. With the stadium and the relocation expected to be completeled in time for the 2027 MLB Season.
  • The Seattle Mariners have a reputation as a consistently mediocre team with a high number of Japanese fans (thanks to the number of NPB players they've acquired over the years). They are the only team who has never played in the World Series, with the team's only real run of success coming from 1995-2001, when they made the playoffs four times and advanced to the League Championship Series in three of those four occasions (though they never got any further); in 2001, they had the best regular season record in baseball history. To add insult to injury, the four aforementioned playoff appearances remained the sum total of the Mariners' postseason history the team entered a two-decade playoff drought; an ill-fated attempt to spend their way into the playoffs in the mid-2000s ended with them becoming the first $100 million+ payroll team to lose at least 100 games in the 2008 season. The club has had a few stars in its history, most notably Edgar Martínez, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Ichiro Suzuki, and Félix Hernández (who pitched the first perfect game in team history). The M's first retired number (other than Robinson's) was that of Griffey, which the team retired during the 2016 season—not just for the Mariners themselves, but also for all their minor-league affiliates. Martínez' number was retired the following season. Johnson, Ichiro, and Hernández are major candidates for the honor as wellnote  Johnson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014, but was inducted as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, with whom he won a World Series and had debatably greater success than with the Mariners.note  Griffey was elected the next year, breaking the record for highest percentage of votes (99.3%)note  and was the first player to enter the Hall as a Mariner. Martínez was elected in 2019 on his 10th and final chance in regular voting, with the main obstacle to his induction having been that he was mostly a DH. Ichiro, who retired just after the start of the 2019 season, is generally expected to make the Hall in 2025. Alex Rodriguez also began his career with the Mariners before moving on to greater fame with the Rangers and Yankees. Interesting notes are that the Mariners' original ownership group was led by Danny Kaye, and the M's were owned by Nintendo from 1992 to 2016. The latter explains how Ken Griffey Jr. got a couple of video games on some of Nintendo's consoles.note  Junior became a minority owner of the team late in the 2021 season, and in 2022 the team finally got over the hump to return to the playoffs, only to get swept by the eventual champions and hated rival Houston Astros, though the M's didn't go down without a fight note .
  • The Texas Rangers are best known as the team that George W. Bush owned before his political career and producing a number of sluggers (Rafael Palmeiro, Juan González, Iván "Pudge" Rodríguez, among others) who may or may not have been chemically enhanced. They are descended from the Washington Senators, but not the old Senators team from the first half of the 20th century; rather, they are descended from the new expansion Senators that began play in 1961. The old Senators are now the Minnesota Twins. For years, the club was known for big bats, terrible pitching, and not much else. Until 2010, they were the only team in baseball who had never won a postseason series. They finally accomplished this in 2010 after nearly 50 years of trying, making it all the way to their first ever World Series before finally losing to the San Francisco Giants. In 2011, they lost ace pitcher Cliff Lee to free agency, but managed to have an even better year than before, reaching their second consecutive World Series before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan pitched his last two no-hitters and earned his 5,000th strikeout and 300th win with the team. His plaque in Cooperstown bears a Rangers cap,note  and he served as part-owner and Team President until late in the 2013 season, when he was pushed out of the front office after a dispute with the majority owners and ended up selling his stake in the team. His guidance, especially with regard to how to handle pitchers, is considered the biggest factor in the team's turnaround. Despite sharing the same state with the Houston Astros, Rangers' fans seem to have traditionally seen the Los Angeles Angels as their main rival, especially after slugger Josh Hamilton left Texas for the Halos and made bashing remarks about Texas as a franchise on his way out (though the Angels ended up sending him back to the Rangers in 2015). The Rangers play in MLB's newest park, Globe Life Field, a retractable-roof park which opened for the 2020 season. It replaced Globe Life Park (since renamed Choctaw Stadium), an open-air stadium across the street that had been their home since 1994. Perhaps most notably, the Rangers were the first team in any North American professional sport to lift all COVID-19 attendance restrictions, opening Globe Life Field at full capacity to start the 2021 season.

National League:

    NL East 
  • The Atlanta Braves are, along with the Cubs, one of the two franchises that have existed since the beginning of the National Leaguenote , and the only team to have continued operation since 1871, though they were originally based in Boston (until 1952) and later Milwaukee (until 1965). Actually, they're even older than that; they were formed when the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, folded and their manager and key players migrated to Bostonnote . They are the oldest continuously existing sports franchise in America. Historically, they've had flashes of success interspersed with long periods of losses. For an example of the first, there's the team of Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's career home run record despite receiving numerous death threats. After Aaron, they went from mediocre to horrible in the mid-to-late 1980s. In 1991, they went worst-to-first, went on an absolute tear in the second half of the season, defeated the Pirates on a controversial call in the NL Championship Series, and lost in the World Series. Then, in 1992, they basically did the same thing all over again. From then until 2005, they made the playoffs every year, won one World Series where they defeated the Cleveland Indians in 6 gamesnote  and lost two to the Yankees (losing the 96 series in 6 games and getting swept in the 99 during the Yanks' three-peat), and were best known for their outstanding starting pitching rotation. However, during the 2006 season they deteriorated into an also-ran that could at best only field low-rung playoff teams (reaching the Wild Card berth in 2010 and 2012, winning the first, and leading the NL East in 2013) also being prone to collapse late in the season (most infamously in 2011 and 2014), not to mention an economic fair play scandal. All this forced the Braves into a full-on rebuilding mode in 2015 that finally started to pay off in 2018 when they won their division, doing the same the following three years, even though they seemed to have picked up a Yankees-like tendency to choke during the worst possible moments. Nevertheless, they finally reached and won the World Series in 2021 (winning their first pennant since 1999 and their first WS since 1995) even though the Braves spent the best part of the season looking as if they had returned to their late-2000s era doldrums, being the underdog for the NL East, the NLDS against the Brewers, the NLCS against the Dodgers and finally the Fall Classic against the hated Astros, beating them in 6 games. They are one of two teams (the other one being, again, the Cubs) that has had nationwide television coverage thanks to Ted Turner's WTBS "superstation" (now Atlanta-only),note  and, therefore, one of the Majors' biggest fan bases, to the point of dubbing themselves "America's Team" for a number of years (similar to the Dallas Cowboys). The Braves have played the most seasons out of any professional sports franchise, due to the Cubs losing two seasons over the Great Chicago Fire and are the only MLB team to have won the World Series in its three cities. In 1997, the Braves moved from Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to neighboring Turner Field, which had been built to serve as the main venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics (as Centennial Olympic Stadium) before being permanently configured for baseball. Desiring a better neighborhood, though, for the 2017 season, the Braves moved into a new ballpark just outside the Atlanta city limits (but still with an Atlanta mailing address), Truist Park, while Turner Field was reconfigured into a football stadium for the Georgia State Panthers that's now known as Center Parc Stadium. The wall where Aaron hit his record-breaking home run is preserved in Center Parc Stadium's parking lot, which sits on the footprint of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium; however, the university plans to build a new baseball park on the site, incorporating said wall. With the Cleveland Indians rebranding into the Cleveland Guardians beginning in the 2022 season, the Braves are the absolute last team still using their controversial imagery:note .
  • The Miami Marlins: Formerly known as the Florida Marlins. Came into the league in 1993. Until 2012, they played their games in a giant football stadium intended for the NFL's Miami Dolphins to minuscule audiences that would make even a smaller stadium appear empty. Announced attendances were small enough already, usually hovering around 10,000, but the crowd actually in the stadium had a tendency to go into triple digits from time to time, to the point where hecklers who would never be heard in a regular game setting were thrown out of the game as the umpire could hear them very well, and player chatter was easily heard in the stands without amplification. In a stadium with a capacity over 75,000. This comes partly as a result of Miami being a football town (although this comes off as an excuse as teams from other football towns—such as Los Angeles, which has two NFL teams plus two wildly popular college teams—have no attendance problems) and most notably the distance to the stadium from population areas (suburban stadiums distant from a city are fine for football games and concerts, but nobody wants to make that drive up to 81 times a year for baseball), but more as a result of poor ownership. Weather is also a factor; games in Miami were extremely prone to being rained out before they moved into a stadium with a retractable roof, eliminating that problem (though the Marlins still do occasionally have to cancel a game due to a hurricane). The Marlins have won two World Series championships in 1997 and 2003, but both titles, and several other seasons besides, were immediately followed by releasing or trading virtually every breakout player on them. They made frequent threats to move the team if a new stadium was not built, which they finally got; they moved into it in 2012, it has both a retractable roof and a backstop featuring an aquarium with real fish (which is protected with multiple layers of Lexan). As a side effect, the team changed its name to the Miami Marlins upon its move, a condition of the new stadium deal. Former owner Jeffrey Loria was arguably one of the most hated owners in baseball behind Baltimore's Angelos and New York's Steinbrenner. He's been accused of deliberately putting an inferior product on the field simply to save money, and has on two separate occasions fired a well-liked, well-respected manager for failing to win with such a cash-strapped lineup.
    • As a point of interest, the Marlins did not lose a postseason series until 2020; prior to their NLDS loss to the Atlanta Braves, they were the only team in baseball this could be said of. All of their playoff appearances to date have come as a wild card team, meaning that they've won two World Championships but have never finished first in their own division. Either way, it's one of the only reasons they get any respect from anyone.
