Baseball/Major leagues

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In North America, the term Major League baseball generally refers to the top-level caliber of play in North America. Leagues in other parts of the world, notably Japan and Latin America may have equivalent levels of play (and increasingly draw from the same talent pools), but are typically not included when the term is used.

Current Major Leagues

At the time of writing the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig, has often floated the idea of further expansion and realignment of the major leagues. At the moment, however, the major leagues are each split into three divisions, and structured as follows:

American League

WestCentralEast
Anaheim Angels Chicago White Sox Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics Cleveland Indians Boston Red Sox
Seattle Mariners Detroit Tigers New York Yankees
Texas Rangers Kansas City Royals Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  Minnesota Twins Toronto Blue Jays

National League

WestCentralEast
Arizona Diamondbacks Chicago Cubs Atlanta Braves
Colorado Rockies Cincinnati Reds Florida Marlins
Los Angeles Dodgers Houston Astros Montreal Expos
San Diego Padres Milwaukee Brewers New York Mets
San Francisco Giants Pittsburgh Pirates Philadelphia Phillies
 Saint Louis Cardinals 


Historical Major Leagues

In 1969, the centennial of professional baseball, a commission chartered by Major League Baseball identified the following leagues as "major leagues". The list is sometimes disputed by baseball researchers. The MLB list included the following:

  • 1876-present: National League of Professional Baseball Clubs
  • 1882-1891: American Association
  • 1884: Union Association
  • 1890: Players League
  • 1901-present: American League
  • 1914-1915: Federal League

Some researchers contend that the National Association (1871-1875), the /Negro Leagues (primarily during the years from 1921-1946), and the first year of the American League (1900) deserve consideration as major leagues due to the caliber of player and the level of play exhibited.

For detailed history of the Major Leagues see Baseball/History
For list of Minor Baseball teams see Minor league baseball