The Kingsport Mets are a Minor League Baseball team of the Appalachian League and the Rookie affiliate of the New York Mets. They are located in Kingsport and are named for the team's major league affiliate; the team plays its home games at Hunter Wright Stadium which opened in 1995 and has a seating capacity of 2,500. The Mets played at Dobyns-Bennett High School. In 1983, while Dobyns-Bennett's field was being renovated, the team temporarily moved to Sarasota and played in the Gulf Coast League as the Gulf Coast League Mets; the first professional team to hail from Kingsport was the Kingsport Indians who played in the Appalachian League from 1921 to 1925. From 1938 to 1941, the Kingsport team was known as the Cherokees, but changed to the Dodgers in 1942 when the team became a farm team of Major League Baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers, they reverted to the Cherokees name in 1943 and continued to play under this moniker through 1955. The Kingsport Cherokees competed in the Mountain States League from 1953 to 1954, before returning to the Appalachian League in 1957 as the Kingsport Orioles after two years of dormancy.
After another two years on hiatus, Kingsport returned as the Pirates from 1960 to 1963. From 1969 to 1970, they competed as the Kingsport Royals. Notable players during this period include U L Washington. From 1974 to 1979, they were known as the Braves; as an Atlanta Braves affiliate, multiple future major leaguers played for them, including Matt Sinatro, Rick Behenna, Jose Alvarez, Steve Bedrosian, Paul Runge, Brad Komminsk, Milt Thompson, Brook Jacoby, Mike Payne. Additionally, National League MVP Dale Murphy and Cy Young Award winner Steve Bedrosian played in Kingsport. In 1980, the team became known as the Kingsport Mets, the name under which the team has competed since then—with the exception of playing the 1983 season in Sarasota, Florida, as the Gulf Coast League Mets while their home stadium underwent renovations. Players Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Kevin Mitchell, José Reyes, David Wright, Lastings Milledge, A. J. Burnett made their professional debuts in Kingsport; the Mets won the Appalachian League Championship in 1988 and 1985.
In 2005, the team selected 14 former players and a manager for its All Silver Anniversary Team in commemoration of 25 years as a Mets affiliate. 1988: Defeated Burlington 2–0 to win league championship. 1995: Defeated Bluefield 2–1 to win league championship. 1996: Lost to Bluefield 2–1 in finals. 2013: Lost to Greeneville 2–1 in semifinals. 2015: Lost to Greeneville 2–1 in semifinals. 2018: Lost to Elizabethton 2–1 in semifinals. Official Kingsport Mets website Statistics at TheBaseballCube.com Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, gives established players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warm climates of Arizona and Florida to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, spring training coincides with spring break for many US college students. Spring training starts in mid-February and continues until just before Opening Day of the regular season, which falls in the last week of March. In some years, teams not scheduled to play on Opening Day will play spring training games that day. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period. A few days position players arrive and team practice begins. Exhibition games begin around the first of March. Spring training by major league teams in sites other than their regular season game sites first became popular in the 1890s and by 1910 was in wide use.
Hot Springs, has been called the original "birthplace" of spring training baseball. The location of Hot Springs and the concept of getting the players ready for the upcoming season was the brainchild of Chicago White Stockings team President Albert Spalding and Cap Anson. In 1886, the White Stockings traveled to Hot Springs to prepare for the upcoming season. After holding spring training at the Hot Springs Baseball Grounds, the White Stockings went on to have a successful season and other teams took notice. In subsequent years other teams joined Chicago and began holding spring training in Hot Springs, leading to the first spring training games; the Cleveland Spiders, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Red Sox followed the White Stockings to Hot Springs. Whittington Field/Ban Johnson Park, Majestic Park, Fogel Field were all built in Hot Springs to host Major League teams. Famously, on St. Patrick's Day, 1918, a young successful pitcher named Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was forced to play an emergency game at first base in a spring training game against Pittsburgh.