    • After Loria's 2012 gutting of the team, he easily became the most hated owner in baseball. There was much rejoicing in 2017 when he finally agreed to sell to the team to a new ownership group headlined by incoming CEO Derek Jeter- which was soon followed by the revelation that the new ownership group had to go deeply into debt to actually buy the team and didn't really have the money to run it, so they embarked on yet another fire sale.
    • For a more positive point of interest, the Marlins became the first team in any of North America's four traditional pro leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) with a female general manager when they hired Kim Ng shortly after the 2020 season. She's also the first person of East Asian descent to serve in such a role in MLB.
  • The New York Mets: The Un-Favourite of the two New York baseball teams, the Mets (a shortened version of Metropolitans, the name of an old New York baseball team from the 19th century) have, for most their history, been the polar opposite of their more popular and older brother. Founded to bring National League baseball back to New York City after the Dodgers and Giants departed for California, their teams colors of blue and orange are a nod to their predecessors. They tend to go through cycles of brilliant play for five or six years followed by stretches where they're one of the worst teams in the league. They've won two World Series titles, both of which are the source of major Baseball mythology (the first one literally considered a miracle, the second one only happening because they were playing the Red Sox during their Curse of the Bambino stage (see: Bill Buckner). The Mets' first season (1962) featured only 40 wins in 160 games, and is considered the worst team in modern history. In the 1990s and early 2000s, they frequently sported one of the higher budgets in the majors, only to have an uncanny tendency to collapse in the season's final weeks (a condition that since the mid-2000s has been commonplace for NY sports teams in general); in 2007, they coughed up a 7-game lead with 17 to play, then did the same in 2008 with a 3½-game lead, both times losing the division race to their hated rival the Phillies. In 2009, a rash of injuries caused them to tumble to fourth place, sending them into rebuilding mode (which did help them to acquire a surplus of promising young pitching talent). Their situation hasn't been helped by their owners, the Wilpon family, losing millions of dollars in the Bernie Madoff scandal, forcing them to curb their spendthrift ways and creating the bizarre sight of a New York team being forced to take the field with a severely underfinanced roster. It looked like their fate was about to finally turn around in 2015, as the team's young talented pitching staff began to gel and the pickup for Yoenis Céspedes helped bring the offense to life, leading them to the Fall Classic, though they lost in 5 to the Kansas City Royals; however, the team's fortunes ended up quickly cratering in subsequent seasons, thanks in part to yet another rash of injuries. In 2022, it seemed that the Mets were finally on the verge of greatness again, with roster stacked with talent across the board and a new owner who was much more willing to spend money on talented players than the Wilpons ever were. However, despite leading the NL East for 174 out of the 180 days of the MLB regular season and reaching 101 wins, they once again fell apart in the final weeks of the season and lost the division title to the Braves. Despite their checkered on-field history, they have their fans (most notably Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Lady Gaga, and Spider-Man). Everybody loves an underdog, right? Let's go Mets baby, love da Mets!
  • The Philadelphia Phillies: Played their first season in 1883 after replacing the Worcester Worcesters, thus making them one of the oldest franchises in baseball, if not all of American professional sports. With two World Series championships as of this edit, their victory in the 2008 Series is particularly notable for ending a 25-year streak of Philadelphia not winning a championship in any major sport. Though they were the best team in the National League in the late 2000s, they are historically the losingest baseball franchise ever (and in terms of number of losses, the losingest team in all of professional sports). They were also the last of the 16 original Major League teams to win a championship, their first title not coming until 1980. Like all Philadelphia sports teams, their fans are usually appear to be generally good-hearted working-class folk, but they can get really dangerous if drunk or if their team wins a championship (rioting is a popular Philly pastime), and if you should get caught wearing a Mets uniform, or a Mets cap, or anything related to the Mets (or New York, really) then you're really just asking for it.note  The late, great Harry Kalas — known to most of America as The Voice of NFL Films after John Facenda died — was their lead TV/radio announcer until his death during the 2009 season. From 2007 to 2011, the team basically became the Yankees of the National League, procuring superstar players (mostly pitchers) at any price to make World Series runs. However, they went straight back to their losing ways in 2012, and were forced to commence a full-blown rebuild in 2015, which lasted until their fortunes finally started turning around in 2018. This was capped by a 2022 run from a Wild Card berth into the World Series, where they were defeated by the (hated) Houston Astros. By the way, the team's somewhat uncreative nickname is an artifact of history; in the early days of baseball media would often refer to teams by simply pluralizing a city name. Also known for the Phillie Phanatic, one of the goofiest and most-beloved mascots in sports.
  • The Washington Nationals: Founded in 1969 as the Montreal Expos, they are arguably The Chew Toy of Major League Baseball. Sure, both the Phillies and the Braves have accumulated more than 10,000 losses, the Cubs had a nearly eleven decade-long championship drought and have since joined the Phillies and Braves in the 10,000 loss club, the Red Sox spent decades always losing to their hated rival, the Pirates went 20 years without a winning season, the Rangers didn't win a playoff series for 50 years, and the Mets have to share a city with the Yankees, but all those teams have bright spots in their history as well. The Expos almost had one; they were leading their division in August 1994 and were considered a legitimate threat to win it all that year, only for the season to be cancelled by a strike (itself an Audience-Alienating Era), leading to the first year without a World Series since 1904. Their owner spent the rest of the decade trading their stars for much cheaper players. This eventually resulted in the team being bought by the league, nearly eliminated altogether, and eventually sold and moved to Washington D.C. The old owner went on to do pretty much the same thing to his new team, the Florida/Miami Marlins (see their paragraph above). Oh, and don't confuse them with the Washington Senators—local politicians vow to oppose that name as long as Washington, D.C. has no vote in Congress, and on top of that the previous Senators baseball club still owns the rights to the name even though they became the Texas Rangers in 1972. As a result of their team's suckage, Washington D.C. became subject to the old chestnut "First in war, first in peace, and last in the National League" (which was true of both Senators teams except with "American" instead of "National"). However, the Nationals have managed to turn things around by following the Rays' and Athletics' method of stockpiling high draft picks (the two most prominent being pitcher Stephen Strasburg and catcher-turned-outfielder Bryce Harper), and supplementing a strong farm system with savvy trades and good free agent signings. And unlike the A's and Rays, the Nats have a budget which should allow them to hang on to their stars. They finished with the best record in the National League in both 2012 and 2014, and won their division again in 2016 and 2017, but lost in the Division Series all four times. While Harper skedaddled to the Phillies in free agency after the 2018 season, the Nats made the 2019 playoffs as a wild card and finally got past the Division Series. They went on to sweep the Cardinals in the NLCS and reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history, beating the Houston Astros in a dramatic seven-game series, bringing a MLB championship to DC for the first time in 95 years. The repercussions of the Astros sign-stealing scandal that broke just weeks following that championship run has led to baseball fans calling the 2019 team as the team that saved baseball with that victory over Houston. The 2019 World Series was also historic as it was the first seven-game series in any round, in any of the MLB, NHL or NBA playoffs in which the road team won all seven games.

    NL Central 
  • The Chicago Cubsnote : The oldest professional team in America's big four leagues that is still in existence,note  the Cubs held the dubious distinction of owning the longest championship drought in all of North American professional sports prior to winning the World Series in 2016, having previously not won a Fall Classic since 1908, or even appeared in one since 1945.note  Superstitious Cubs fans often claimed that the team's long-term lack of postseason success was the result of the "Curse of the Billy Goat" (don't ask), although this mostly had been the result of a series of misfortunes led by perpetual money shortages, including a succession of owners (one of them previously owned a Federal League team), a whole bunch of losing seasons (and some winning seasons in which they barely hovered over .500note ), and the Windy City's traditional bad luck in all sports until recent years (though, of course, the Cubs haven't benefited too much from the rising tide as of yet; neither have the Sox, for that matter, despite their 2005 championshipnote ). Even when the Cubs have played well, it's pretty much always ended in heartbreak; they've had some agonizingly close calls (most prominently 1984 and 2003), and when they actually got into the NLCS in 2015 after five straight losing seasons, they ended up being swept by the Mets... on the same day some flick predicted they would sweep the World Series (fans rejoiced anyways since they beat the hated Cardinals in the Division Series for the first time). However, they were done justice by going all the way, taking the World Series in seven games over the Indians in 2016. This was a fitting conclusion of their deliberately painful rebuild under the oversight of Theo Epstein (the same man who helped end the Red Sox's own championship drought), and has turned the Cubs into a talented young team with a seemingly bright future ahead of them. They play in Wrigley Field, the oldest park in the National League (1914, originally used by the Federal League Whales), and second-oldest in all of baseball, behind only Boston's Fenway Park, and, also like Fenway Park, among the most well-known and loved Major League stadiums. It's famous for countless quirks such as ivy-covered outfield walls, fans sitting on nearby rooftops to watch the game, and the fact that night games were not allowed there until 1988. They are also well known for now long-deceased broadcaster Harry Caray, known for his 7th inning renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" as well as his unique approach to color commentary.
