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The American League
American League
of Professional Baseball
Baseball
Clubs, or simply the American League
American League
(AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball
Baseball
(MLB) in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status. 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
National League
(the "Senior Circuit"). At the end of every season, the American League
American League
champion plays in the World Series
World Series
against the National League
National League
champion; two seasons did not end in playing a World Series
World Series
(1904, when the National League
National League
champion New York Giants refused to play their AL counterpart, and 1994, when a player's strike prevented the Series). Through 2017, American League teams have won 65 of the 113 World Series
World Series
played since 1903, with 27 of those coming from the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
alone. The New York Yankees have won 40 American League
American League
titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Philadelphia/Kansas City/ Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
(15) and the Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
(13). The 2017 American League
American League
champions are the Houston Astros.

Contents

1 History 2 Teams

2.1 Charter franchises 2.2 Expansion, renaming, and relocation summary 2.3 Current teams

2.3.1 American League
American League
East 2.3.2 American League
American League
Central 2.3.3 American League
American League
West

3 American League
American League
presidents 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 Sources

History[edit] Main article: History of the American League

Teams of the American League, 1903

Originally a minor league known as the Western League, the American League later developed into a major league after the American Association disbanded. In its early history, the Western League struggled until 1894, when Ban Johnson
Ban Johnson
became the president of the league. Johnson led the Western League into major league status and soon became the president of the newly renamed American League. Babe Ruth, noted as one of the most prolific hitters in Major League Baseball
Baseball
history, spent the majority of his career in the American League. The American League
American League
has one notable difference versus the National League, in that since 1973 it has had the designated hitter rule. Under the rule, a team may use a batter in its lineup who is not in the field defensively, replacing the pitcher in the batting order, compared to the old rule that made it mandatory for the pitcher to bat.

U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson shake hands following the Senators' 1924 championship.

Until the late 1970s, league umpires working behind home plate wore large, balloon-style chest protectors worn outside the shirt or coat, while their brethren in the National League
National League
wore chest protectors inside the shirt or coat. In 1977, new umpires (including Steve Palermo) had to wear the inside chest protector, although those on staff wearing the outside protector could continue to do so. Most umpires made the switch to the inside protector, led by Don Denkinger in 1975 and Jim Evans the next year, although several did not, including Bill Haller, Lou DiMuro, George Maloney, and Jerry Neudecker, who became the last MLB umpire to use the outside protector in 1985. In 1994, the league, along with the National League, reorganized again, into three divisions (East, West, and Central) and added a third round to the playoffs in the form of the American League Division Series, with the best second-place team advancing to the playoffs as a wild-card team, in addition to the three divisional champions. In 1998, the newly franchised Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
joined the league, and the Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
joined the National League: i.e., each league each added a fifteenth team. An odd number of teams per league meant that at least one team in each league would have to be idle on any given day, or alternatively that odd team out would have had to play an interleague game against its counterpart in the other league. The initial plan was to have three five-team divisions per league with inter league play year-round—possibly as many as 30 interleague games per team each year. For various reasons, it soon seemed more practical to have an even number of teams in both leagues. The Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
agreed to change leagues, moving from the AL Central to the NL Central. At the same time, the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
were moved from the AL East to the AL Central, making room for the Devil Rays in the East. Following the move of the Houston Astros
Houston Astros
to the American League
American League
in 2013, both leagues now consist of 15 teams. For the first 96 years, American League
American League
teams faced their National League counterparts only in exhibition games or in the World Series. Beginning in 1997, interleague games have been played during the regular season and count in the standings. As part of the agreement instituting interleague play, the designated-hitter rule is used only in games where the American League
American League
team is the home team. Teams[edit] Charter franchises[edit] There were eight charter teams in 1901, the league's first year as a major league, and the next year the original Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
moved to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns. These franchises constituted the league for 52 seasons, until the Browns moved to Baltimore and took up the name Baltimore Orioles. All eight original franchises remain in the American League, although only four remain in the original cities (Detroit, Chicago, Boston, and Cleveland). The eight original teams and their counterparts in the "Classic Eight" were:

original Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
(went bankrupt and became defunct after 1902 season, not to be confused with the current Baltimore Orioles, see Milwaukee Brewers),[3] replaced in 1903 by the New York Highlanders (became the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
in 1913) Boston Americans
Boston Americans
(became the Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
in 1908) Chicago White Stockings (became the Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
in 1904) Cleveland Blues[4] (became the Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
in 1915) Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
(name and locale unchanged from 1894 forward) original Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
(became the St. Louis Browns
St. Louis Browns
in 1902 and the new Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
in 1954) Philadelphia Athletics
Philadelphia Athletics
(became the Kansas City Athletics
Kansas City Athletics
in 1955 and the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
in 1968) original Washington Senators (became the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
in 1961)[5]

Expansion, renaming, and relocation summary[edit] See also: Major League Baseball
Baseball
relocation of 1950s–60s

1902: Original Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
moved to St. Louis, renamed St. Louis Browns 1902: Cleveland Bluebirds/Blues players attempted to adopt the nickname Cleveland Bronchos, which failed to catch on 1903: New York Highlanders
New York Highlanders
Original Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
moved to New York; dubbed "Highlanders" by press after their field, Hilltop Park, and "Yanks" as a shorter form of "Americans" 1903: Chicago White Stockings officially renamed Chicago White Sox 1903: Cleveland Blues/Bronchos renamed Cleveland Naps
Cleveland Naps
via newspaper poll, after star Nap Lajoie 1905: Washington Senators renamed Washington Nationals; Senators name continued to be used by media 1908: Boston Americans
Boston Americans
(informal nickname) formally named Boston Red Sox 1913: New York Highlanders
New York Highlanders
nickname dropped in favor of already-established alternative, New York Yankees 1915: Cleveland Naps
Cleveland Naps
renamed Cleveland Indians 1954: St. Louis Browns
St. Louis Browns
move to Baltimore, renamed Baltimore Orioles 1955: Philadelphia Athletics
Philadelphia Athletics
move to Kansas City 1957: Washington Nationals/Senators formally renamed Washington Senators 1961: Washington Senators move to Minneapolis-St. Paul, renamed Minnesota Twins 1961: Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels
and new Washington Senators enfranchised. 1965: Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels
renamed California Angels
California Angels
in late-season on September 2, 1965. For the following season, the Angels moved within the Los Angeles metropolitan area from the city of Los Angeles to the Orange County suburb of Anaheim. 1968: Kansas City Athletics
Kansas City Athletics
move to Oakland 1969: Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals
and Seattle Pilots
Seattle Pilots
enfranchised. 1970: Seattle Pilots
Seattle Pilots
move to Milwaukee, renamed Milwaukee Brewers. (Four years earlier, in 1966, the National League's Milwaukee Braves had moved to Atlanta.) 1972: Washington Senators move to Dallas-Ft. Worth (Arlington), renamed Texas Rangers 1973: Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
officially renamed Oakland A's 1977: Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
and Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
enfranchised 1980: Oakland A's
Oakland A's
officially renamed Oakland Athletics 1997: California Angels
California Angels
renamed Anaheim Angels. The change came more than 30 years after the team's move to Anaheim. 1998: Tampa Bay Devil Rays, representing Tampa-St. Petersburg, enfranchised 1998: Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
transfer from the American League
American League
to the National League. (See above.) 2005: Anaheim Angels
Anaheim Angels
renamed Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels
of Anaheim 2008: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
renamed Tampa Bay Rays 2013: Houston Astros
Houston Astros
transfer from the National League
National League
Central to the American League
American League
West. 2016: Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels
of Anaheim slowly phase out official use of "of Anaheim" sub-title in favor of just Los Angeles Angels

Current teams[edit] American League
American League
East[edit] Main article: American League
American League
East

Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
enfranchised 1901 as the Milwaukee Brewers, moved to St. Louis (1902) and to Baltimore (1954) Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
enfranchised 1901, nicknamed the Americans[6] (adopted name Red Sox in 1908) New York Yankees
New York Yankees
enfranchised 1901 as Baltimore Orioles, moved to New York (1903) and nicknamed the Highlanders[7] (officially adopted alternate nickname Yanks/Yankees in 1913)[8] Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
enfranchised 1998 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
(team name changed in 2008) Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
enfranchised 1977 [9]

