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Major League Baseball (MLB)
Major League Baseball (MLB) was founded in 1903 and is the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. Today’s modern game consists of 30 teams divided equally into 15 teams each in the American League (AL) and National League (NL). Each league has three divisions, and there is one team in Canada and 29 in the United States.
The leagues were originally formed as separate legal entities, and in 2000, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball. The organization also overseas Minor League Baseball, which comprises approximately 240 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs.
The 30 teams play a 162-game regular season, and five teams advance to the post season with three division winners and two wild card teams with the best remaining records playing a 1-game playoff to join the remaining division winners in a playoff series. The winner of each league advances to the World Series to crown the world champion.
Brief historical timeline of Major League Baseball and events:
- 1900-1909 – Knowns as the ‘Dead-Ball Era” as fewer home runs were hit and pitchers dominated with lower-scoring games. The foul strike rule was adopted and the allegations of a game fixing scandal known as the Black Sox Scandal resulted in eight players being banned from Major League Baseball.
- 1920-1960 – The league consisted of 16 teams, baseball rose in popularity, suffered through a decline with the Great Depression, lost players to serve in World War II and broke the color barrier with Jackie Robinson in 1947.
- 1970-1990 – The designated hitter (DH) rule was added in the American League to help increase scoring. Multi-purpose stadiums and artificial turf fields become popular.
- 1990-2010 – One wild card team in each league was added to the playoff format in 1994. The steroid era in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s resulted in a power surge and record home runs. IN 1993 the league expanded to 28 teams, and in 1998 the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays began play to bring MLB to 30 teams. Interleague play was introduced in 1997 with games between AL and NL teams. The Montreal Expos became the first franchise in over three decades to move when they became the Washington Nationals in 2005. In 2008, MLB implemented an instant-replay review system.
- 2010-current – A second wild card team in each league was added to the playoff format in 2012 with the two wild card teams competing in a playin-game to advance to the division playoff series. The composition change to the baseball in 2015 resulted in a power surge in home runs and scoring continuing through the 2018 season. During the 2018 season, MLB confirmed a “change in the aerodynamic properties” of the ball, specifically “reduced drag for given launch conditions.”.
Major League Baseball has the highest season attendance of any sports league in the world, exceeding 72 million spectators each season since 2006.
The league headquarters are in New York City, and the official website is http://www.MLB.com.
Additional MLB Historical Details:
With names such as Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson and Ty Cobb; Baseball and specifically Major League Baseball has a very long history of accomplishments while standing as America’s Favorite Pasttime.
In 1876, 100 years after America’s declaration of independence and only 11 years after the Civil War ends, North America officially adopted the sport of Base Ball. Founded in the formation of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (aka the National League), followed by the American League in 1901. The first world series was held in 1903.
The path to becoming officially organized began earlier than 1876. Witnessing a game of baseball among Civil War soldiers was not uncommon during the long conflict. The first official game was held in 1846.
Among the path to becoming a sport with organization and identity, the first professional baseball club was founded in 1871, known then as the Cincinnati Red Stockings and known today as the Cincinnati Reds. Eventually there would be a roster of eight original National League baseball teams; the St Louis Brown Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Mutual of New York, Louisville Grays, Hartford Dark Blues, Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs), Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves) and Cincinnati Red Stockings.
Of all teams, the American League’s New York Yankees have obtained 26 more World Series championship victories since it’s 1903 creation than any other Major League Baseball team.
- Batter – Each player of the offensive team shall bat in the order that his name appears in his team’s batting order. The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box. A batter has legally completed his time at bat when he is put out or becomes a runner.
- Pitcher/mound – A pitcher is the fielder designated to deliver the pitch to the batter. The pitcher shall stand facing the batter, his entire pivot foot on, or in front of and touching and not off the end of the pitcher’s plate, and the other foot free.
- Catcher – The catcher is the fielder who takes his position back of the home base.
- First Baseman – A defensive fielder who plays on or near the first-base bag.
- Second Baseman – The fielder who plays the infield near the second-base bag.
- Third Baseman – Infield defensive fielder who covers the third-base area.
- Shortstop – Defensive infielder between second and third base.
- Left field(er) – Defensive outfielder covering area in left field. An outfielder is a fielder who occupies a position in the outfield, which is the area of the playing field most distant from home base.
- Center Field(er) – Center fielder is the leader of the outfield, and is usually the fastest of the three outfielders. His terrritory overlaps the other fielders, and they usually defer to his authority.
- Right Field(er) – Defensive outfielder who occupies a position in right field.
- Designated Hitter (DH) – A batter who does not play defence, and bats in place of the pitcher when a team is at bat. This position is only in the American League since the National League pitchers also serve as hitters.
BETTING ON MLB BASEBALL
MLB betting includes the moneyline, spread and total. Exotic bets such as parlays and round robins are also available. The spread in baseball is known as the “run line”. Futures wagering and prop bets are also extremely popular.
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