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- Arizona Diamondbacks:The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based inPhoenix. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field. Also known as the D-Backs, Arizona has one World Seriestitle, in 2001, becoming the fastest expansion team in the majors to win a championship, doing it in only the fourth season since their expansion in 1998.
- Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997.
The "Braves" name, which was first used in 1912, originates from a term for a Native American warrior. They are nicknamed "the Bravos", and often referred to as "America's Team" in reference to the team's games being broadcast on the nationally available TBS from the 1970s until 2007, gaining a wide fanbase.
From 1991–2005 the Braves were one of the most successful franchises in baseball, winning division titles an unprecedented 14 consecutive times in that period (omitting the strike-shortened 1994 season in which there were no official division champions). The Braves won the NL West 1991–93 and the NL East 1995–2005, and returned to the playoffs as the National League Wild Card in 2010. The Braves advanced to the World Series five times in the 1990s, winning the title in 1995. Since their debut in the National League in 1876, the franchise has won 16 divisional titles, 17 National League pennants, as well as three World Series championships—in 1914 as the Boston Braves, in1957 as the Milwaukee Braves, and in 1995 in Atlanta. The Braves are the only MLB franchise to have won the World Series in three different home cities.
The club is one of the National League's two remaining charter franchises (the other being the Chicago Cubs) and was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings (not to be confused with the American League's Boston Red Sox). They are considered "the oldest continuously playing team in American professional sports." After various name changes (such as the Boston Beaneaters), the team operated as the Boston Braves for most of the first half of the 20th century. In 1953, the team moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and became theMilwaukee Braves, followed by the move to Atlanta in 1966. The team's tenure in Atlanta is famous for Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record in 1974, though the majority of Aaron's home runs were hit while the team was in Milwaukee. His record stood until 2007, when San Francisco left fielder Barry Bonds broke the record
- Baltimore Orioles:The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of theEastern Divisionof Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often beleaguered years in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. The Orioles name had been used by previous major league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including the American League Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1901–1902 that became the New York Yankees and the National League Baltimore Orioles. Nicknames for the team include the O's and the Birds.
The Orioles experienced their greatest success from 1964–1983, winning seven Division Championships (1969–1971, 1973–1974, 1979 and 1983), six pennants (1966, 1969–1971, 1979 and 1983), three World Series Championships (1966, 1970 and 1983), and four Most Valuable Player awards (3BBrooks Robinson 1964, OF Frank Robinson 1966, 1B Boog Powell 1970 and SS Cal Ripken Jr. 1983).
Since the retirement of Cal Ripken Jr. in 2001, the Orioles have continued in a downward spiral, compiling a losing record in every season since 1997. However, the Orioles are known for their successful stadium, the trend-setting Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992 in downtown Baltimore.
- Boston Red Sox: The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’sAmerican League Eastern Division. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has beenFenway Parksince 1912. The "Red Sox" name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, around 1908, following previous Boston teams that had been known as the "Red Stockings". They have played in eleven World Series, winning seven.
Boston was a dominant team in the new league, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903 and winning four more championships by1918. However, they then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history, called by some the "Curse of the Bambino" after its alleged beginning with the Red Sox's sale of Babe Ruth to the rival Yankees two years after their world championship in 1918, an 86-year wait before the team's sixth World Championship in 2004. However, the team's history during that period was hardly one of futility, but was rather punctuated with some of the most memorable moments in World Series history, including Enos Slaughter's "mad dash" in 1946, the "Impossible Dream" of 1967,Carlton Fisk's home run in 1975, and Bill Buckner's error in 1986. Red Sox history has also been marked by the team's intense rivalry with the New York Yankees, arguably the fiercest and most historic in North American professional sports. Since 2003, the Red Sox have been perennial playoff contenders and have won two World Series, emerging as one of the most successful MLB teams of the last decade.
The Boston Red Sox are owned by Fenway Sports Group, who also own Liverpool Football Club of the Premier League in England. The Red Sox are consistently one of the top MLB teams in average road attendance, while the small capacity of Fenway Park prevents them from leading in overall attendance. Every home game since May 15, 2003 has been sold out—a MLB record that has spanned almost nine years.