    • Irony: The Cubs have made history in the World Series in over a half-dozen ways: (beginning with their crosstown loss to the White Sox in the 1906 World Series). They went 2-2 in the World Series over a five year span from 1906-1910 (not appearing in 1909).
    • First Team with multiple World Series Appearances (Two, Three, Four)
    • First Team with Consecutive World Series Appearances (Two, Three)
    • First Team with multiple World Series wins (Two)
    • First Team with consecutive World Series win (Two)
    • First Team to win a World Series without a loss (4-0-1 in 1907 against the Detroit Tigers)
      • First Team To Play an extra innings Game (12 innings in a Game 1 Tie in 1907)
    • First Team to win two World Series against the same opponent (1907 & 1908 vs. Detroit Tigers)
    • First Team to win an extra-inning World Series game (Game 4 in 10 innings in 1910 [for their lone victory] against the Athletics)
    • First Team to win an extra-inning World Series game 7 on the road (in 10 innings in 2016)
    • First leadoff home run in a World Series game 7 (2016, Dexter Fowlernote )
    • Oldest player to hit a home run in a World Series game (2016, David Ross (39), Game 7—in his final at-bat as a player, no less)
  • The Cincinnati Reds: Cincy was the first city to have a professional team (the Cincinnati Red Stockings), so the Reds are generally considered the oldest club in the league (even though, in the words of Joel Luckhaupt, "the line from the Reds back to that 1869 squad isn't a straight one"). Before TV ratings became important, it was custom that the first major league game of every season take place in Cincy, and even today the Reds Home Opener is quite a big deal. The glory days of the Reds were the '70s, when they were called the Big Red Machine. Longtime ESPN broadcaster Joe Morgan was a member of the Big Red Machine, and he would never let you forget it. Another bright spot came in 1990, when the Reds swept the World Series against the heavily-favored A's. Owned for a while by the totally insane Marge Schott, famous for her racist tirades, collection of Nazi memorabilia, and devotion to her Saint Bernard, Schottzie. The Reds have eight players in the Hall of Fame, and would undoubtedly have a ninth if longtime player (and later manager) Pete Rose hadn't been expelled from MLB for life in 1989 due to betting on games.note  Since their 1990 championship however, the Reds have mostly seen teams with lots of hitting but terrible pitching. After being swept by the Braves in the 1995 NLCS, it would be 15 years before they would taste the postseason again...only to be swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 NLDS, being no-hit by Roy Halladay in game 1. This is also where Ken Griffey Jr. played most of his later, more injury-prone years. After years of mediocrity, they made the playoffs 3 times in 4 years from 2010-2013 with a nucleus of cerebral first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Brandon Phillips (known for making flashy plays with the glove) plus streaky-hitting outfielder Jay Bruce, plus young pitchers Homer Bailey (who threw 2 no-hitters for the Reds) and Johnny Cueto (2008-2015). Despite this, the Reds playoff luck seemed to match their next door neighbors the Bengals: being swept in the 2010 NLDS, leading 2 games to none in the 2012 NLDS vs. the Giants, winning both games in San Francisco before losing three straight at home, and losing 6 of their last 8 games (including dropping their final five) in 2013, dropping them to the NL's second wild card spot and having to play the wild card game in Pittsburgh against a Pirates team making the postseason for the first time in 21 years. The Reds started Johnny Cueto, who was so shaken he at one point dropped the ball on the mound amidst a thunderous crowd tauntingly chanting "CUE-TO! CUE-TO!" The Reds lost 6-2. By 2014 their championship window was closing, but ownership remained steadfast on contending one last time in 2015 because their home Great American Ball Park was hosting the All-Star Game. At the trade deadline, they traded the aforementioned Cueto (to Kansas City, where he was a part of their World Series championship team that year) and starting pitcher Mike Leake (to San Francisco). From 2016-18, the Reds were an afterthought, never winning more than 68 games, with some of the worst pitching in major league history. They seemed to be coming out of the slump in 2019 (a season which featured two bench-clearing brawls with the Pirates), winning 8 more games than the previous season, with the acquisition of pitcher Sonny Gray from the New York Yankees and the breakout season of third baseman Eugenio Suarez (whose 49 home runs are the most ever by a Venezuelan player). Before the MLB season was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Reds were on track to field a contender in 2020 (after breaking the franchise record for free-agent spending), with the acquisitions of outfielder Nick Castellanos, infielder Mike Moustakas, and pitcher Wade Miley, among others.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers are descended from Seattle's original team, the Pilots, who were a complete disaster that only lasted one season. Then they were bought by a Milwaukee car salesman, Bud Selig, who somehow worked his way up to commissioner of MLB. Nowadays the Brewers are best known for playing at American Family Field (originally Miller Park), considered by many to be the best modern ballpark, and for their odd traditions such as the 6th inning "sausage races" and the mascot, Bernie Brewer, who formerly slid into various containers of liquid but now just slides down a waterpark-sponsored slide as a cute mascot marketed towards children can't dive into an over-sized mug of beer these days. Brewers fans are also considered to have introduced tailgating to baseball back when the team played at County Stadium. Bob Uecker, better known outside of Wisconsin for his appearances in Miller Lite beer commercials, Mr. Belvedere, and the Major League movies (not to mention being choked by André the Giant at WrestleMania IV), has been the team's lead radio announcer since 1971. The Brewers had their glory days in the early '80s, nearly winning the 1982 World Series. They are the first of the currently existing MLB teams to have switched leagues, as they were American until 1998. Despite being a small market team with an overall mediocre record, the Brewers nevertheless have a passionately devoted fanbase who steadfastly support the team in both good and bad years. In many ways, they're considered a Spiritual Successor to the Milwaukee Braves, having retired Hank Aaron's jersey and erected a statue of him outside of AmFam Field despite having only spent two uneventful seasons with the Brewers. The Brewers are also the fourth team to have the name; the first two were short-lived (as in one season) teams in the also short-lived American Association and Union Association, and the third is now the Baltimore Orioles. For a long time, they were the only team to switch leagues, but since the Astros switched leagues in time for the 2013 season, this is no longer the case. In 2021, the Brew Crew made headlines for much the same reason the Royals did the year before – namely, for picking up a minority investor with local ties most prominent in another sport. In the Brewers' case, the new investor was Milwaukee Bucks forward and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was bought in shortly after leading the Bucks to their first NBA title in a half-century.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates: Another storied franchise with a long history that includes 5 World Series titles, most recently in 1979 (during which year they famously adopted "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge as their theme; the '79 Pirates were also the first World Series team with a majority of ballplayers of color). The team of Roberto Clemente, a very highly regarded right fielder who collected his 3000th hit in 1972, and then tragically died in a plane crash delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. (He was posthumously enshrined in the Hall of Fame, setting the precedent that deceased players need not have been retired for a minimum of five years; the official rule is now six months after death.) Also the original team of the preternaturally talented and equally hated Barry Bonds. However, for almost a generation they were better known for their seemingly-endless streak of losing seasons that lasted for twenty years from 1993 to 2012, the longest such streak in American professional sports history. They finally began showing real promise again in 2011 (including having legitimate superstar players on the roster again, like Pedro Álvarez and Andrew McCutchen), but in both that year and the next managed to pull off improbable and painful late-season collapses that kept the futility streak going. They finally shook off the "losers" label in 2013, securing not only a winning season, but a postseason berth as a Wild Card team. They then proved it wasn't a fluke by doing it again in 2014 and 2015, though every time they were eventually eliminated from play before reaching the World Series. Prior to that, their last postseason success was three straight division titles from 1990 to 1992, but lost the NL Championship Series all three times: the first to the Reds, in six games, the next two to the Braves, both in 7 games, and both in heartbreaking fashion. In 1991, they held a three games to two lead, but were shut out in each of the final two games (including 1-0 in Game 6, with the winning run scoring in the ninth inning). Then in 1992, the Bucs were a single out away from winning the series when Francisco Cabrera, an obscure utility player, singled in two runs to win the series for the Braves, with former Pirate Sid Bream (not known for his speed, to put it mildly) eluding the tag of Pirates catcher Mike LaValliere and sliding across with the winning run. With 5 championships in only 7 World Series appearances, they boast the highest success rate of the original 16 teams (Miami and Toronto are both 2-for-2 and Arizona and the Angels are both 1-for-1), but in an inversion of Boston's quirk, they've lost at least 3 games in every World Series they've played in—most notably the 1960 World Series against the Yankees, in which their four wins were by a combined seven runs while their three losses were by at least 10 runs each; add in the fact that Game 7 was a high-scoring game on both sides and you get the Yankees setting a bunch of offensive records for a World Series that have yet to be broken nearly 60 years later even though they lost the Series.
    • Interestingly, FiveThirtyEight called the 2018 Pirates the most average sports team in history.
