Western League (1885–1899)

Western LeagueAmerican Leagueearliest progenitorlast minor league seasonoriginal Western LeagueWestern Association/LeagueWestern Conference
The Western League of Professional Baseball Clubs, also called the Western League, was a minor league baseball league founded on February 11, 1885, and focused in the Midwestern United States.wikipedia
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Ban Johnson

Bancroft (Ban) JohnsonByron "Ban" JohnsonBan B. Johnson
After several failures and reorganizations, the most notable version of the league was organized by Ban Johnson on November 20, 1893.
Johnson developed the AL—a descendant of the minor league Western League—into a "clean" alternative to the National League, which had become notorious for its rough-and-tumble atmosphere.

American League

ALAmericanAmerican League (AL)
In 1900, the league was renamed the American League, and declared its major league status in 1901 against the older National League of 1876, which was centered in the American Northeast states.
It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status.

Minor League Baseball

minor leagueClass Aminor leagues
The Western League of Professional Baseball Clubs, also called the Western League, was a minor league baseball league founded on February 11, 1885, and focused in the Midwestern United States.
In the late 1890s, the Western League run by Ban Johnson decided to challenge the NL's position.

Topeka Golden Giants (1887)

Golden GiantsTopeka Golden Giants
In 1887, the league was dominated by Topeka's Golden Giants, a high-priced collection of major leaguers, including Bug Holliday, Jim Conway, Perry Werden and Jimmy Macullar, which won the title by 15½ games.
The team, which lasted for just one season, played in the Western League.

Baltimore Orioles (1882–99)

Baltimore OriolesBaltimore Orioles (AA)Baltimore Orioles (NL)
After the 1899 season, the National League announced it was dropping four of its franchises, reducing its membership from 12 to 8 teams, eliminated were: Baltimore, Cleveland, Louisville and Washington.
This controversial action resulting in the elevation of the former Western League by leaders such as Ban Johnson (1864-1931), into a newly-organized American League in 1901 of which the new reorganized Baltimore Orioles were a prominent member for its first two seasons which "waged war" on the elder "Nationals".

Indianapolis Hoosiers (minor league baseball)

Indianapolis Hoosiersthe city's entry
The Indianapolis Hoosiers won the first title with a record of 27–4–1.
The first Western League, which lasted only part of the season, included an Indianapolis Hoosiers team.

Perry Werden

In 1887, the league was dominated by Topeka's Golden Giants, a high-priced collection of major leaguers, including Bug Holliday, Jim Conway, Perry Werden and Jimmy Macullar, which won the title by 15½ games.
For the Minneapolis Millers of the Western League in 1894, he hit .417 with 42 home runs.

History of the New York Yankees

Baltimore OriolesBaltimoreNew York Yankees
Baltimore, having fallen into disarray, was replaced by New York City in 1903, for the reason that the new league would not be totally respected and have "major league" status without a team in the nation's largest city.
At the end of the 1900 baseball season, the Western League was positioned by its president, Ban Johnson, as a new major league that would compete with the established National League (NL).

New York Yankees

YankeesNew York HighlandersNew York
Baltimore, having fallen into disarray, was replaced by New York City in 1903, for the reason that the new league would not be totally respected and have "major league" status without a team in the nation's largest city.
At the end of 1900, Ban Johnson, president of the American League—a minor league previously known as the Western League (1894–1899)—reorganized the league.

History of the Philadelphia Athletics

Philadelphia AthleticsPhiladelphiaAthletics
This membership list for both leagues lasted in place for nearly a half-century until the move of the Boston Braves to Milwaukee in 1952, the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore becoming the new Baltimore Orioles in 1954 and the Philadelphia Athletics to Kansas City in 1955.
The Western League had been renamed the American League in 1900 by league president Bancroft (Ban) Johnson, and declared itself the second major league in 1901.

