Major League Baseball

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Current MLB logo

"Say this for big league baseball: it is beyond any question the greatest conversation piece ever invented in America." - Bruce Catton

Major League Baseball (abbreviated as MLB) refers to the entity that operates North American professional baseball's two major leagues, the National League and the American League, by means of a joint organizational structure which has existed since 2000, although collaboration between the two leagues dates back to 1903. Major league baseball, uncapitalized, is the highest level of play in professional baseball in the world. More specifically. On an organizational level, MLB effectively operates as a single "league", and as such it constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. Before separate league offices were abolished and the roster of umpires, once run by the leagues, was consolidated into a single major league roster of umpires in 2000, coordination was the purview of the office of the Commissioner, established in 1921. One major step towards consolidation occurred in 1984, when the two league presidents were made to report directly to Commissioner Peter Ueberroth; this was done to enhance the Commissioner's power, in order to entice Ueberroth to accept the office, and in recognition that a structure based on two fully independent leagues was becoming outdated.

Major League Baseball is governed by the Major League Baseball Constitution, an agreement that has undergone several incarnations since 1876 when it was simply the National League Constitution, with the most recent revisions being made in 2005. Major League Baseball, under the direction of its Commissioner, Rob Manfred, hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts. As is the case for most North American sports leagues, the 'closed shop' aspect of MLB effectively prevents the yearly promotion and demotion of teams into the Major League by virtue of their performance.

MLB logo 1960-1968

MLB as well maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of minor league baseball. This is due in large part to a 1922 United States Supreme Court ruling in the case Federal Baseball Club v. National League which declared baseball is not considered interstate commerce (and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law), despite baseball's own references to itself as an "industry" rather than a "sport."

The production/multimedia wing of MLB is New York-based MLB Advanced Media, which oversees MLB.com and all 30 of the individual teams' websites. Its charter states that MLB Advanced Media holds editorial independence from the League itself, but it is indeed under the same ownership group and revenue-sharing plan. MLB Productions is a similarly-structured wing of the league, focusing on video and traditional broadcast media.

Current Major Leagues[edit]

The Major League regular season runs from late March or early April to late September or early October. Players and teams prepare for the season in spring training, primarily in Florida and Arizona, during February and March. Four rounds of playoffs follow the regular season, culminating in the World Series in late October or early November (see Baseball calendar for more details).

National League[edit]

Division Logo Team City Stadium
East Atlanta Braves Atlanta, GA SunTrust Park
Miami Marlins Miami, FL Marlins Park
New York Mets Queens, NY Citi Field
Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia, PA Citizens Bank Park
Washington Nationals Washington, DC Nationals Park
Central Chicago Cubs Chicago, IL Wrigley Field
Cincinnati Reds Cincinnati, OH Great American Ballpark
Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee, WI Miller Park
Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh, PA PNC Park
St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis, MO Busch Stadium
West Arizona Diamondbacks Phoenix, AZ Chase Field
Colorado Rockies Denver, CO Coors Field
Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles, CA Dodger Stadium
San Diego Padres San Diego, CA PETCO Park
San Francisco Giants San Francisco, CA Oracle Park

American League[edit]

Division Logo Team City Stadium
East Baltimore Orioles Baltimore, MD Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Boston Red Sox Boston, MA Fenway Park
New York Yankees Bronx, NY New Yankee Stadium
Tampa Bay Rays St. Petersburg, FL Tropicana Field
Toronto Blue Jays Toronto, ON Rogers Centre
Central Chicago White Sox Chicago, IL Guaranteed Rate Field
Cleveland Indians Cleveland, OH Progressive Field
Detroit Tigers Detroit, MI Comerica Park
Kansas City Royals Kansas City, MO Kauffman Stadium
Minnesota Twins Minneapolis, MN Target Field
West Houston Astros Houston, TX Minute Maid Park
Los Angeles Angels Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics Oakland, CA Oakland Coliseum
Seattle Mariners Seattle, WA T-Mobile Park
Texas Rangers Arlington, TX Globe Life Field

Further Reading[edit]

  • Rocco Constantino: 50 Moments That Defined Major League Baseball, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4422-6054-2
  • Robert F. Lewis II: Smart Ball: Marketing the Myth and Managing the Reality of Major League Baseball, University of Mississippi Press, Jackson, MS, 2009.
  • Lincoln A. Mitchell: Will Big League Baseball Survive? Globalization, the End of Television, Youth Sports, and the Future of Major League Baseball, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4399-1379-6
  • Bill Nowlin: "Did MLB Exist Before the Year 2000?", in Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 48 Number 2, Fall 2019, pp. 63-66.


Major League Baseball Playoffs
Wild Card Game: American League Wild Card Game National League Wild Card Game
Division Series: American League Division Series National League Division Series
Championship Series: American League Championship Series National League Championship Series
World Series
Awards of Major League Baseball
Most Valuable Player Award · Cy Young Award · Rookie of the Year Award · Gold Glove Award · Hank Aaron Award · Roberto Clemente Award · Silver Slugger Award · Trevor Hoffman Award · Mariano Rivera Award . Comeback Player of the Year Award · Manager of the Year Award · World Series Most Valuable Player Award · Ted Williams Award