American League
American League
Central[edit] Main article: American League
American League
Central

Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
enfranchised 1894 as the Sioux City Cornhuskers, moved to St. Paul (1895) and to Chicago (1900) Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
enfranchised 1894 as the Grand Rapids Rustlers, moved to Cleveland (1900) Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
enfranchised 1894 Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals
enfranchised 1969 Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
enfranchised 1894 as the Kansas City Blues, moved to Washington (1901), and to Minneapolis-St. Paul (1961)[10]

American League
American League
West[edit] Main article: American League
American League
West

Houston Astros
Houston Astros
enfranchised 1962 in National League
National League
as the Houston Colt .45s (team changed name to Astros in 1965), transferred to American League
American League
(2013) Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels
enfranchised 1961 as the Los Angeles Angels, moved within the Los Angeles area to Anaheim (1966) Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
enfranchised 1901[a] in Philadelphia, moved to Kansas City (1955) and to Oakland (1968) Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners
enfranchised 1977 Texas Rangers enfranchised 1961 as the Washington Senators, moved to Arlington, Texas (1972)

American League
American League
presidents[edit] Following the 1999 season, the American and National Leagues were merged with Major League Baseball, and the leagues ceased to exist as business entities. The position of the American League
American League
President and National League
National League
President became honorary.

Key

Member of the Baseball
Baseball
Hall of Fame

* Honorary President

Name Years Ref

Johnson, BanBan Johnson 1901–1927

Navin, FrankFrank Navin 1927

Barnard, ErnestErnest Barnard 1927–1931

Harridge, WillWill Harridge 1931–1959

Cronin, JoeJoe Cronin 1959–1973

MacPhail, LeeLee MacPhail 1973–1984

Brown, BobbyBobby Brown 1984–1994

Budig, GeneGene Budig 1994–1999

Autry, JackieJackie Autry* 2000–2015

Robinson, FrankFrank Robinson* 2015–present

See also[edit]

Baseball
Baseball
portal

List of American League
American League
pennant winners American League Championship Series (ALCS) American League Division Series (ALDS) List of American League
American League
Wild Card winners Major League Baseball National League World Series

Notes[edit]

^ See commentary on Western League page. The Indianapolis and Minneapolis teams were replaced by teams in Baltimore and Philadelphia in 1901, but it is unclear and disputed as to which team went where.

References[edit]

^ " Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson
named Senior Advisor and Honorary A.L. President" (Press release). Major League Baseball
Baseball
Advanced Media. February 2, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.  ^ "Hall of Famer Robinson to become senior adviser to MLB commish". Fox Sports. Associated Press. February 2, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.  ^ "Bankrupt Orioles". Baseball-Reference. Archived from the original on July 23, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.  ^ Officially "Bluebirds", a form seldom used ^ "American League". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 25, 2013.  ^ To distinguish them from Boston's National League
National League
team, then called the Red Stockings or the Nationals ^ after their home, Hilltop Park ^ Sources recently have dissociated the 1902–1903 Baltimore Orioles from the Highlanders/Yankees. Sports Reference.com Archived July 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. and sources cited on that page. Retrieved July 23, 2014. ^ Edgarf. " Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
History – American League
American League
East". MLB Baseball
Baseball
Betting. Retrieved August 25, 2013.  ^ Gleeman, Aaron. "10 Years of the American League
American League
Central". The Hardball Times. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 

Sources[edit]

The National League
National League
Story, Lee Allen, Putnam, 1961. The American League
American League
Story, Lee Allen, Putnam, 1962. The Baseball
Baseball
Encyclopedia, published by MacMillan, 1968 and later.

v t e

American League

Organization

Parent league: Major League Baseball Partner league: National League Origins: (History Western League) Honorary president: Frank Robinson

Current teams

East

Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays Toronto Blue Jays

Central

Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins

West

Houston Astros Los Angeles Angels Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers

Former, relocated, and disestablished teams

Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
(1901–1902) Kansas City Athletics
Kansas City Athletics
(1955–1967) Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
I (1901) Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
II (1970–1997) Philadelphia Athletics
Philadelphia Athletics
(1901–1954) Seattle Pilots
Seattle Pilots
(1969) St. Louis Browns
St. Louis Browns
(1902–1953) Washington Senators I (1901–1960) Washington Senators II (1961–1971)

Championship play

List of champions Championship Series Division Series Wild Card winners

Related articles

Designated hitter Professional baseball

v t e

Major League Baseball
Baseball
(2018)

American League

East

Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays Toronto Blue Jays

Central

Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins

West

Houston Astros Los Angeles Angels Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers

National League

East

Atlanta Braves Miami Marlins New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies Washington Nationals

Central

Chicago Cubs Cincinnati Reds Milwaukee Brewers Pittsburgh Pirates St. Louis Cardinals

West

Arizona Diamondbacks Colorado Rockies Los Angeles Dodgers San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants

Schedule

Spring training Opening Day Jackie Robinson Day Civil Rights Game All-Star Game Interleague play International games World Baseball
Baseball
Classic

Postseason

World Series

Champions

NL

NL Champions NLCS NLDS

AL

AL Champions ALCS ALDS

Wild Card Game Appearances Streaks Droughts Series

Business

Draft

Rule 5

Players Association Highest paid players Luxury tax Lockouts/strikes Winter Meetings Hot stove league Transactions Media

Logo Radio Television MLB.com MLB Advanced Media

Minor League Baseball Authentication Program

Miscellaneous

Instant replay Team uniforms Stadiums Mascots Rivalries

History

History

AL

Seasons Tie-breakers

Tie-breaking procedures

Records Awards Retired numbers Hall of Fame

Steroid usage

Drug policy

suspensions

Mitchell Report Juiced Vindicated Biogenesis baseball scandal BALCO scandal Game of Shadows Barry Bonds perjury case

Timeline

Timeline of Major League Baseball

History of team nicknames

Dead-ball era Live-ball era Golden age of baseball Defunct and relocated teams Relocation of the 1950s–60s Expansion

1961 1962 1969 1977 1993 1998

Commissioner: Rob Manfred League Presidents

NL AL

v t e

American League
American League
presidents

Ban Johnson
Ban Johnson
(1901–1927) Frank Navin
Frank Navin
(acting president 1927) Ernest Barnard (1927–1931) Will Harridge (1931–1959) Joe Cronin
Joe Cronin
(1959–1973) Lee MacPhail
Lee MacPhail
(1973–1984) Bobby Brown (1984–1994) Gene Budig (1994–1999) Jackie Autry (Honorary, 2000-2015) Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson
(Honorary, 2015-present)

v t e

Professional baseball leagues

Americas

Major

Major League Baseball

American League National League

Minor

Triple-A

International League Pacific Coast League Mexican League

Double-A

Eastern League Southern League Texas League

Class A Advanced

California League Carolina League Florida State League

Class A

Midwest League South Atlantic League

Class A Short Season

New York–Penn League Northwest League

Rookie Advanced

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Rookie

Arizona League Dominican Summer League Gulf Coast League

Independent

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Off-season

MLB-affiliated

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Baseball
League Liga Paralela Mexican Pacific League Puerto Rico Baseball
Baseball
League Venezuelan Professional Baseball
Baseball
League

Independent

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Baseball
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Baseball
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Baseball
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Baseball
League American Association Continental League Cuban League Federal League National Association Negro league baseball Players' League Union Association United States Baseball
Baseball
League

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China Baseball
Baseball
League

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Minor

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Off-season

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Baseball
Baseball
Challenge League Shikoku Island League Plus

Women's

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Baseball
League

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Major

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KBO Futures League

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Major: Chinese Professional Baseball
Baseball
League Minor: Popcorn League

Europe

Euro

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Major

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Baseball
League 1D

Minor

Italian Baseball
Baseball
League 2D

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Minor

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Rookie

Honkbal Rookie League

Oceania

Australia

MLB-affiliated:

Australian Baseball
Baseball
League

Inter-league and Professional National Team Championships

Asia Professional Baseball
Baseball
Championship Caribbean Series Triple-A National Championship Game Worl

.