This game changed the course of baseball history, as it was the first time Ruth had played any position other than pitcher. Ruth responded by hitting two home runs that day in Hot Springs, the second was a 573-foot shot that landed across the street from Whittington Park in a pond of the Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo; the Red Sox took notice and soon Ruth was playing the field more often. Over 130 Major League Baseball Hall of Famers, including such names as Ruth, Cy Young, Cap Anson, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Walter Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Dizzy Dean, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial all trained in Hot Springs Spring Training; the First Boys of Spring is a 2015 documentary about Hot Springs Spring Training. The film was narrated by area native, actor Billy Bob Thornton, produced by filmmaker Larry Foley; the documentary began airing nationally on the MLB Network in February 2016. Early training sites include the St. Louis Cardinals in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Detroit Tigers are credited with being the first team to conduct spring training camp in Arizona.
They trained in Phoenix at Riverside Park at Central Avenue and the Salt River in 1929. The Philadelphia Phillies were the first of the current major-league teams to train in Florida, when they spent two weeks in Jacksonville, Florida in 1889. Spring training in Florida began in earnest in 1913, when the Chicago Cubs trained in Tampa and the Cleveland Indians in Pensacola. One year two other teams moved to Florida for spring training, the real start of the Grapefruit League. Except for a couple of years during World War II, when travel restrictions prevented teams training south of the Potomac and Ohio rivers, Florida hosted more than half of the spring training teams through 2009. Since 2010, major league teams have been divided between Arizona and Florida during spring training, with 15 teams in Florida and 15 teams in Arizona. All but six of the major league teams have gone to spring training in Florida at one time or another. Many of the most famous players in baseball history have called Florida home for 4–6 weeks every spring.
According to the autobiography of former Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck, the avoidance of racism was one reason the Cactus League was established. In 1947, Veeck was the owner of the minor league Milwaukee Brewers and the team trained in Ocala, Florida. Veeck inadvertently sat in the Black section of the segregated stands and engaged in conversation with a couple of fans. According to Veeck's book, the local law enforcement told Veeck he could not sit in that section, called the Ocala mayor when Veeck argued back; the mayor backed down when Veeck threatened to take his team elsewhere for spring training and promised to let the country know why. Veeck sold the Brewers in 1945 and temporarily retired to a ranch in Tucson, but purchased the Cleveland Indians in 1946. Intending to introduce African-American players, Veeck decided to buck tradition and train the Indians in Tucson and convinced the New York Giants to give Phoenix a try, thus the
The Miami Marlins are an American professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida. They compete in Major League Baseball as a member club of the National League East division, their home park is Marlins Park. Though one of only two MLB franchises to have never won a division title, the Marlins have won two World Series championships as a wild card team; the team began play as an expansion team in the 1993 season as the Florida Marlins and played home games from their inaugural season to the 2012 season at what was called Joe Robbie Stadium, which they shared with the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. Since the 2012 season, they have played at Marlins Park in downtown Miami, on the site of the former Orange Bowl; the new park, unlike their previous home, was designed foremost as a baseball park. Per an agreement with the city and Miami-Dade County, the Marlins changed their name to the "Miami Marlins" on November 11, 2011, they adopted a new logo, color scheme, uniforms. The Marlins have the distinction of winning a World Series championship in both seasons they qualified for the postseason, doing so in 1997 and 2003—both times as the National League wild card team.
They defeated the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series, with shortstop Édgar Rentería driving in second baseman Craig Counsell for the series-clinching run in the 11th inning of the seventh and deciding game. In the 2003 season, manager Jeff Torborg was fired after 38 games; the Marlins were in last place in the NL East with a 16–22 record at the time. Torborg's successor, 72-year-old Jack McKeon, led them to the NL wild card berth in the postseason. Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation, was awarded an expansion franchise in the National League for a $95 million expansion fee and the team began operations in 1993 as the Florida Marlins; the Marlins qualified for the postseason and won the World Series in 1997 and 2003, but both titles were followed by controversial periods where the team sold off all the high-priced players and rebuilt. Although they followed their 2003 World Series win with a stretch in which the team posted winning records in four of the next six seasons, along with a surprise 2006 season in which they exceeded expectations and stayed in the postseason race until September, the team has had the least number of winning seasons of any Major League Baseball franchise, with just six.
