The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or 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 minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which aspired to major league status, 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 every season, the American League champion plays in the World Series against the National League champion. Through 2018, American League teams have won 66 of the 114 World Series played since 1903, with 27 of those coming from the New York Yankees alone; the New York Yankees have won 40 American League titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics and the Boston Red Sox. A minor league known as the Western League which existed 1885 to 1899, with teams in Great Lakes states, the newly organized Western League developed into a rival major league after the previous American Association disbanded after ten seasons as a competitor to the older National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, founded in 1876.
In its early history of the late 1880s, the minor Western League struggled until 1894, when Ban Johnson became the president of the league. Johnson led the Western League into elevation as claiming major league status and soon became the president of the newly renamed American League of Professional Baseball Clubs in 1901; the American League was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the former Republican Hotel by five Irishmen. George Herman Ruth, noted as one of the most prolific hitters in Major League Baseball history, spent the majority of his career in the American League with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees; the American League has one notable difference versus the rival National League, in that in modern times since 1973 it has had the designated hitter rule. Under the rule, a team may use a batter in its lineup, not in the field defensively, replacing the pitcher in the batting order, compared to the old rule that made it mandatory for the pitcher to bat. In the last two decades, the season schedule has allowed occasional interleague play.
Until the late 1970s, league umpires working behind home plate wore large, balloon-style chest protectors worn outside the shirt or coat, while their brethren in the National League wore chest protectors inside the shirt or coat. In 1977, new umpires had to wear the inside chest protector, although those on staff wearing the outside protector could continue to do so. Most umpires made the switch to the inside protector, led by Don Denkinger in 1975 and Jim Evans the next year, although several did not, including Bill Haller, Lou DiMuro, George Maloney, Jerry Neudecker, who became the last MLB umpire to use the outside protector in 1985. In 1994, the league, along with the National League, reorganized again, into three divisions and added a third round to the playoffs in the form of the American League Division Series, with the best second-place team advancing to the playoffs as a wild-card team, in addition to the three divisional champions. In 1998, the newly franchised Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the league, the Arizona Diamondbacks joined the National League: i.e. each league each added a fifteenth team.
An odd number of teams per league meant that at least one team in each league would have to be idle on any given day, or alternatively that odd team out would have had to play an interleague game against its counterpart in the other league. The initial plan was to have three five-team divisions per league with inter league play year-round—possibly as many as 30 interleague games per team each year. For various reasons, it soon seemed more practical to have an number of teams in both leagues; the Milwaukee Brewers agreed moving from the AL Central to the NL Central. At the same time, the Detroit Tigers were moved from the AL East to the AL Central, making room for the Devil Rays in the East. Following the move of the Houston Astros, in the NL for 51 years since beginning as an expansion team in 1962, to the American League in 2013, both leagues now consist of 15 teams, a far cry from their original 8 for the first half-century of the 20th century. For the first 96 years, American League teams faced their National League counterparts only in exhibition games or in the World Series.
Beginning in 1997, interleague games have been played during the regular season and count in the standings. As part of the agreement instituting interleague play, the designated-hitter rule is used only in games where the American League team is the home team. There were eight charter teams in 1901, the league's first year as a major league, the next year the original Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns; these franchises constituted the league for 52 seasons, until the Browns moved to Baltimore and took up the name Baltimore Orioles. All eight original franchises remain in the American League, although only four remain in the original cities; the eight original teams and their counterparts in the "Classic Eight" were: original Baltimore Orioles (went b
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the American League Central division; the White Sox are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field, located on the city's South Side. They are one of two major league clubs in Chicago. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the franchise was established as a major league baseball club in 1901; the club was called the Chicago White Stockings, but this was soon shortened to Chicago White Sox. The team played home games at South Side Park before moving to Comiskey Park in 1910, where they played until Guaranteed Rate Field opened in 1991; the White Sox won the 1906 World Series with a defense-oriented team dubbed "the Hitless Wonders", the 1917 World Series led by Eddie Cicotte, Eddie Collins, Shoeless Joe Jackson. The 1919 World Series was marred by the Black Sox Scandal, in which several members of the White Sox were accused of conspiring with gamblers to fix games.