    • The Pirates have, for reasons that are probably all complete coincidence, an unusual number of ethnicity/nationality-related firsts. This includes the first Latin American Hall of Famer (Clemente), the first all-Black starting lineup (in 1971), the first signing of players from India (who didn't reach the Major League club, but were the subject of the movie Million Dollar Arm), the first Egyptian player (Sam Khalifa, briefly their shortstop in the mid-1980s) and more recently the first Lithuanian and sub-Saharan African players in the Major Leagues.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals: The most successful team in the National League during the World Series era (11 championships) and by far the majors' most popular "small market" franchise, the Cardinals are noted for their highly-devoted fanbase (not surprising given that the Cards are by far the city's most consistently good sports team), their seemingly infinite well of minor league talent (their general manager from the 20s to early 40s, Branch Rickey, basically invented the modern farm system), their ability to consistently field solid teams (no back-to-back losing seasons since the end of 1959 [with the exception of strike-shortened 1994], by far the longest streak of its kind in all of MLB), and their rivalry with the Chicago Cubs (it is said that the only way you can get booed in Busch Stadium is if you are wearing a Chicago jersey — just ask Barack Obama.note ) Though their fanbase has a reputation for niceness and knowledgeability, there has been some understandable Hype Backlash from other teams' fanbases towards this notion in recent years, who point that St. Louis has plenty of annoying racists and idiots too. Three Hall of Fame broadcasters were once employed by the Cardinals: Harry Caray (who spent 25 years in St. Louis before moving to Chicago), catcher-turned-announcer Joe Garagiola (who would later became one of NBC's main baseball voices and carve out a career in game shows, most notably To Tell the Truth and Strike It Rich), and Jack Buck (whose son Joe was the lead play-by-play announcer for both MLB and the NFL with the Fox network for more than two decades before moving to ESPN in 2022 as the primary voice of Monday Night Football.) The Cardinals are currently best-known for their insane comeback from being 10½ games (21 actual games) behind from the Wild Card spot to winning the 2011 World Series, embracing most of the underdog-related sports tropes on this website. Game 6 alone brought them Down To The Last Strike twice and yet they pulled it out, proving to be both Truth in Television and Reality Is Unrealistic. Probably the highest-profile Cardinals fan today is Jon Hamm (a St. Louis native).

    NL West 
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the two relatively newer teams in baseball, as they began play in 1998 along with Tampa Bay. It took them only four years to win their first World Series (2001), and their victory there is largely credited with forcing the perpetually annoying Yankees into hibernation for a few years. However, by the 2004 season they had completely fallen apart, and have been mostly mediocre since (though they did win their division in 2007 and 2011, and look to be returning to relevance after a surprisingly excellent 2017 season). For the time they were managed by Kirk Gibson (2010-14) they were more known for valuing gritty, hard-nosed play over success.
    • An interesting thing to note is that despite only existing for 14 years, there's been only 4 years so far where a Diamondbacks player hasn't been nominated for the Cy Young Award, despite the fact that they play in a very hitter-friendly park. Of course, it helps that they had one of the very best one-two pitching tandems in Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling during their early years.
  • The Colorado Rockies began play in 1993 along with Miami (then Florida). Based in Denver, which is by far the highest-altitude MLB city. This is important because the thin, dry air leads to balls flying out of the stadium regularly, leading to massively over-inflated offensive statistics and some very miserable pitchers. This has lessened somewhat in recent years as the local grounds crew began storing game balls in a special humidor in the stadium. Despite a well-earned reputation for on-field mediocrity (they have only three 90-or-more-win seasons and have never finished first in their own division)—although with the Rockies' recent success, in which they came out of nowhere to win the Wild Card twice, the latter time they almost won the division but lost in a tiebreaker to the Dodgers, this might be changing—the Rockies have a strong fan base, which is even more impressive considering that Denver has always been a football-first city (with every other sport at best a distant second); the Rockies actually have the second highest attendance figures in the city, even though the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets have both enjoyed far more on-field success. That said, they did have an insane streak in 2007 that saw them win 21 out of 22 games (including a tiebreaker playoff and 7 postseason games in a row), a season that eventually resulted in them making it all the way to the World Series... only to be swept by the Boston Red Sox. The team still holds the all-time single season attendance record, drawing 4,483,350 fans in their inaugural 1993 season at Mile High Stadium.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers: An NL team since 1890,note  and formerly of Brooklyn (hence, "trolley dodgers", making their name an Artifact Title). In their Brooklyn days, they were known as one of the best teams in the National League, being in contention practically every season and winning 12 NL pennants, though they couldn't translate all those titles into success in the World Series (in those 12 trips, they only won once, prompting the well-remembered cry of "Wait 'til next year!"). They've been far more successful since moving West in 1958, winning 12 NL pennants and six World Series championships... although it took them more than 30 years to go from six to seven World Series wins (1988–2020). They are also noted for their late TV/radio announcer Vin Scully (who was The Voice of many a great baseball moment from 1950—starting back in Brooklyn—until retiring at the end of his 67th season in 2016), their now-retired Spanish-language radio announcer Jaime Jarrín (who stayed on the job for 64 seasons, ending in 2022), their late manager Tommy Lasorda, and celebrity fans such as Alyssa Milano. A running joke in baseball is that most Dodger fans are just at the game to be seen and will leave early to beat the traffic (after arriving late due to traffic). The Dodgers were also the team of Jackie Robinson, who broke the major leagues' unofficial "color barrier" in 1947 and remains a revered figure throughout the game. (Since 1997 all teams in MLB have permanently retired Robinson's uniform number, 42, in his honor.) Besides their pitching ace Clayton Kershaw, their plethora of Cuban players and prospects, and their immense payroll (the highest in MLB since 2014), the Dodgers of the early 21st century are also known for their despised former owners, the McCourts, who purchased the team in 2004 with loans against their Boston parking lot empire and used the franchise as a piggy bank, until MLB took control away in 2011 during the McCourts' bickering divorce and bankruptcy. The Dodgers were then sold in March 2012 for $2 billion, to a consortium that included film producer Peter Guber and retired Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Their back-to-back World Series losses in 2017 and 2018 gave them the title of "most World Series lost", a title previously held by the Yankees (it was then discovered that both series were marred by sign-stealing). They finally won it all in 2020, beating Tampa Bay for their first World Series title in 32 years, but lost the NLCS to Atlanta the following year, then got bounced in the divisional round in 2022 after amassing a franchise-record 111 wins in the regular season.
    • The first "Subway Series", or World Series played between New York teams, was the 1889 World Series,note  when American Association pennant winners the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (as they were called then) lost to the New York Giants six games to three. They and the Cincinnati Red Stockings transferred to the National League the following year when the NL lost teams in Washington and St. Louis.
  • The San Diego Padres seemingly only receive national attention for being on the wrong side of history — they've surrendered several historical milestones (gave up Barry Bonds' record-tying 755th home run and Pete Rose's then-record-breakingnote  4,192nd base hit, were no-hit by pitcher Dock Ellis whilst the latter was high on LSD, and are one of only three teams to be no-hit twice by the same pitcher note ), collapsed multiple times at the end of the regular season to allow division rivals to key up a Miracle Rally (notably to the Colorado Rockies in 2007 and San Francisco Giants in 2010 — both teams would eventually win the NL pennant, and the Giants won the World Series that year), had few players reach individual success (they didn't record their first no-hitter until April 2021, and they were the last team to have a player hit for the cycle as well), and in 2016 became the only team to begin a season by being shut out in their first three games (getting outscored 25-0 by the Los Angeles Dodgers at home). The Padres typically field OK-to-mediocre teams, and few players get much in the way of national attention due to the team's small market and offense-unfriendly stadium. However, they have had some real success in their history, most notably in 1984, when they came back down 2-0 against the notorious loser Cubs and won the NL pennant, and in 1998, when they went 98-64 to win the most games in franchise history, won the NL West, faced not one, but TWO 100-game winners in the postseason in the Astros and Braves and soundly beat them both, and put up an underrated fight against the dominant Yankees, who swept them in the World Series. The only players to really achieve superstardom with the Padres are Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman,note  though Fernando Tatís Jr. is quickly becoming the third. Known for odd public address-related incidents; in the team's very first home game under owner Ray O. Kroc (the same as McDonald's) in 1974, Kroc grabbed the microphone and apologized to the befuddled crowd for the team's poor performance. Later, in 1990, they got Roseanne Arnold to sing the National Anthem for some reason, and she delivered a deliberately horrible rendition that briefly irritated the entire country. Their long-time radio announcer, the late Jerry Coleman, was well known for frequently saying things that just plain didn't make any sense ("It's a high sky out there, and that can get you in trouble if you get caught in the middle of it."), while their late television broadcaster Dick Enberg was known to openly root for the opposing team during losing streaks. Also known for their former mascot, the San Diego Chicken, who is the reason most teams have annoying mascots today, and their distinctive uniforms: both the 1970's era brown-and-yellows and the modern camouflage uniforms — which are a tribute to San Diego being America's largest military town — are widely regarded as some of the ugliest ever, though even these have their defenders (note ).
    • Padres fans are generally regarded as knowledgeable and loyal, though one might say that's because the team has gone through such a rough time for most of its history that anyone remaining on the bandwagon has to be a fanatic.
