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Major League Baseball

North American professional baseball league / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world.[upper-alpha 2] MLB is composed of 30 total teams, divided equally between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. The NL and AL were formed in 1876 and 1901, respectively. Beginning in 1903, the two leagues signed the National Agreement and cooperated but remained legally separate entities until 2000, when they merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball.[3][17][18] MLB is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan.[7] It is also included as one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

Quick facts: Sport, Founded, Commissioner, No. of teams, C...
Major League Baseball
Upcoming season or competition:
2023 Major League Baseball season
FoundedNational League (NL), April 22, 1876; 146 years ago (1876-04-22)[1]
American League (AL), April 22, 1901; 121 years ago (1901-04-22)[2]
National Agreement signed, 1903; 120 years ago (1903)[3]
Merged into one organization, 2000; 23 years ago (2000)[4]
CommissionerRob Manfred[5]
No. of teams30[6]
CountriesUnited States (29 teams)
Canada (1 team)
Headquarters1271 Avenue of the Americas[7]
New York, New York
Most recent
Houston Astros
(2nd title)
Most titlesNew York Yankees
(27 titles)[8]
TV partner(s)

Baseball's first all-professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was founded in 1869. Before that, some teams had secretly paid certain players. The first few decades of professional baseball were characterized by rivalries between leagues and by players who often jumped from one team or league to another. The period before 1920 was the dead-ball era, when home runs were rarely hit. Professional baseball in the United States survived the Black Sox Scandal, a conspiracy to fix the 1919 World Series. The sport rose in popularity in the 1920s and survived potential downturns during the Great Depression and World War II. Shortly after the war, Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier.

The 1950s and 1960s were a time of club expansion and relocation for the AL and NL. Modern stadiums with artificial turf surfaces began to change the game in the 1970s and 1980s. Home runs dominated the game during the 1990s, and media reports disclosed the use of anabolic steroids among MLB players in the mid-2000s. In 2006, an investigation produced the Mitchell Report, which implicated many players in the use of performance-enhancing substances, including at least one player from each team.

Each team plays 162 games per season, and six teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that culminates in the World Series, a best-of-seven championship series between the two league champions that dates back to 1903. Baseball games are broadcast on television, radio, and the internet throughout North America and in several other countries. MLB has the highest total season attendance of any sports league in the world with more than 69.6 million spectators in 2018.[19]

MLB also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises lower-tier teams affiliated with the major league clubs. MLB and the World Baseball Softball Confederation jointly manage the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

MLB is the second-wealthiest professional sport league by revenue after the National Football League (NFL).[20][21][22]

Since the first World Series in 1903, the New York Yankees have the most championships with 27. The Houston Astros are the reigning World Series champions, as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4–2 in the 2022 World Series, to mark the end of the 2022 season.