The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League, is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a league based in the Great Lakes states. It is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season,25 years after the formation of the National League. At the end of season, the American League champion plays in the World Series against the National League champion. Through 2016, American League teams have won 64 of the 112 World Series played since 1903, the 2016 American League champions are the Cleveland Indians. The New York Yankees have won 40 American League titles, the most in the history, followed by the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics. Originally a minor league known as the Western League, the American League later developed into a major league after the American Association disbanded, in its early history, the Western League struggled until 1894, when Ban Johnson became the president of the league. Johnson led the Western League into major league status and soon became the president of the newly renamed American League, babe Ruth, noted as one of the most prolific hitters in Major League Baseball history, spent the majority of his career in the American League. The American League has one notable difference versus the National League, in 1902, the Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis and were renamed the St. Louis Browns. In 1902, The Cleveland Bluebirds were also renamed the Cleveland Broncos, in 1903, the Broncos were renamed the Cleveland Naps. In 1915, the Naps were renamed the Cleveland Indians, in 1903, the Baltimore Orioles moved to New York and were renamed the New York Highlanders. In 1913, the Highlanders were renamed the New York Yankees, in 1904, the Chicago White Stockings were renamed the Chicago White Sox. In 1908, the Boston Americans were renamed the Boston Red Sox, in 1954, the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and were renamed as the Baltimore Orioles. In 1955, the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City and were renamed as the Kansas City Athletics, in 1961, the league expanded and added two teams as the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators, expanding the league to 10 teams. The original Senators team moved to Minneapolis/St, Paul in 1961 and were renamed as the Minnesota Twins. The Angels team name changed to the California Angels in 1966, then to the Anaheim Angels in 1997, the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Pilots were added to the American League, expanding the league to 12 teams. In 1970, the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee and were renamed the Milwaukee Brewers, in 1972, the Washington Senators relocated to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and were renamed the Texas Rangers. In 1977, the league expanded to fourteen teams, when the Seattle Mariners, in 1998, the Tampa Bay Rays was added to the American League and at the same time, the Milwaukee Brewers were switched to the National League, leaving the American League with 14 teams
Teams of the American League, 1903
U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson shake hands following the Senators' 1924 championship.