  • The San Francisco Giants: Another of the classic NL teams, with roots going back to 1883. Most of their first seven decades were spent in New York at the oddly-shaped Polo Grounds in Harlem, where the team enjoyed a three-cornered intracity rivalry with the (hated) Brooklyn Dodgers and the AL Yankees (whom they faced in six World Series). The Giants' luster began to fade in the mid-1950s due to mediocre play and a crumbling stadium, but as luck would have it the (hated) Dodgers were moving to sunny California and needed a travel buddy! And so in 1958 they relocated to San Francisco, where they've been ever since. From 1960 to 2000 they played in frigid, windy Candlestick Park, where (supposedly) a pitcher was blown off the mound during the 1961 All-Star Game, and (definitely) Game 3 of the 1989 World Series was interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake. After flirting with moves to Silicon Valley and St. Petersburg, Florida, they traded up to spiffy new Pacific Bell (later SBC, then AT&T, and now Oracle) Park in 2000 (with its infamous Triples Alley in right field and its constantly-changing name). The Giants have a proud pedigree of Hall of Fame players — including Carl Hubbell and Mel Ott from before the move, Willie Mays in both cities (but mostly in SF), and Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal after the move — but starting in The '90s they became best known as the team of controversial superstar Barry Bonds, as he obliterated cherished baseball records at the cost of his reputation. Despite his dominance, the Giants still remained unable to bring a World Series title to San Francisco during the Bonds era. It took a stretch of irrelevance, during which the team hit big on several draft picks — pitchers Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, and catcher Buster Posey — to launch the Giants to their first title since 1954. They won in 2010 by surrounding their homegrown stars with a roster of other teams' castoffs; then, working in more homegrown players and younger free agents, they did it again in 2012 and 2014, establishing the "Even Year Magic" memenote  and establishing themselves as one of the powerhouse teams of the first half of The New '10s. But even in disappointing odd-numbered years, the garlic fries are tasty, the park is beautiful, the broadcast teams (former players Kruk and Kuipnote  on TV, Hall of Fame honoree Jon Miller and his partner Dave Flemming on radio) are rated among the league's best, and they can always try to ruin things for the (hated) Dodgers.
    • The Giants also hold the distinction of having won more games (over 11,300 as of 2022) than any other MLB franchise, and likely the most games of any professional sports team in North America.

Defunct Teams

Since the MLB first began as separate leagues (i.e., the National League and the American League) from the late 19th and early 20th century respectively, naturally there would be some teams created in those early days that wound up becoming defunct later on. The National League especially had multiple teams that folded from around the start of the National League in 1876 until 1892, when it became the only professional baseball league at the time, with 12 stable teams by then. The NL then had four more teams become defunct in 1899 as a means for them to survive in the long-term, with no other team there contracting since then (though some teams did relocate throughout the 20th and 21st centuries). Meanwhile, the American League had debatably one team become defunct after its second season concluded (see the New York Yankees for where the debate comes from) in the original AL Baltimore Orioles; any team changes otherwise relate to teams relocating or renaming themselves throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Other professional baseball leagues have also gone up against the National League during the late 19th century and even both the National League and American League during the early 20th century, and while a good amount of those rivaling leagues have been recognized by the MLB as official major leagues at one point or another, for the purpose of this page, those leagues' teams will not be included here unless specifically mentioned otherwise. After all, as obscure as some of this history may be, it's still important to remember these teams for one reason or another.
  • The original National League's Baltimore Orioles (1881-1899) actually officially started out as the Baltimore Base Ball and Exhibition Company back when they were in the then-rivaling American Association. The Baltimore Base Ball and Exhibition Company did not start out so well as a charter team in their first two seasons there, finishing in last place first with a 19-54 record and then a 28-68 record afterward. From there, Baltimore did see some initial improvements to their team throughout the 1880's, though they still had some trouble with finishing in last place for some seasons and were never considered one of the truly elite teams in the American Association even when they were winning. As such, Baltimore was briefly kicked out of the American Association in 1890, which led to them playing a season in the independent minor league called the Atlantic Association under the same team name they went under for the American Association. In their only season at the Atlantic Association, they suddenly felt like an elite team there, leading the eight-team Atlantic Association with a 77-24 record before they accepted the American Association's begging to return to their league for the rest of the 1890 season and the entirety of the 1891 season due to one of their newest teams that season, the Brooklyn Gladiators, folding with a last-place 26-73 finish. That led to Baltimore taking on the rest of the games that Brooklyn left behind that season, which resulted in Baltimore going 15-19 in their emergency return to the American Association. Their final season in that league had them finish in third place with a 71-64 record, which was good enough to allow them to join the St. Louis Browns (now the modern-day Cardinals), the Louisville Colonels, and the Washington Statesmen turned Washington Senators (see below) as the final four American Association teams to join the National League once the former league went under. In Baltimore's first two seasons in the National League, the Orioles faced immediate struggles there just like they first did in the American Association, finishing those seasons with a last place finish at 46-101 and then an 8th place finish at 60-70 a year later. However, under new player management led by centerfielder Ned Hanlon combined with a colorful cast of future Hall of Famers that developed strategies that keenly fit the era of "inside baseball" that occurred in that time (mainly tight pitching, hit and run tactics, stolen bases, and precise bunting), the Orioles won three straight pennants in the National League from 1894-1896 alongside two straight Temple Cups (the precursor to the modern-day World Series) in 1896 and 1897, being the only team to compete in the Temple Cup for every season it was available for them. Unfortunately for the National League, they had common problems with the team having poor conduct and fights being commonplace with the team, to the point where on May 16, 1894, a match against the Boston Beaneaters (now Atlanta Braves) led to a brawl that somehow led to a fire caused by several boys at the South End Grounds in Boston, which led to the destruction and damage of not just the stadium, but 117 other buildings there. They also had a record of most batters being hit by a pitch in 1898 with 148 batters being hit by pitches during that second-place season. That season also led to their eventual downfall, however, as Orioles owner Harry Von der Horst took control of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (now Los Angeles Dodgers) and placed many of his Baltimore stars and player manager Ned Hanlon to the Brooklyn squad, leading to new team manager John McGraw trying to lead a team without a good amount of stars left on their team. While the Orioles finished their final season with a better than expected record of 86-62 record for fourth place, their infamous team conduct combined with ownership abandoning the Orioles led to them being one of four teams to fold in the National League's contraction of 1899, despite their great success for the most of that decade. However, it wasn't necessarily the end of the Orioles as a whole, as team manager John McGraw led a revival of the Orioles in the rivaling American League in 1901, which eventually became the New York Yankees of today, while the Orioles ended up fielding their permanent stay as a franchise in 1954 once the second St. Louis Browns (not related to the National League's Cardinals) relocated their failing squad to Baltimore.
  • The Buffalo Bisons (1877-1885) first began as a League Alliance team in 1877 before being promoted to the International Association in 1878 and then the National League in 1879. The Bisons were a notable team in the NL for a few reasons. First, they were one of the first teams to register a no-hitter game in the National League, doing so in 1880 against Worcester. Second, they held the first ever player to hit the cycle (that is hit a single, double, triple, and a home run in the same game) with Curry Foley hitting a grand slam in the first inning, a triple in the second, a single in the third and a double in the fifth. Third, and probably most important of them all, the Triple-A based Buffalo Bisons of the modern-day era hold an interesting connection with the major league team, being the only team from the 19th century to have a sense of existing while at the same time no longer existing properly.Explanation 
  • The original Cincinnati Reds (1875-1879) were originally named the Cincinnati Red Stockings when they were first created. This team was created by John Joyce five years after the original Cincinnati Red Stockings he created went defunct, as they were originally an amateur team that competed against local amateur clubs at that time. However, when they were purchased by Josiah "Si" Keck in the winter of 1876, his wealth helped promote them into the newly created National League that same year as a charter team there. However, the Reds that season started out as the worst team in the league that season, winning only 9 games (out of 65 total) that year. It became the lowest win percentage for a team there until 1899, as well as the lowest amount of games won by a team for a season in NL (and by extension, MLB) history. However, the Red Stockings did improve upon them in each subsequent season they played in, though they were never considered one of the best teams in the league from that period of time. As such, the team disbanded in 1879 before that season even concluded, though they did get replaced a year later by...
  • The Cincinnati Stars (1880) were considered the replacement to the original Cincinnati Red Stockings of the time. However, the Stars performed no better than the Red Stockings before them, having a 21-59 record in their only season of play. That being said, their record wasn't the reason for the Stars being disbanded from the National League. No, what ultimately kicked them out was NL president William Hulbert and the rest of the league being against the Stars both selling beer during games and renting out Bank Street Grounds for baseball games played on Sunday, both of which were considered very important to the team in that time. However, with team president W. H. Kennett refusing to sign a pledge against those ideas, the NL president and the majority of team owners that were against those practices expelled the team from the National League despite them not yet going into effect at that time. That move later resulted in the eventual creation of the Cincinnati Reds (who actually competed in the then-rivaling American Association at that time) that we know of today.
  • The Cleveland Blues (1879-1884) were one of two expansion teams created by the National League in 1879 in order to help the league survive after ending their previous season with only four teams left in the NL at the time. Throughout their history, the Blues were never truly considered one of the best teams in the National League (for reference, their best season was their second season with a 47-37 record for third place, mainly being led by Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon), only finishing above fifth place one other time in their history. However, they are remembered for having one of the first ever no-hitters in the National League with pitcher Hugh Daily getting a 1-0 no-hitter against the Philadelphia Quakers in 1883. That being said, them never reaching greatness did affect the Blues badly in their final season of play, being the second-worst team of the National League with a 35-77 record to their name. After finishing their season poorly, the Blues were then purchased by Charles Bryne for $10,000 and simply got folded into his own baseball team, the Brooklyn Grays (now the Los Angeles Dodgers).