History of the St. Louis Browns

St. Louis BrownsBrownsSt. Louis
This membership list for both leagues lasted in place for nearly a half-century until the move of the Boston Braves to Milwaukee in 1952, the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore becoming the new Baltimore Orioles in 1954 and the Philadelphia Athletics to Kansas City in 1955.
In the late 19th century, the team was formed as the Milwaukee Brewers in the Western League.

Baltimore Orioles

OriolesBaltimoreMilwaukee Brewers
This membership list for both leagues lasted in place for nearly a half-century until the move of the Boston Braves to Milwaukee in 1952, the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore becoming the new Baltimore Orioles in 1954 and the Philadelphia Athletics to Kansas City in 1955.
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.

Cap Anson

Adrian "Cap" AnsonAnson2,995–3,435
Comiskey was also barred from using the name "Chicago" in all of his dealings, so he cleverly revived the old moniker "White Stockings" from the days of Cap Anson for his team.
He then attempted to buy a Chicago team in the Western League, but failed after being opposed by Spalding.

Detroit Tigers

TigersDetroitDET
Detroit Tigers (only Western League charter member remaining in its original city; retains original team name)
One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit as a member of the minor league Western League in 1894.

Cleveland Indians

IndiansCleveland NapsCleveland
Grand Rapids Rustlers → Cleveland Blues, 1900 (known as Cleveland Broncos by 1902, Cleveland Naps from 1903, and named Cleveland Indians, 1915)
The franchise originated in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1894 as the Grand Rapids Rustlers, a minor league team that competed in the Western League.

Chicago White Sox

White SoxChicago White StockingsCWS
Sioux City Cornhuskers → St. Paul Saints, 1895 → Chicago White Stockings, 1900 (renamed Chicago White Sox, 1903)
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.

Minneapolis Millers

MinneapolisMIN
Minneapolis Millers → dropped 1901
In the 19th century a different Minneapolis Millers were part of the Western League.

Buffalo Bisons

BuffaloAAA Buffalobaseball team
Buffalo Bisons, 1899 → dropped for newly organized Boston Americans, 1901
(An "outlaw" team also known as the Buffalo Bisons also played in the Players' League, an upstart third major league, in 1890, but that team is not considered part of the Bisons history.) This team joined the Western League in 1899, and was within weeks of becoming a major league team when the Western League announced it was changing its name to the American League in 1900.

History of the Washington Senators (1901–60)

Washington SenatorsWashington NationalsSenators
Kansas City Blues → first franchise Washington Senators, 1900-01 → Minnesota Twins, 1961
When the American League declared itself a major league in, the new league moved the previous minor league circuit Western League's Kansas City franchise to Washington, a city that had been abandoned by the older National League a year earlier.

Sioux City, Iowa

Sioux CitySioux City, IASioux City AAF
Sioux City Cornhuskers → St. Paul Saints, 1895 → Chicago White Stockings, 1900 (renamed Chicago White Sox, 1903) He bought the Sioux City team and transferred it to Saint Paul, Minnesota.
In the late 19th century, the Sioux City Cornhuskers played baseball in the Western League. After a five-year stint in St. Paul, Minnesota, the league changed its name to the American League, and the team moved to Chicago, where it continues today as the Chicago White Sox.

Midwestern United States

MidwestMidwesternAmerican Midwest
The Western League of Professional Baseball Clubs, also called the Western League, was a minor league baseball league founded on February 11, 1885, and focused in the Midwestern United States.

National League

NLNationalNational League (NL)
In 1900, the league was renamed the American League, and declared its major league status in 1901 against the older National League of 1876, which was centered in the American Northeast states.

Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IndianaIndianapolis, INIndiana (Indianapolis)
The original clubs were located in Indianapolis‚ Kansas City‚ Cleveland‚ Milwaukee‚ Toledo and Omaha/Keokuk, Iowa.

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas CityKansas City, MOMissouri (Kansas City)
Kansas City Blues → first franchise Washington Senators, 1900-01 → Minnesota Twins, 1961 The original clubs were located in Indianapolis‚ Kansas City‚ Cleveland‚ Milwaukee‚ Toledo and Omaha/Keokuk, Iowa.