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1900s

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The 1900s were the beginning of what has become known in baseball as "the modern era." The rules were finally in a relatively stable form and one that would remain so over the next century. The game itself, though, was very different. This was the heart of the Deadball Era, a time of reduced offensive levels throughout the baseball world (which meant North America and Cuba for all intents and purposes).

In the major leagues, the formation of the American League as a major league in 1901 presented the National League with its first rival in a decade - and the one that would last the longest. The addition of a second league led to players jumping from team to team as the leagues were involved in open player warfare in the first half of the decade. The two-league system also enabled the revival of major postseason competitions, with the creation of the World Series. Top major league position players of the decade were clearly Nap Lajoie in the AL and Honus Wagner in the NL. Ed Walsh, Christy Mathewson, Three-Finger Brown and Cy Young were among the notable hurlers.

In the minor leagues, the major change was the addition of the classification system to rank leagues, starting in 1902. It was a fluid time for the most part in terms of leagues. The major ones were the Eastern League (later to become the International League) and American Association.

With baseball now segregated, all-black teams slowly increased in number, though they still did not resemble a league in any fashion and top black teams rarely played each other. They did begin playing competitively against white major league teams in exhibition competitions, though, and also did well in their tours of Cuba, which began this decade.

In the international baseball world, only the Cuban Winter League was a major presence. Major leaguers like George McQuillan and Rip Hagerman began to appear, as did black stars such as Pete Hill, Rube Foster and Home Run Johnson to compete with native Cuban greats like José Muñoz. Almost all major leaguers were from the US during this period.

Years American League National League Postseason
1900 1900 NL Chronicle-Telegraph Cup
1901 1901 AL 1901 NL
1902 1902 AL 1902 NL
1903 1903 AL 1903 NL 1903 WS
1904 1904 AL 1904 NL
1905 1905 AL 1905 NL 1905 WS
1906 1906 AL 1906 NL 1906 WS
1907 1907 AL 1907 NL 1907 WS
1908 1908 AL 1908 NL 1908 WS
1909 1909 AL 1909 NL 1909 WS

[edit] Further Reading

  • Mark S. Halfon: Tales from the Deadball Era: Ty Cobb, Home Run Baker, Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Wildest Times in Baseball History, Potomac Books, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2014. ISBN 978-1612346489
  • Bill James: "The 1900s", in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, The Free Press, New York, NY, 2001, pp. 71-93.
  • Marc Okkonen: Baseball Memories, 1900-1909: An Illustrated Chronicle of the Big Leagues' First Decade, Sterling Publishing Company, New York, NY, 1992. ISBN 978-0806987286


Years
19th Century
1850s   1857 1858 1859
1860s 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869
1870s 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879
1880s 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
1890s 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
20th Century
1900s 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
1910s 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
1920s 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
1930s 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940s 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950s 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
1960s 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970s 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980s 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990s 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
21st Century
2000s 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010s 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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