  • The Cleveland Spiders (1887-1899) originally first started out as first the Cleveland Forest Citys and then the Cleveland Blues back when they first played in the rivaling American Association for two seasons. After Cleveland was given a promotion to the National League early despite two bad, losing records in the American Association (thus being the city's second franchise in MLB history), the team officially changed their name to the Spiders due to joking comments reportedly made from a team executive when assessing his rather skinny players at the time. Once they moved to the National League, they already saw immediate improvements despite still having a losing record in their first season in the National League, finishing 61-72 for sixth place after previously going 50-82 for sixth place and 39-92 for last place in their first two seasons in the American Association. After two more losing seasons (one of which finished with a 44-88 record), the Spiders managed to finish in second place with a 93-56 record for 2nd place overall, going 53-23 for first place in the second half of their season after finishing 40-33 for fifth place in the first half. It also led to them playing in the only World Series match against two National League teams due to the half placement that year, though it ended with them being swept 5-0 to the first half and overall champions that year, the Boston Beaneaters (now Atlanta Braves) after their first game ended in a 0-0 tie due to darkness (remember, this was before the lightbulb was commonplace). From that point onward until 1898, the Spiders remained as one of the most competitive teams in the National League, even winning the National League's Temple Cup championship (a precursor to the World Series that we know today) over the original Baltimore Orioles of the National League (see above for that) 4-0, despite being second place in the NL that year. Unfortunately for the Spiders, they faced a very bitter end near the end of 1898 once team owners Frank & Stanley Robison ended up purchasing the St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals) from their original owner. Due to them also owning the Spiders as well, the conflict of interests led to them transferring many of Cleveland's best players (including Hall of Famers like Cy Young) to St. Louis in 1899 in exchange for much weaker players from St. Louis going to Cleveland due to the new owners seeing new crowd potential in St. Louis, yet being completely disappointed in Cleveland despite their winning ways through most of the 1890's (which got paid back by the end of that decade with a total of 6,088 fans attending home games at the end of the 19th century, or an average of 145 fans per home game that season). Combine that with the Spiders playing most of their games on the road (not playing at home until May 1 that year), and it's no wonder why they not only finished with the worst record in MLB history (ending their misery with a lowly 20-134 record through a 9-33 record at home and an 11-101 on the road), but also finished with the lowest amount of wins in the modern-day MLB era until the COVID-19 Pandemic ended that through a shortened 2020 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a result of Cleveland's absolute futility combined with their team owners being more interested in their new franchise in St. Louis over their original one in Cleveland, the Spiders were one of four teams to dissolve by 1899, being an obvious, dubious case in sports futility.
  • The Detroit Wolverines (1881-1888) were first created when the mayor of Detroit, William G. Thompson, bought the majority of the Cincinnati Stars' players in the aftermath of their expulsion from the National League and decided to place his new team in the National League as an expansion squad replacement for the Stars. In the team's first two years, they were considered a decent squad, though nothing special for the National League. Even then, the Wolverines have held two important historical footprints in their early history; the first related to them being the focal point of the only banned umpire in MLB history.Explanation  The second, and far more dubious point related to them giving up 18 straight runs in a single inning against the Chicago White Stockings in 1883, which still remains the MLB record for the most runs given up for an inning. On that note, the Wolverines' mid-history had them become one of the worst teams in the National League, placing either last place or close to it in their next three seasons after previously being a decent squad early on. When the mayor of Detroit ended up selling the team to Frederick Kimball Stearns during the 1885 season, he planned on getting the Wolverines one of the first ever "super teams" in baseball history by purchasing high-priced players to become competitive going forward. Most notably, Stearns purchased the entire Buffalo Bisons in August 1885 to secure the playing rights of their "Big Four" star players of Dan Brouthers, Jack Rowe, Hardy Richardson, and Deacon White before he forcibly kicked the Bisons out of the National League at the end of their season. For the Wolverines, the cold-blooded strategy worked early on, as they immediately rose up the rankings to become the second-best team in the NL in 1886 (behind the Chicago White Stockings) before not just winning the pennant race a year later with a 79-45 record, but also winning the 1887 World Series over the 95-40 St. Louis Browns by beating them in 10 out of 15 games that year. However, the super team scheme ended up losing the team a lot of money in their final season due to the NL reducing the maximum share for visiting teams and Detroit being a small city back in the 19th century (decades before getting the Motor City nickname), which led to the owner selling their biggest stars to other teams after they had another middling season before ultimately folding the team at the end of their final season.
  • The Hartford Dark Blues (1874-1876) were originally created as a member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (a precursor to the National League) before being chosen as a charter member of the National League in 1876. In their inaugural season in the NL, Hartford became a prominent member of the National League due to their pitching staff having the most complete games of all NL teams that year (69 out of 70 total games) and tied the original Philadelphia Athletics for the lowest number of home runs allowed that season. They were also the favorite team of acclaimed author Mark Twain at the time, to the point of even being (falsely) rumored to be an umpire for one of their games at one point. However, due to the departure of the New York Mutuals, the Hartford Dark Blues moved to Brooklyn for one season to become the Brooklyn Hartfords (1877). In their sole season in Brooklyn, the Hartfords were once again third place in the NL, though their talent level decreased with star pitchers Tommy Bond and Candy Cummings leaving the team by the time they moved. Despite finishing the season with a solid 31-27 record, the Hartfords left disbanded after the end of their 1877 season.
  • The Indianapolis Blues (1877-1878) were originally a team created for the short-lived League Alliance, which was a semi-affiliate minor league to the National League. They joined the Buffalo Bisons, Milwaukee Grays, and Syracuse Stars as one of four teams from the League Alliance to enter the National League at some point, with the Blues and Grays being the only teams to enter immediately after the League Alliance folded. However, the Blues finished fifth place in the six-team National League in their only season there, finishing ahead of only the Milwaukee Grays and being one of only two teams that to finish with a below average record. After their only season in the National League concluded, the Blues left the league altogether and folded their squad from there.
  • The Kansas City Outlaws (1886) was a team the National League implemented on a trial basis as a means to see if the team could perform well in that league. While their team name was given in memory to the original Kansas City Outlaws created in the short-lived Union Association team of the same name, their history has no relation to that team whatsoever (especially since that team had a poor record there, yet was strangely the only other team alongside the St. Louis Maroons to be profitable that year). However, like the original Outlaws team before them, this Kansas City Outlaws squad also performed poorly themselves, finishing 7th place (out of eight teams) with a 30-91 record before the National League forced the team to sell its players for the NL in exchange for $6,000 in February 1887. After the players for cash transaction was completed, the National League decided to implement the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (now Pittsburgh Pirates) from the American Association into their league instead going forward.
  • The Louisville Colonels (1874-1899) originally first started out as the Louisville Eclipse back when they first started playing as a semi-professional baseball team at the time. After years of playing as a well-known local team, the Eclipse proved their worth for gaining entry to play in the rivaling American Association. This became Louisville's second and final attempt at a major league team after their first run ended in controversy (see below for more information on that). Back when the team was named the Express, they actually started out as a pretty good team, finishing with a 42-38 record for second place (behind Cincinnati) in their inaugural season and continued winning even after the American Association expanded the amount of teams there. To give an idea of how good they were back then, two different pitchers (Tony Mullane & Guy Hecker) threw no-hitters on September 11 & 19, 1882, their inaugural, professional season. However, when the Eclipse changed their team name to the Colonels (a name to honor residents of distinction there), they had some struggles in their first two seasons, getting losing records of 53-59 and 66-70 respectively there before briefly getting back to their winning ways again with a 76-60 finish the following season. Unfortunately, the following two seasons gave them their worst results in that league, finishing with a 48-87 record the next season and then a humiliating 27-111 record the year after that due to financial issues combined with a player's strike and a professional record 26-game losing streak for the Major Leagues to recognize, which is still a record to this day. After finishing those seasons, however, the team was brought back to respectability by new ownership through Barney Dreyfuss, with his leadership (combined with some other players leaving for an attempt at their own baseball league and the best teams in the American Association at the time going to the National League by 1890) resulting in the Colonels getting not just their league's pennant with an 88-44 record, but also technically winning a World Series in 1890 (via tie) against the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (now Los Angeles Dodgers).Explanation  Unfortunately, the Colonels could never replicate their success in the American Association ever again, as they finished their final season in the soon-to-be-dead league with a 54-83 record, finishing with the second-worst record that year behind the Washington Statesmen, though both teams did move to the National League after the American Association's collapse. Along the way, the Colonels never finished with a good record at all in the National League, finishing in the bottom half with a losing record for every single season there, though they were close to at least getting an average record in their final season (finishing 75-77). However, the Colonels met their untimely end that year when their improved Eclipse Park was destroyed in a fire near the end of their final season, which led to Louisville playing their final games on the road instead of at home. The burned down ballpark combined with the Colonels never being a good team in the National League led to them being one of the four teams to be dissolved by that league near the end of the 19th century in order for the National League to survive efficiently.