In response, Major League Baseball's new Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned the players from Major League Baseball for life. In 1959, led by Early Wynn, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio and manager Al López, the White Sox won the American League pennant, they won the AL pennant in 2005, went on to win the World Series, led by World Series MVP Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Mark Buehrle, catcher A. J. Pierzynski, the first Latino manager to win the World Series, Ozzie Guillén. For 1901-2018, the White Sox have an overall record of 9211-9126; the White Sox originated as the Sioux City Cornhuskers of the Western League, a minor league under the parameters of the National Agreement with the National League. In 1894, Charles Comiskey bought the Cornhuskers and moved them to St. Paul, where they became the St. Paul Saints. In 1900, with the approval of Western League president Ban Johnson, Charles Comiskey moved the Saints into his hometown neighborhood of Armour Square, where they became known as the White Stockings, the former name of Chicago's National League team, the Orphans.
In 1901, the Western League broke the National Agreement and became the new major league American League. The first season in the American League ended with a White Stockings championship. However, that would be the end of the season as the World Series did not begin until 1903; the franchise, now known as the Chicago White Sox, made its first World Series appearance in 1906, beating the crosstown Cubs in six games. The White Sox would win a third pennant and second World Series in 1917, beating the New York Giants in six games with help from stars Eddie Cicotte and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson; the Sox were favored in the 1919 World Series, but lost to the Cincinnati Reds in 8 games. Huge bets on the Reds fueled speculation. A criminal investigation went on in the 1920 season, though all players were acquitted, commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned eight of the White Sox players for life, in what was known as the Black Sox Scandal; this set the franchise back. The White Sox did not finish in the upper half of the American League again until after club founder Charles Comiskey died and passed ownership of the club to his son, J. Louis Comiskey.
They finished in the upper half most years between 1936–1946 under the leadership of manager Jimmy Dykes, with star shortstop Luke Appling, known as Ol' Aches and Pains, pitcher Ted Lyons. Appling and Lyons have their numbers 16 retired. After J. Louis Comiskey died in 1939, ownership of the club was passed down to his widow, Grace Comiskey; the club was passed down to Grace's children Dorothy and Chuck in 1956, with Dorothy selling a majority share to a group led by Bill Veeck after the 1958 season. Veeck was notorious for his promotional stunts, attracting fans to Comiskey Park with the new "exploding scoreboard" and outfield shower. In 1961, Arthur Allyn, Jr. owned the club before selling to his brother John Allyn. From 1951 to 1967, the White Sox had their longest period of sustained success, scoring a winning record for 17 straight seasons. Known as the "Go-Go White Sox" for their tendency to focus on speed and getting on base versus power hitting, they featured stars such as Minnie Miñoso, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Billy Pierce, Sherm Lollar.
From 1957 to 1965, the Sox were managed by Al López. The Sox finished in the upper half of the American League in eight of his nine seasons, including six years in the top two of the league. In 1959, the White Sox ended the New York Yankees dominance over the American League, won their first pennant since the ill-fated 1919 campaign. Despite winning game one of the 1959 World Series 11-0, they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games; the late 1960s and 70s were a tumultuous time for the Sox, as they struggled to win games and attract fans. Allyn and Bud Selig agreed to a handshake deal that would give Selig control of the club and move them to Milwaukee. Selig instead bought the Seattle Pilots and moved them to Milwaukee, putting enormous pressure on the American League to place a team in Seattle. A plan was in place for the Sox to move to Seattle and for Charlie Finley to move his Oakland A's to Chicago. However, Chicago had a renewed interest in the Sox after the 1972 season, the American League instead added the expansion Seattle Mariners.
The 1972 White Sox were one of the lone successful sea
Charles Albert Comiskey nicknamed "Commy" or "The Old Roman", was an American Major League Baseball player and team owner. He was a key person in the formation of the American League, was founding owner of the Chicago White Sox. Comiskey Park, the White Sox' storied baseball stadium, was built under his guidance and named for him. Comiskey's reputation was permanently tarnished by his team's involvement in the Black Sox Scandal, although he was inducted as an executive into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Comiskey was born on August 1859, in Chicago, the son of Illinois politician John Comiskey, he attended public and parochial schools in Chicago, including St. Ignatius Preparatory School, St. Mary's College, he played baseball at St. Mary's, played for several professional teams in Chicago while apprenticed to a plumber and working at construction jobs including driving a brick delivery wagon for the construction crews building the fifth Chicago City Hall, which stood from 1873 to 1885. Comiskey started his playing career as a pitcher, moved to first base after developing arm trouble.