- Chicago Cubs:The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball'sNational League. The Cubs are one of the two remaining charter members of the National League (the other being the Atlanta Braves) and one of two active major league clubs based in Chicago, the other being the Chicago White Sox of the American League. The team is currently owned by a family trust of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts.
The Cubs have not won the World Series in 103 years, a longer championship drought than that of any other major North American professional sports team, and are often referred to as "The Lovable Losers" because of this distinction. They are also known as "The North Siders" because Wrigley Field, their home park since 1916, is located in Chicago's north side Lake View community at 1060 West Addison Street.
The club played its first games in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings and were founded professionally in 1876. This makes the Cubs, along with the Braveswho were also founded in 1871, one of the two oldest active teams in major North American sports. Because the Cubs lost two seasons to the Great Chicago Fire, the Braves have played more seasons, although the Cubs hold the record for oldest team still in its original city.
- Chicago White Sox:The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League'sCentral Division. Since 1991, the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans. The White Sox are one of two major league clubs based in Chicago, the other being the Chicago Cubs of the National League. The White Sox last won the World Series in 2005 when they played the Houston Astros and swept them in four games.
One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Chicago team was established as a major league baseball club in 1900. The club was originally called the Chicago White Stockings, after the nickname abandoned by the Cubs, and the name was soon shortened to Chicago White Sox, believed to have been because the paper would shorten it to Sox in the headlines. At this time, the team played their home games at South Side Park. In 1910, the team moved into historic Comiskey Park, which they would inhabit for more than eight decades.
The White Sox were a strong team during their first two decades, winning the 1906 World Series with a defense-oriented team dubbed "the Hitless Wonders", and the 1917 World Series led by Eddie Cicotte, Eddie Collins, and Shoeless Joe Jackson. The 1919 World Series, however, was marred by the Black Sox Scandal, in which several prominent members of the White Sox (including Cicotte and Jackson) were accused of conspiring with gamblers to purposefully lose games. Baseball's new commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took decisive action, banning the tainted players from Major League Baseball for life. Decades of mediocrity followed for the White Sox until the 1950s, when perennially competitive teams were blocked from the playoffs by the dynastic New York Yankees, with the exception of the 1959 pennant winners led by Early Wynn, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, and manager Al Lopez. Another pennant winner did not come until theirchampionship season of 2005, when the White Sox won their first World Series championship in 88 years, breaking their epochal drought only a year after theBoston Red Sox had broken their slightly shorter but more celebrated "curse."
- Cincinnati Reds: The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division. Established in 1881 as an independent team, the Reds are the second oldest major league club to have played continuously in one city. The team became a charter member of the American Association in 1882, and joined the National League in 1890. The club traditionally traces its origin to baseball's first professional team in 1869.
The Reds have won five World Series titles, one American Association pennant, nine National League pennants and nine division titles. The Reds played in the National League West between 1969 and 1993 and since 1994 in the National League Central.
- Cleveland Indians:The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball'sAmerican League. Since 1994, they have played in Progressive Field (formerly Jacobs Field). The team's spring training facility is at Goodyear Ballparkin Goodyear, Arizona. Since their establishment as a Major League franchise in 1901, the Indians have won two World Series championships, in1920 and 1948.
The "Indians" name originates from a request by the club owner to decide on a new name, following the 1914 season. In reference to the Boston Braves (now the Atlanta Braves), the media chose "the Indians". Common nicknames for the Indians include the "Tribe" and the "Wahoos," the latter being a reference to their logo, Chief Wahoo. The mascot is called Slider.
The Cleveland team originated in 1900 as the Lake Shores, when the American League (AL) was officially a minor league. One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the major league incarnation of the club was founded in Cleveland in 1901. Originally called the Cleveland Bluebirds, the team played inLeague Parkuntil moving permanently to Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1946. At the end of the 2011 season, they had a regular season franchise record of 8,771–8,449 (.509). The Indians have won seven AL Central titles, the most in the division.
- Colorado Rockies:The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of theNational LeagueWest Division. Their home venue is Coors Field. Their current manager is Jim Tracy.