  • The Louisville Grays (1876-1877) were an inaugural National League team created alongside the National League itself. In their first season, they placed 5th in the league with a 30-36 losing record. However, their final season left them with an improved record at 35-25 for second place, though it came with heavy controversy that would not be met again until the 1919 World Series. While Louisville were actually in first place entering August 1877, they ended up suspiciously losing seven games and tying one game to the Brooklyn Hartfords and the Boston Red Caps, which caused them to lose the pennant and drop down to second place. The problem was so egregious that the owner's son had to write about it in the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper, questioning the team's conduct there. Even worse, team president Charles Chase received anonymous telegrams with gamblers betting on the Hartfords in an upcoming series, with Louisville throwing a game on August 21... which did happen with multiple suspicious errors in mind between players bobbling the ball, appearing too slow in between bases, and swinging suspiciously wide in a 7-0 loss. This led to National League President William Hulbert investigating the players of the team, ordering every single player to authorize Western Union to release all telegrams either sent or received to them during the 1877 season. Every player except for team captain Bill Craver (who was previously a crooked player back in 1870 with Chicago) complied with the order, with the telegrams revealing that star pitcher Jim Devlin, star left fielder George Hall, and utility player Al Nichols all intentionally lost games in exchange for more money being received to them. While no direct evidence was ever found implicating Craver, all four players in question were permanently banned from the National League, thus creating the death sentence for the Grays since they were forced out of business in relation to the investigation at hand.
  • The Milwaukee Grays (1877-1878) have no relation to the Louisville Grays mentioned earlier here. In fact, the Milwaukee Grays first started as a League Alliance team, later joining the Indianapolis Blues as the only other team from that short-lived league to enter the National League immediately after the League Alliance folded. In the League Alliance, they were a respectable team, winning 19 games and losing 13 of them for a respectable fourth place finish, even earning a spot in the National League due to their sharp style of play and strong hometown support. However, once they moved into the National League, their sharp style appeared to have faded away from them, as they finished their only season there at last place with a 15-45 record. After finishing their season as the worst team that year, the Milwaukee Grays folded from existence altogether. However, this team is at least remembered in Milwaukee as a vintage baseball club, joining the Milwaukee Cream Citys as one of two teams dedicated to preserving and presenting the sport's rich history of baseball in the city of Milwaukee. A modern iteration of them is a member of the Vintage Base Ball Association, with players there wearing replica uniforms based off of the original team uniforms worn back in 1878.
  • The New York Mutuals (1857-1876) were first created as the Mutual Base Ball Club (or the Mutual Base Ball Club of New York for locations outside of New York) as a team too late to be a part of the inaugural National Association of Base Ball Players that year. Despite that, the Mutual of New York were considered the best team of the National Amateur Association once they entered properly in 1858, later winning another pennant a decade later in 1868 and then declaring themselves champions in 1870 in protest to how their final match against the Chicago White Stockings that year was handled.Explanation  As a result of the controversy involved there, the Mutual moved to the National Association as a charter member there in 1871, continuing to stay there until they later got promoted to the National League as a charter member there in 1876. During their only season in the NL, the New York Mutuals executed the first ever triple play in MLB history in a game against the Hartford Dark Blues. However, the Mutuals were both one of the weakest teams in the league and poor on money, to the point of refusing to complete their final road trip out west to complete their inaugural NL season. This led to the Mutuals being kicked out of the league altogether and then dissolved soon afterward.
  • The original Philadelphia Athletics (1860-1876) first began as an amateur club named the Athletic Base Ball Club (or the Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia for locations outside of Philadelphia) before being promoted into the National Amateur Association in 1861 during the Civil War era. After that era concluded, the Athletic (removing the Base Ball Club from their name) competed against the equally-colloquially named Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn for the NAA championship of 1866, as well as won championships in 1867 and 1868 (being considered the best teams in the league in terms of wins) before looking to compete against professional teams for championships in 1869 and 1870. With their competitive nature against professional teams in mind, the Athletic moved into the National Association in 1871, winning their first and only pennant that year. While they never won another pennant afterward, they still remained a very good, competitive team there. So much so, in fact, that they were given the invite to the National League as a charter member there in 1876 over the rivaling Philadelphia Whites (or Philadelphia White Stockings), the Brooklyn Atlantics, and the New Haven Elm Citys due in part to exclusive territories being given to all member clubs there. Once they moved into the National League, though, the Philadelphia Athletics performed poorly there, placing 7th in the conference with only 14 wins to their name there. Even worse, they couldn't get a proper road trip out west ready for their season due to financial problems, which caused them to be dropped completely alongside the New York Mutuals near the end of the National League's inaugural season. This led to the NL going from 8 teams to 6 entering the league's second year.
  • The Providence Grays (1875-1885) were originally created as a semi-pro team named the Rhode Islands off of the growing popularity of the sport in Rhode Island, including several other successful amateur teams of the time and Brown University having a powerhouse college team at the time. After drawing excellent success in their first three seasons, the team was invited to the National League to replace the Brooklyn Hartfords, officially changing their name to the Providence Grays before the start of their first season in the National League. Despite having their home arena (which was considered the best ballpark plant in the country at the time) being completed only five minutes before the start of their first game and having awkward moments with the Milwaukee Grays mentioned above, Providence's first season was a successful one, going 33-27 and reaching third place in the NL. However, once they became the only team to be named the Grays around the league from their second season onward, they got cooking as one of the best teams of the entire National League that season, being led by Hall of Fame pitcher John Montgomery Ward to win the NL pennant of 1879 with a 59-25 record. That season also hosted two more positive features for the sport that the team had a hand in: creating a protective screen behind the field for foul balls and wild pitches and likely having the first ever African-American baseball player (and probably the only former slave of that era) to play a major league game in former Brown University student William Edward White, who played for the Grays in a win on June 21, 1879. The Providence Grays continued to be one of the best teams in the National League in later seasons, which also featured the second ever perfect game in MLB history (as pitched by John Montgomery Ward against the Buffalo Bisons in 1880) and the final perfect game of the 19th century, a no-hitter by Charles Radbourn against the Cleveland Blues in 1883, and a then-strikeout record of 19 batters in a nine-inning game by Charles Sweeney against the Boston Red Stockings in 1884, the last of which lasted for 102 years until it was broken by Roger Clemens in 1986. Providence also hosted the first ever World Series from the 19th century alongside the New York Metropolitans (no relation to the current New York Mets outside of name inspiration) of the rivaling American Association in 1884 after the general manager of the 75-32 Metropolitans issued a exhibition series challenge to the 84-28 Grays (who won their second NL pennant that year) for whoever won a best of 3 series to take home a prize of $2,000 ($1,000 from both the Grays and Metropolitans). The series was a sweep favoring the Grays by a 6-0 Game 1, a 3-2 Game 2 in 7 innings, and a 12-2 Game 3 in 6 innings, but it proved to be a fun incentive to continue the original World Series with that then-rival of theirs until the American Association folded in 1891 and the NL briefly experimented with its own take on the World Series in 1892 between the first-half champions and second-half champions competing against each other for the championship that year. Despite winning an extra $1,000 from the Metropolitans in the World Series, however, the Grays still faced financial problems in 1885. While they continued to be a respectable team in that time (finishing in fourth place with a 53-57 record, their only losing season), financial issues proved to become too much to overcome for Providence, leading to them folding in after the conclusion of their final season. There was also a minor league team named the Providence Grays that lasted from 1886 until 1949, though that team had no connection to the major league squad from earlier.
  • The (original) St. Louis Brown Stockings (1875-1877) were originally created in the final year of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players' existence. They were the first of two St. Louis teams that joined the league that year (the second joined as an amateur team turned professional in an attempt to spite the Brown Stockings due to them not having even one natural St. Louis player joining their team) and were easily the more successful St. Louis based team of the two. The Brown Stockings not only finished the season successfully (hosting a 39-29 record for fourth place there as opposed to folding by the Fourth of July that year), but were one of eight teams promoted into the National League as a charter team in its inaugural season. In their first season, they were highly successful, placing third with a 45-19 record and winning a for fun "Champions of the West" series 4-1 over the Chicago White Stockings due to the Brown Stockings winning the season series and being second in terms of win percentages, despite the White Stockings already winning the pennant that year. That season also gave the National League their first contemporary no-hitter, with George Bradley and the Brown Stockings being the winners of that 2-0 game against the Hartford Dark Blues on July 15 that year (though it might be considered the first official one in modern-day standards).Explanation  St. Louis' second season in the National League was not considered fruitful, however, as they saw their team drop below to a 28-32 record and slip to fourth place there. Even worse, two players the Brown Stockings originally signed for their upcoming season for 1878, star players Jim Devlin and George Hall, were permanently banned from the league due to them being involved in a game fixing scandal back when they played for the Louisville Grays. Due to the two players making St. Louis feel guilty by association, wasting money on players that later became permanently banned from professional baseball, the Brown Stockings filed for bankruptcy in 1877. However, members of the original team made a new Brown Stockings team to help revive the team as a barnstorming team, playing whoever they could on an independent basis at first. Originally, they faced a different problem with a lack of attendance instead of a lack of success, with that team being threatened from being shut down for a second time by 1881. However, by persuasion of outfielder Ned Cuthbert, Chris von der Ahe purchased the lease for the Grand Avenue Park, renovated the ballpark to help the Brown Stockings out, and then gave the new Brown Stockings a place in the American Association, with that Brown Stockings team now becoming the modern St. Louis Cardinals we know today.