They are one of only two current MLB teams. The Marlins moved into their new ballpark, Marlins Park in 2012, which coincided with a change in the team colors/uniforms and name to the Miami Marlins; the Marlins are the only team to win a World Series in their first two winning seasons. In those two seasons, they managed to make a surprise run to the World Series, both times as heavy underdogs, they are the only team to never lose a postseason series. No-Hitters: Marlins pitchers have pitched six no-hitters in team regular-season history, five coming against teams in the NL West and one against a team from the American League. Hitting for the cycle: No Marlins player has hit for the cycle in franchise history. See also: List of Major League Baseball retired numbers § Alternative methods of recognition. From 1993 until 2011, the Marlins had retired the number 5 in honor of Carl Barger, the first president of the Florida Marlins, who had passed away prior to the team's inaugural season. Barger's favorite player was Joe DiMaggio, thus the selection of number 5.
With the move to the new ballpark, the team opted to honor Barger with a plaque. Logan Morrison, a Kansas City native and fan of Royals Hall-of-Famer George Brett, became the first Marlins player to wear the number. After José Fernández's death as a result of a boating accident on September 25, 2016, the Miami Marlins announced plans to build a memorial at Marlins Park in his honor. However, Fernández's number 16 has yet to be retired; the Marlins began construction of a new, state-of-the-art stadium at the Miami Orange Bowl site on July 18, 2009. The now approved stadium was the subject of a protracted legal battle. A lawsuit by local automobile franchise mogul and former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman contested the legality of the deal with Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. However, Miami-Dade County Judge Beth Cohen dismissed all the charges in Braman's lawsuit; the seating capacity for Marlins Park is 36,742, making it the third-smallest stadium in the MLB. Its first regular season game was April 4, 2012, against the St. Louis Cardinals, the ballpark became only the sixth MLB stadium to have a retractable roof, joining Rogers Centre in Toronto, Chase Field in Phoenix, T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Minute Maid Park in Houston, Miller Park in Milwaukee.
As part of the new stadium agreement, the team renamed itself the Miami Marlins on November 11, 2011 and unveiled new uniforms and team logo in time for the move to the new stadium in 2012. Until a naming-rights deal is reached, the park will be known as Marlins Park; the Marlins' flagship radio station from their inception in 1993 through 2007 was WQAM 560 AM. Although the Marlins had plans to leave WQAM after 2006, they remained with WQAM for the 2007 season. On October 11, 2007, the Marlins announced an agreement with WAXY 790 AM to broadcast all games for th
Michael Seth McClung, nicknamed Big Red, is an American former professional baseball pitcher. In his career, he has pitched as a relief pitcher. McClung began the 2006 season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a starting pitcher, was sent that year to the minor leagues, was converted to be a closer, he started the 2007 season in Triple-A Durham of the International League, before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Grant Balfour on July 27. He was assigned to the Nashville Sounds of the Pacific Coast League before being called up to Milwaukee on August 21, making his debut with the Brewers in a relief appearance on the same day, he began the 2008 season in the Brewers bullpen being moved into the rotation in place of Carlos Villanueva. His first appearance as a starter for Milwaukee was against the Washington Nationals on May 24. After the Brewers traded for CC Sabathia, McClung and Dave Bush shared a spot in the rotation with Bush pitching on the road and McClung pitching at home; this experiment ended on August 2, with Bush taking the rotation spot and McClung moving to the bullpen.
