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Major League Baseball

MLBMajor LeagueMajor Leagues
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, and the world's oldest current professional team sports league.
A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league.

National Association of Professional Base Ball Players

National AssociationNAPBBPNA
Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP) of 1871–1875, (often called simply the "National Association"), the NL is sometimes called the Senior Circuit, in contrast to MLB's other league, the American League, which was founded 25 years later.
It succeeded and incorporated several professional clubs from the previous National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) of 1857-1870, sometimes called "the amateur association"; in turn several of its clubs created the succeeding National League of Professional Baseball Clubs.

World Series

championship seriesWorld ChampionshipFall Classic
After two years of conflict in a "baseball war" of 1901–1902, the two leagues of 8 team franchises each, agreed in a "peace pact" to recognize each other as "major leagues", draft rules regarding player contracts, prohibiting "raiding", regulating relationships with minor leagues and lower level clubs, and with each establishing a team in the nation's largest metropolis of New York City, and the league champions of 1903 arranged to compete against each other in the new professional baseball championship tournament with the inaugural "World Series" that Fall of 1903, succeeding earlier similar national series in previous decades since the 1880s.
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team.

American League

ALAmericanAmerican League (AL)
Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP) of 1871–1875, (often called simply the "National Association"), the NL is sometimes called the Senior Circuit, in contrast to MLB's other league, the American League, which was founded 25 years later. Chicago White Stockings from the NA (now the Chicago Cubs, not to be confused with the current Chicago White Sox of the American League)
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 (the "Senior Circuit").

William Hulbert

William A. Hulbert
William A. Hulbert (1832–1882), a Chicago businessman and an officer of the Chicago White Stockings of 1870–1889, approached several NA clubs with the plans for a professional league for the sport of base ball with a stronger central authority and exclusive territories in larger cities only.
William Ambrose Hulbert (October 23, 1832 – April 10, 1882) was one of the founders of the National League, recognized as baseball's first major league, and was also the president of the Chicago White Stockings franchise.

History of the Chicago Cubs

Chicago White StockingsChicagoChicago (baseball, renamed)
William A. Hulbert (1832–1882), a Chicago businessman and an officer of the Chicago White Stockings of 1870–1889, approached several NA clubs with the plans for a professional league for the sport of base ball with a stronger central authority and exclusive territories in larger cities only. Chicago White Stockings from the NA (now the Chicago Cubs, not to be confused with the current Chicago White Sox of the American League)
The following is a franchise history of the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball, a charter member of the National League who started play in the National Association in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings.

Minor League Baseball

minor leagueClass Aminor leagues
After two years of conflict in a "baseball war" of 1901–1902, the two leagues of 8 team franchises each, agreed in a "peace pact" to recognize each other as "major leagues", draft rules regarding player contracts, prohibiting "raiding", regulating relationships with minor leagues and lower level clubs, and with each establishing a team in the nation's largest metropolis of New York City, and the league champions of 1903 arranged to compete against each other in the new professional baseball championship tournament with the inaugural "World Series" that Fall of 1903, succeeding earlier similar national series in previous decades since the 1880s.
This problem was solved in 1876 with the formation of the National League (NL), with a limited membership which excluded less competitive and financially weaker teams.

Atlanta Braves

BravesAtlantaMilwaukee Braves
Boston Red Stockings, the then dominant team in the NA (later the Boston Braves, then the Milwaukee Braves, now the Atlanta Braves, not to be confused with the present-day Boston Red Sox of the later American League) The two remaining original NL franchises, Boston and Chicago, remain still in operation today as the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs.
The franchise competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) East division.

Chicago Cubs

CubsChicago OrphansCHC
The two remaining original NL franchises, Boston and Chicago, remain still in operation today as the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division.

Philadelphia Phillies

PhilliesPhiladelphiaPHI
In 1883, the New York Gothams and Philadelphia Phillies began National League play.
The Phillies compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division.

Chicago White Sox

White SoxChicago White StockingsCWS
Chicago White Stockings from the NA (now the Chicago Cubs, not to be confused with the current Chicago White Sox of the American League)
They are one of two major league clubs in Chicago; the other is the Chicago Cubs, who are a member of the National League (NL) Central division.