He is credited with being the first to play hitters off of first base, allowing him to cover balls hit to more of the infield. He entered the American Association in 1882 with the St. Louis Brown Stockings, he managed the team during parts of its first seasons and took over full-time in 1885, leading the Browns to four consecutive American Association championships and a close second in 1889. He played and managed for the Chicago Pirates in the Players' League, the Browns again, the Cincinnati Reds in the National League. Comiskey left Cincinnati and the majors in fall 1894 to purchase the Western League club in Sioux City and move it to Saint Paul, Minnesota, he had compiled a. 264 batting average with 883 RBI and 419 stolen bases. As a manager, he posted an 839-542 record. After five seasons of sharing the Twin Cities with another Western League club in Minneapolis and his colleagues arranged to share Chicago with the National League, whose club played on the West Side; the St. Paul Saints moved to the South Side as the White Stockings of the renamed American League for the 1900 season.
The American League declared itself a major league starting in 1901. As owner of the White Sox from 1900 until his death in 1931, Comiskey oversaw building Comiskey Park in 1910 and winning five American League pennants and two World Series, he lost popularity with his players, whose views of him became hateful, seen as a factor in the Black Sox scandal, when eight players on the AL champions conspired to "throw" the 1919 World Series to the NL champion Cincinnati Reds. Comiskey was notoriously stingy forcing his players to pay to launder their own uniforms. Traci Peterson notes that, in an era when professional athletes lacked free agency, the White Sox's formidable players had little choice but to accept Comiskey's substandard wages, she writes: "Charles Claude Williams made less than $3,000 a year. Joe Jackson and George Weaver made only $6,000 a year. Eddie Cicotte had been promised a $10,000 bonus; when Cicotte closed in on the 30-game goal, Comiskey had him benched to keep him from reaching the mark."
Comiskey's stated reason for having manager Kid Gleason bench Cicotte was that with the Sox headed for the World Series he had to protect his star pitcher's arm. In one incident, he promised his players a bonus for winning the 1919 pennant — the "bonus" turned out to be a case of flat champagne; when the scandal broke late in the 1920 season, Comiskey suspended the suspected players, while admitting in the telegram he sent to them that he knew this action cost the White Sox a second straight pennant. However, he defended the accused players and, in an unusual display of largesse, provided them with expensive legal representation, he supported baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis' decision to ban the implicated White Sox players from further participation in professional baseball, knowing full well that Landis' action would permanently sideline the core of his team. Indeed, the White Sox promptly tumbled into seventh place and would not be a factor in a pennant race again until 1936, five years after Comiskey's death, did not win another pennant until 1959.
Comiskey is sometimes credited with the innovation of playing the first base position behind first base or inside the foul line, a practice which has since become common. He had played a large role in the dissolution of the National Commission, baseball's former body of authority, following a quarrel with Ban Johnson, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Comiskey died in Eagle River, Wisconsin in 1931. Comiskey's son J. Louis died a few years later; the trustees of his estate were going to sell the team, but J. Louis' widow Grace was able to gain control of the team and avoid a sale, her two children, Dorothy Comiskey Rigney and Charles Albert Comiskey II, became co-owners of the team following Grace's death in the 1950s. Dorothy sold controlling interest in the team to Bill Veeck in 1958, but Chuck remained a minority owner until 1962. List of Major League Baseball career stolen bases leaders List of professional sports team owners List of Major League Baseball player-managers List of St. Louis Cardinals team records Riehle, Dave, "Say it Ain't So
William Louis Veeck Jr. known as "Sport Shirt", was an American Major League Baseball franchise owner and promoter. Veeck was at various times the owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox; as owner and team president of the Indians in 1947, Veeck signed Larry Doby, thus beginning the integration of the American League, the following year won a World Series title as Cleveland's owner/president. Veeck was the last owner to purchase a baseball franchise without an independent fortune, is responsible for many innovations and contributions to baseball. Finding it hard to financially compete, Veeck retired after the 1980 Chicago White Sox season, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Bill Veeck was born on February 1914, in Chicago, Illinois. While Veeck was growing up in Hinsdale, his father, William Veeck Sr. became president of the Chicago Cubs. Veeck Sr. was a local sports writer who wrote several columns about how he would have run the Cubs differently, the team's owner, William Wrigley Jr. took him up on it.