On February 1, 2010, McClung signed a minor league contract with the Florida Marlins with an invite to spring training. He was released on March 30. On December 17, 2010 the Texas Rangers signed McClung, he was released on July 13, 2011. On January 10, 2012, McClung signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. On July 31, McClung was released, he went 2–13 with a 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances with Triple-A Nashville. On August 12, McClung signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs. In 2013, McClung pitched for the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League. McClung signed a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on November 20, 2013, he was released on March 22, 2014. Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference MLB.com: Seth McClung
In baseball, a closing pitcher, more referred to as a closer, is a relief pitcher who specializes in getting the final outs in a close game when his team is leading. The role is assigned to a team's best reliever. Before the 1990s, pitchers in similar roles were referred to as a fireman, short reliever, stopper. A small number of closers have won the Cy Young Award. Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm are closers who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. A closer is a team's best reliever and designated to pitch the last few outs of games when his team is leading by a margin of three runs or fewer. Does a closer enter with his team losing or in a tie game. A closer's effectiveness has traditionally been measured by the save, an official Major League Baseball statistic since 1969. Over time, closers have become one-inning specialists brought in at the beginning of the ninth inning in save situations; the pressure of the last three outs of the game is cited for the importance attributed to the ninth inning.
Closers are the highest paid relievers on their teams, making money on par with starting pitchers. In the rare cases where a team does not have one primary pitcher dedicated to this role, the team is said to have a closer by committee. New York Giants manager John McGraw in 1905 was one of the first to use a relief pitcher to save games, he pitched Claude Elliott in relief eight times in his ten appearances. Though saves were not an official statistic until 1969, Elliot was retroactively credited with six saves that season, a record at that time. In 1977, Chicago Cubs manager Herman Franks used Bruce Sutter exclusively in the eighth or ninth innings in save situations. While relievers such as Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage were being used in save situations, Franks's use of Sutter represented an incremental change. Sutter was the first pitcher to start the ninth inning in 20 percent of his career appearances. Clay Carroll in 1972 was the first pitcher to make a third of his season's appearances in the beginning of the ninth inning, which would not be repeated until Fingers in 1982.
John Franco in 1987 was the first to be used over 50 percent of the time in the beginning of the ninth in a season. Lee Smith in 1994 was the first to be used over 75 percent of the time in that situation. Using the save leader from each team in the league, the average closer made his appearances in the beginning of the ninth inning 10 percent of the time in the 1970s to 2⁄3 of the time by 2004. Tony La Russa while with the Oakland Athletics is named as the innovator of the position, making Dennis Eckersley the first player to be used exclusively in ninth inning situations. La Russa explained that " be ahead a large number of games every week... That's a lot of work for somebody throwing more than one inning... There was the added advantage of not getting overexposed. We tried to get to only face three or four batters an outing." Baseball teams copy one another, following a strategy based on one team's success. In 1990, Bobby Thigpen set a record with 57 saves while breaking Franco's one-inning saves record with 41.
Francisco Rodríguez set the current record with 54 one-inning saves in 2008. As late as 1989, a team's ace reliever was called a fireman, coming to the rescue to "put out the fire", baseball terminology for stopping an offensive rally with runners on base, they were referred to as short relievers and closers. By the early 1990s, the top late-inning reliever was called a closer; the firemen came in whenever leads were in jeopardy with men on base, regardless of the inning and pitching two or three innings while finishing the game. An example of this is that Goose Gossage had 17 games where he recorded at least 10 outs in his first season as a closer, including three games where he went seven innings, he pitched over 130 innings as a reliever in three different seasons. For their careers and Gossage had more saves of at least two innings than saves where they pitched one inning or less. Fingers was the only pitcher who pitched at least three innings in more than 10 percent of his saves; the game evolved to where the best reliever was reserved for games where the team had a lead of three runs or less in the ninth inning.