Boston Red Sox

Red SoxBostonBoston Americans
Boston Red Stockings, the then dominant team in the NA (later the Boston Braves, then the Milwaukee Braves, now the Atlanta Braves, not to be confused with the present-day Boston Red Sox of the later American League)
When a new Cincinnati club was formed as a charter member of the National League in 1876, the "Red Stockings" nickname was commonly reserved for them once again, and the Boston team was referred to as the "Red Caps".

New York Mutuals

Mutual of New YorkMutualMutual Club
Mutual of New York from the NA (expelled after the 1876 season)
It was a charter member of both the first professional league in 1871 and the National League in 1876.

American Association (19th century)

American AssociationAA1882 American Association
The NL encountered its first strong rival organization when the American Association began play in 1882.
Together with the NL, founded in, the AA participated in an early version of the World Series seven times versus the champion of the NL in an interleague championship playoff tournament.

St. Louis Brown Stockings

Brown StockingsSTLSt. Louis
St. Louis Brown Stockings from the NA (folded after the 1877 season, having committed to Louisville stars for 1878)
The St. Louis Brown Stockings were a professional baseball club based in St. Louis, Missouri, from 1875 to 1877, which competed on the cusps of the existences of two all-professional leagues –– the National Association (NA) and the National League (NL).

Pittsburgh Pirates

PiratesPittsburghPIT
Starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1887, the National League began to raid the American Association for franchises to replace NL teams that folded. The teams now known as the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers (originally Brooklyn) and Pittsburgh Pirates (as well as the now-defunct Cleveland Spiders) had already switched from the AA to the NL prior to 1892.
The Pirates compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division.

Philadelphia Athletics (1860–76)

Philadelphia AthleticsAthleticAthletic Baseball Club of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Athletics from the NA (expelled after the 1876 season)
The Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia (also known as the Philadelphia Athletics) was a prominent National Association, and later National League, professional baseball team that played in the second half of the 19th century.

Cincinnati Reds (1876–79)

Cincinnati RedsCincinnati Red StockingsCincinnati
Cincinnati Red Stockings, a new franchise (disbanded after the 1879 season)
The club predated the National League of which it became a charter member.

Union Association

UAWhitecaps
Other new leagues that rose to compete with the National League were the Union Association and the Players' League.
St. Louis won the pennant and joined the National League the following season.

Cincinnati Reds

RedsCincinnatiCIN
The teams now known as the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers (originally Brooklyn) and Pittsburgh Pirates (as well as the now-defunct Cleveland Spiders) had already switched from the AA to the NL prior to 1892.
The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division.

Los Angeles Dodgers

DodgersBrooklyn/Los Angeles DodgersBrooklyn Dodgers
The teams now known as the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers (originally Brooklyn) and Pittsburgh Pirates (as well as the now-defunct Cleveland Spiders) had already switched from the AA to the NL prior to 1892.
The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division.

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis BrownsCardinalsSt. Louis
With the merger, the NL absorbed the St. Louis Browns (now known as the St. Louis Cardinals), along with three other teams that did not survive into the 20th century (for those three teams, see Partnership with the American League below).
The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division.

Jefferson Street Grounds

Athletic Park
The first game in National League history was played on April 22, 1876, at Philadelphia's Jefferson Street Grounds, at 25th & Jefferson Streets, between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston baseball club.
National Association and one in the National League of Base Ball Clubs.

Troy, New York

TroyTroy, NYTroy, N.Y.
When all eight participants for 1881 returned for 1882—the first off-season without turnover in membership—the "circuit" consisted of a zig-zag line connecting the eight cities: Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Troy (near the state capital of Albany, New York), Worcester (Massachusetts), Boston, and Providence.
Then, for four seasons, 1879 to 1882, Troy was home to the National League Troy Trojans.

Players' League

PL1890 Players' League seasonBrotherhood
Other new leagues that rose to compete with the National League were the Union Association and the Players' League.
The Brotherhood included most of the best players of the National League.