While growing up, the younger Veeck worked as a popcorn vendor for the Cubs. In 1937, he came up with the idea of planting ivy on the walls of Wrigley Field. Veeck attended Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. In 1933, when his father died, Veeck left Kenyon College and became club treasurer for the Cubs. In 1935, he married Eleanor. In 1940, Veeck left Chicago and, in partnership with former Cubs star and manager Charlie Grimm, purchased the American Association Triple-A Milwaukee Brewers. After winning three pennants in five years Veeck sold his Milwaukee franchise in 1945 for a $275,000 profit. According to his autobiography Veeck – As in Wreck, Veeck claimed to have installed a screen to make the right field target a little more difficult for left-handed pull hitters of the opposing team; the screen was on wheels, so any given day it might be in place or not, depending on the batting strength of the opposing team. There was no rule against that activity as such, but Veeck took it to an extreme, rolling it out when the opponents batted, pulling it back when the Brewers batted.
Veeck reported that the league passed a rule against it the next day. However, extensive research by two members of the Society for American Baseball Research suggests that this story was made up by Veeck; the two researchers could not find any references to a moveable fence or any reference to the gear required for a moveable fence to work. While a co-owner of the Brewers, Veeck served for nearly three years in the United States Marine Corps during World War II in an artillery unit. During this time a recoiling artillery piece crushed his leg, requiring amputation first of the foot, shortly after of the leg above the knee. Over the course of his life he had 36 operations on the leg. He, as an inveterate smoker, cut holes in them to use as an ashtray. Veeck had been a fan of the Negro Leagues since his early teens, he had admired Abe Saperstein's Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, based in Chicago. Saperstein saved Veeck from financial disaster early on in Milwaukee by giving him the right to promote the Globetrotters in the upper Midwest in the winter of 1941–42.
In the fall of 1942, Veeck met with Gerry Nugent, president of the Philadelphia Phillies, to discuss the possibility of buying the struggling National League team. He wrote in his memoirs that he intended to buy the Phillies and stock the team's roster with stars from the Negro Leagues. Although no formal rules barred African-American players from the majors, none had appeared in organized baseball since the 1890s. Veeck secured financing to buy the Phillies, agreed in principle to buy the team from Nugent. While on his way to Philadelphia to close on the purchase, Veeck decided to alert MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis of his intentions. Although Veeck knew Landis was an ardent segregationist, he did not believe Landis would dare say black players were unwelcome while blacks were fighting in World War II. By the time he arrived in Philadelphia, Veeck discovered the Phillies had been taken over by the National League and that a new owner was being sought; the authors of a controversial article in the 1998 issue of SABR's The National Pastime argued that Veeck invented the story of buying the Phillies and filling their roster with Negro leaguers, claiming Philadelphia's black press made no mention of a prospective sale to Veeck.
Subsequently, the article was challenged by historian Jules Tygiel, who refuted it point-by-point in an article in the 2006 issue of SABR's The Baseball Research Journal, in an appendix, entitled "Did Bill Veeck Lie About His Plan to Purchase the ’43 Phillies?", published in Paul Dickson's biography, Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick. Joseph Thomas Moore wrote in his biography of Larry Doby, "Bill Veeck planned to buy the Philadelphia Phillies with the as yet unannounced intention of breaking that color line." In 1946, Veeck became the owner of the Cleveland Indians. He put the team's games on radio, he moved the team to Cleveland Municipal Stadium permanently in 1947. The team had split their games between the larger Municipal Stadium and the smaller League Park since the 1930s, but Veeck concluded that League Park was far too small and deteriorated to be viable. In July of that year he signed the first black player to play in the American League. Doby's first game was on July 5 and before the game, Doby was introduced to his teammates by player-manager Lou Boudreau.
"One by one, Lou introduced me to each player.'Thi