Mariano Rivera, considered one of the greatest closers of all time, earned only one save of seven-plus outs in his career, while Gossage logged 53. "Don't tell me the best relief pitcher of all-time until he can do the same job I did. He may be the best modern closer. Do what we did", said Gossage. ESPN.com writer Jim Caple wrote that closers' saves in the ninth "merely conclude what is a foregone conclusion." Dave Smith of Retrosheet researched the seasons 1930–2003 and found that the winning percentage for teams who enter the ninth inning with a lead has remained unchanged over the decades. One-run leads after eight innings have been won 85 percent of the time, two-run leads 94 percent of the time, three-run leads about 96 percent of the time. Baseball Prospectus projects that teams could gain as much as four extra wins a year by focusing on bringing their ace reliever into the game earlier in more critical situations with runners on base instead of holding them out to accumulate easier ninth inning saves.
In The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, Tom Tango et al. wrote that there was more value to having the ace reliever enter in the eighth inning with a one- or a two-run lead instead of the ninth with a three-run lead. "Managers fee
The Baltimore Orioles are an American professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland. As one of the American League's eight charter teams in 1901, this particular franchise spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis, Missouri, to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often-beleaguered years in St. Louis, the franchise was purchased in November 1953 by a syndicate of Baltimore business and civic interests led by attorney/civic activist Clarence Miles and Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr; the team's current majority owner is lawyer Peter Angelos. The Orioles adopted their team name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. Nicknames for the team include the "O's" and the "Birds"; the Orioles experienced their greatest success from 1966 to 1983, when they made six World Series appearances, winning three of them. This era of the club featured several future Hall of Famers who would be inducted representing the Orioles, such as third baseman Brooks Robinson, outfielder Frank Robinson, starting pitcher Jim Palmer, first baseman Eddie Murray, shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. and manager Earl Weaver.
The Orioles have won a total of nine division championships, six pennants, three wild card berths. After suffering a stretch of 14 straight losing seasons from 1998 to 2011, the team qualified for the postseason three times under manager Buck Showalter and general manager Dan Duquette, including a division title and advancement to the American League Championship Series for the first time in 17 years in 2014. However, the 2018 team finished with a franchise-worst record of 47–115, prompting the team to move on from Showalter and Duquette following the season's conclusion; the Orioles' current manager is Brandon Hyde, while Mike Elias serves as general manager and executive vice president. The Orioles are well known for their influential ballpark, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992 in downtown Baltimore; the modern Orioles franchise can trace its roots back to the original Milwaukee Brewers of the minor Western League, beginning in 1894, when the league reorganized. The Brewers were there when the WL renamed itself the American League in 1900.
At the end of the 1900 season, the American League removed itself from baseball's National Agreement. Two months the AL declared itself a competing major league; as a result of several franchise shifts, the Brewers were one of only two Western League teams that didn't fold, move or get kicked out of the league. In its first game in the American League, the team lost to the Detroit Tigers 14–13 after surrendering a nine-run lead in the 9th inning. To this day, it is a major league record for the biggest deficit overcome that late in the game. In the first American League season in 1901, they finished last with a record of 48–89, its lone Major League season, the team played at Lloyd Street Grounds, between 16th and 18th Streets in Milwaukee. After one year in Milwaukee the club relocated to St Louis, for a while enjoyed some success in the 1920s behind Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler. However, the team's fortunes declined from on, as playing success and gate receipts instead went to the Browns' own tenants at Sportsman's Park, the National League Cardinals.
During this period the Browns only won one pennant, in the 1944 season stocked with wartime replacement players, lost to the Cardinals in the third and last World Series played in one ballpark. In 1953, with the Browns unable to afford stadium upkeep, owner Bill Veeck sold Sportsman's Park to the Cards and attempted to move the club back to Milwaukee, but this was vetoed by the other Major League owners. Instead, Veeck sold his franchise to a partnership of Baltimore businessmen; the Miles-Krieger -Hoffberger group renamed their new team the Baltimore Orioles soon after taking control of the franchise. The name has a rich history in Baltimore. In 1901, Baltimore and John McGraw were awarded an expansion franchise in the growing American League, naming the team the Orioles. After a battle with Ban Johnson, the Head of the American League in 1902, McGraw took many of the top players including Walter Scott "Steve" Brodie, Dan McGann, Roger Bresnahan, Joe McGinnity to the New York Giants; as an affront to Johnson, McGraw kept the black and orange colors of the New York Giants, which San Francisco wears to this day.