  • The St. Louis Maroons (1884-1886) were originally created by the MLB-recognized Union Association, a short-lived major league competitor to the National League that the Maroons easily excelled in! How great did they excel in the Union Association? After starting out their inaugural season with a 7-2 win over the Chicago Browns, the Maroons continued to go on to a 20-game winning streak to start out their season; for reference on how long-lasting that record was, no other Major League team has come close to breaking that record naturally to start out a season, with the Maroons' record only being broken 131 years later by the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors of the NBA starting out their 73-9 season with a 24-game winning streak. Another point to show how dominant they were to their competition there, their final record for their championship season was 94-19 (modified for a modern regular MLB season, it'd be on pace for 132-135 wins and 27-30 losses to their name), while their closest competitor to them (the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds) finished with a 69-36 record. The record caught the attention of the National League, taking on the Maroons once the Union Association collapsed after finishing their only season there, figuring they could make for a great inner city rivalry with the then-Browns. Unfortunately for the Maroons, not only did the Browns perform at their peak of the late 19th century with four straight NL pennants to their name, but the better competition in the National League proved to be a real struggle for the Maroons to compete against, finishing dead last at 36-72 in their first season in the NL and then finishing sixth place at 43-79 the following year. Their final season under that name also featured a player named Fred Dunlap hitting the cycle there against the New York Gothams. However, financial troubles resulted in the team moving to Indianapolis after finishing their 1886 season, which led to them being the National League's Indianapolis Hoosiers (1887-1889) for the rest of their history.Explanation  Their seasons in Indianapolis didn't fare much better for them either, as the Hoosiers finished dead last in 1887 before finishing in seventh place (out of eight teams) in their final two seasons of existence. Interestingly enough, when the team played their home baseball games on Sundays, they could not play in their home field at the Athletic Park due to Indianapolis holding blue laws at the time forbidding activities like playing baseball in the city on Sundays; as a result, the team played certain home games outside of the city at the Bruce Grounds in 1887 and at the ironically named Indianapolis Park the following seasons afterward. Also in their final season, the team held a Hall of Fame pitcher named Amos Rusie debuting in the team and saw Jack Glasscock hit for the cycle with Indianapolis in an interleague match against the American Association's New York Metropolitans. After their season concluded, the team folded, and their history was exactly that.
  • The Syracuse Stars (1877-1879) started out similarly to the Buffalo Bisons by beginning in the short-lived League Alliance in 1877 as a sort of independent team before being promoted to the International Association a year later in 1878 and then being promoted to the National League a year later in 1879. However, unlike the Bisons, the Syracuse Stars faced significant significant struggles in their only season in the NL, including three different acting team managers throughout the team (one of whom being an interim in a losing game). While their first team manager didn't produce the best results in his time there (going 17-26 before being fired), the other guys proved to be much worst by comparison, especially the last guy going 5-21 to finish out their season. In fact, their season proved to be so bad that they did not complete their official schedule (finishing 7th place with a 22-48 record that year) before they decided to fold their team altogether. The name was also revived for other minor league teams, but unlike the Bisons, those teams have no affiliation involved with the old Syracuse Stars whatsoever.
  • The Troy Trojans (1879-1882), based in the upstate New York city of that name, were created as an expansion team for the National League after the NL dropped down to only four existing teams by the end of 1878. They were created alongside the Cleveland Blues to help make sure the National League survived after seeing the Milwaukee Grays and Indianapolis Blues drop out of the league and cease existing altogether, pretty much doubling the amount of teams ready for their 1879 season. Since the Trojans were basically created as an expansion team of sorts for the league, naturally their first season had them hold the worst record in the league with a 19-56 record that year. However, the team's next two seasons were significantly better for Troy, going from the worst team in the league to one of the more average teams there (despite never having a winning record in the NL). Not only that, but their 1881 season saw them host the first ever grand slam home run by the Trojans' Roger Connor (who has been described as the Babe Ruth of the 19th century) through a scenario kids wanting to play in the MLB could only dream of happening to them in real life. However, when the team moved to Watervliet (West Troy as it was known at the time) in their final season, the National League saw the Trojans as one of two teams still in the National League that had to be cut out by the end of their 1882 season due to the city's small size, though they were still encouraged to finish their final season, albeit as a lame duck team. Once they finished as the second-worst team of the season, the team disbanded and were replaced by the New York Gothams (now San Francisco Giants) going forward; a few players from the Trojans ended up joining the Gothams in their inaugural season. Not to be confused with the modern Troy Trojans, the athletic program of Troy University in Alabama.
  • The original National League's Washington Nationals (1886-1889) were actually the fourth iteration of the team name that we currently know of today, being named after the original team from the National Association from 1859-1875. There were also Washington Nationals teams in the American Association and the Union Association in 1884, but neither of those teams are related to these Washington Nationals. Anyways, sometimes, the team was referred to as the Washington Statesmen or even the Washington Senators during this Nationals team's existence, but the Nationals were never one of the good teams within the National League. In fact, their best season (their second season in 1887) had them finish at seventh place (out of eight teams) with a 46-76 record, which put them ahead of only the Indianapolis Hoosiers (as seen above) that year... and it wasn't even their best record by that time! Their first season had them finish at an abysmal 28-92 record, while their third season had their best record at 48-86 still place them dead last before their final season kicked them out of the league with a 41-83 record. However, their team did have a couple of notable players in future Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack and the first deaf baseball player in Dummy Hoy. And while the Nationals were gone, they weren't the last Washington team in the 19th century to play in the National League...
  • The original, official Washington Senators (1891-1899) were considered the first ever iteration of the team known as the Washington Senators. While they also had been referred to as the Washington Nationals as well at certain points (confusing, isn't it?), the team actually started out as the Washington Statesmen back when they played their only season at the soon-to-be out of business American Association in 1891. Despite finishing in last place there for that league's final season, after the American Association folded, the Statesmen changed their team name to the Senators and joined the Baltimore Orioles, the Louisville Colonels, and the St. Louis Browns as the last teams from that league to join the National League. Unfortunately, the team still struggled with performance issues from the transfer, finishing their first season there with a 7th place spot (out of 12 teams now) for the first half of the season before going dead last in the second half (though finishing that season in 10th place with a 58-93 record) and never truly getting any better as a team from there. In the team's seven seasons in the National League, the Senators finished in the top half of the National League only once in 1897, and that was through a combination of a surprise winning streak near the end of that season (winning 30 of their last 46 games after going 31-55 early on) and owning the tiebreaker over the Brooklyn Bridegrooms that season. For every other season, the Senators finished in 10th, 11th, or dead last place for every season except for their 1896 season, where they finished in 9th place that year. When the National League contracted itself in 1899, the Senators were the easiest team for the league to cut that year because of the fact that they never performed well throughout their entire history. While a second Washington Senators appeared in the American League in 1901, those Senators had no relation to the team created in the 19th century.
  • The Worcester Worcesters (1879-1882) originally started out as the Worcester Brown Stockings in the National Association minor league before being promoted to the National League major league and were given the alternative nickname of the Worcester Ruby Legs in that time (though no contemporary sources of the era gave true support for either prior nickname). The reason why they were picked up despite being in a location that held 58,000 people at the time when the minimum population required for teams at the time was 75,000 related to ace pitcher Lee Richmond, who helped Worcester go 6-2 against National League teams in exhibition games. The Worcesters also did interesting promotions both inside Worcester, Massachusetts and outside of it to both get into the league and help themselves stay there. Despite their short history, they've had some notable moments to their name in the National League, including the first major league perfect game done by Lee Richmond in a 1-0 win against the Cleveland Blues, became the first home team to be no-hit themselves in a 1-0 loss to the Buffalo Bisons, and were considered an instrumental factor in kicking the Cincinnati Stars out of the National League and eventually create the modern-day Cincinnati Reds by the current director of the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, while Worcester had a respectable first season in the National League, they soon became the worst team in the league for their final seasons, to the point where the size of the city was a deciding factor against them continuing on any further than they did. In fact, only reason why they didn't shut down their team earlier in their last season was because they considered one of two lame duck teams for the rest of the National League. To give perspective on how little was cared for their departure, their final two games of their last season against the Troy Trojans (who were the other lame duck team of the NL that season) recorded attendance totals of 6 and 25 people respectively, making for the lowest recorded attendance totals for any league game (not relating to abnormal, behind closed doors events like the COVID-19 Pandemic occurring, of course) for professional sports history! One more note, the Worcester franchise did not move to Philadelphia and become the modern-day Phillies, contrary to historic belief; only the team's spot in the National League was moved to Philadelphia, since the Quakers team that were the Phillies were created as an expansion team to help even out the league in that time.


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Alternative Title(s): Major League Baseball


Foul Ball Destroys Camera

Adam Jones, a center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles, accidentally destroys a camera behind home plate during a game against the New York Yankees. (September 14, 2014)

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4.72 (25 votes)

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Main / CameraAbuse

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