In 1903, the franchise—the remaining players and debts, the corporation—was transferred to New York where they were nicknamed the Highlanders until circa 1912, by which time Yanks or Yankees had taken over as their popular moniker. As a member of the high-minor league level International League, the Orioles competed at what is now known as the AAA level from 1903 to 1953; when Oriole Park burned down in 1944, the team moved to a temporary home, Municipal Stadium, where they won the Junior World Series. Their large postseason crowds caught the attention of the major leagues leading to a new MLB franchise in Baltimore. After starting the 1954 campaign with a two-game split agai
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play with 15 teams in each league; the NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000; the organization oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament. Baseball's first all-professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869; the first few decades of professional baseball were characterized by rivalries between leagues and by players who jumped from one team or league to another. The period before 1920 in baseball was known as the dead-ball era. Baseball survived a conspiracy to fix the 1919 World Series, which came to be known as the Black Sox Scandal.
The sport rose in popularity in the 1920s, 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 expansion for the AL and NL new stadiums and artificial turf surfaces began to change the game in the 1970s and 1980s. Home runs dominated the game during the 1990s, media reports began to discuss the use of anabolic steroids among Major League 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. Today, MLB is composed of 1 in Canada. Teams play 162 games each season and five 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 to 1903. Baseball broadcasts are aired on television and the Internet throughout North America and in several other countries throughout the world.
MLB has the highest season attendance of any sports league in the world with more than 73 million spectators in 2015. MLB is governed by the Major League Baseball Constitution; this document has undergone several incarnations since its creation in 1876. Under the direction of the Commissioner of Baseball, MLB hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, negotiates marketing and television contracts. MLB maintains a unique, controlling relationship over the sport, including most aspects of Minor League Baseball; this is due in large part to the 1922 U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Baseball Club v. National League, which held that baseball is not interstate commerce and therefore not subject to federal antitrust law; this ruling has been weakened only in subsequent years. The weakened ruling granted more stability to the owners of teams and has resulted in values increasing at double-digit rates. There were several challenges to MLB's primacy in the sport between the 1870s and the Federal League in 1916.
The chief executive of MLB is the commissioner Rob Manfred. The chief operating officer is Tony Petitti. There are five other executives: president, chief communications officer, chief legal officer, chief financial officer, chief baseball officer; the multimedia branch of MLB, based in Manhattan, is MLB Advanced Media. This branch oversees each of the 30 teams' websites, its charter states that MLB Advanced Media holds editorial independence from the league, but it is under the same ownership group and revenue-sharing plan. MLB Productions is a structured wing of the league, focusing on video and traditional broadcast media. MLB owns 67 percent of MLB Network, with the other 33 percent split between several cable operators and satellite provider DirecTV, it operates out of studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, has editorial independence from the league. In 1920, the weak National Commission, created to manage relationships between the two leagues, was replaced with the much more powerful Commissioner of Baseball, who had the power to make decisions for all of professional baseball unilaterally.
From 1901 to 1960, the American and National Leagues fielded eight teams apiece. In the 1960s, MLB expansion added eight teams, including the first non-U. S. Team. Two teams were added in the 1970s. From 1969 through 1993, each league consisted of an West Division. A third division, the Central Division, was formed in each league in 1994; until 1996, the two leagues met on the field only during the All-Star Game. Regular-season interleague play was introduced in 1997. In March 1995 two new franchises, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, were awarded by MLB, to begin play in 1998; this addition brought the total number of franchises to 30. In early 1997, MLB decided to assign one new team to each league: Tampa Bay joined the AL and Arizona joined the NL; the original plan was to have an odd number of teams in each league, but in order for every team to be able to play daily, this would have required interleague play to be scheduled throughout the entire season. However, it