Denver had long been a hotbed of minor league baseball and many in the area desired a major league team. Following the Pittsburgh drug trials, an unsuccessful attempt was made to purchase the Pittsburgh Pirates and relocate them. However, in 1991, as part of Major League Baseball's two-team expansion (they also added the former Florida (now Miami) Marlins), an ownership group representing Denver led by John Antonucci and Michael I. Monuswere granted a franchise; they took the name “Rockies” due to Denver's proximity to the Rocky Mountains, which is reflected in their logo. They began play in 1993, sharing Mile High Stadium with the National Football League's Denver Broncos their first two seasons while Coors Field was constructed. It was completed for the 1995 Major League Baseball season.
The Colorado Rockies have won one National League championship (2007). They mounted a spirited rally in the last month of the 2007 regular season, winning 21 of their final 22 games, and qualified for the 2007 World Series. However, they lost to the American League champion Boston Red Sox four games to none.
- Detroit Tigers:The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1894 as part of the Western League. They are the oldest continuous one-name, one-city franchise in all of the American League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984) and have won the American League pennant 10 times (1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, and 2006). The team currently plays their home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.
The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue and began playing there in 1896. In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. It was expanded in 1938 and renamed Briggs Stadium. It was renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961and the Tigers played there until moving to Comerica Park in 2000.
- Houston Astros:The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are currently a member of the National League CentralDivision. In 2013, the Astros will move to the American League West Division. The Astros have played their home games at Minute Maid Park since 2000.
The Astros were established as the Houston Colt .45s in 1962. The current name was adopted three years later when they moved into the Astrodome, the world's first domed sports stadium. The name reflects Houston's role as the center of the U.S. Space Program.
- Kansas City Royals:The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since 1973, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have participated in two World Series, winning in 1985.
The "Royals" name originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899. The "Royals" name may also have been selected as a respectful recognition of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues and a nod to the Kansas City Bluesfranchises of the Western League and American Association. This is reflected in the similarity of the Royals logo to that of the Monarchs. The name also followed a theme of the other professional franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs football team and the-then Kansas City Kings basketball franchise.
Entering Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1969, along with the Montreal Expos, the club was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a Kansas City businessman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics (Kansas City's previous major league team from 1955 to 1967) moved to Oakland, California.
The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs 7 out of 10 seasons from 1976 to 1985, including one World Serieschampionship and another pennant, led by stars such as George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive through the mid-1990s, but have only had a winning record once since 1993.
The 2012 Season marks the third time the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has been played in Kansas City, with Kauffman Stadium (then named Royals Stadium) last hosting the event in 1973, the stadium's first year of existence. The event was also held at Municipal Stadium in 1960, when theAthletics were still based there. The 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was hosted by the team on July 10, 2012.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of theWestern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name is a tribute to the minor league team, Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have been based in Angel Stadium of Anaheim since 1966. The Angels franchise of today was established in the MLB in 1961 through former owner Gene Autry, the team’s first Major League owner who bought the rights to continue the franchise name from Walter O'Malley, the formerLos Angeles Dodgers owner who acquired the franchise from Phil Wrigley, the owner of the Chicago Cubs at the time. The birth of the team name in existence of baseball stems from the year 1892. MLB considers the current Los Angeles Angels franchise an expansion team because the team did not exist in the major leagues until 1961.
In 2009, the Angels were AL Western Division champions for the third straight season. 2011 marked the ninth straight year in which the Angels franchise had drawn more than three million fans in attendance for the regular baseball season. In 2011, ESPN ranked the Los Angeles Angels #4 on its list of Ultimate Team Rankings ahead of every team in baseball and any franchise in Los Angeles.[
- Los Angeles Dodgers:The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of theNational League Westdivision of Major League Baseball (MLB). Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming the Dodgers definitively by 1932. The team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played their first four seasons in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium, the third-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (trailing Fenway Park and Wrigley Field).
The Dodgers have won six World Series titles and 21 National League pennants. Eight Cy Young Award winners have pitched for the Dodgers, winning a total of ten Cy Young Awards (both MLB records). The team has also produced 12 Rookie of the Year award winners, including four back-to-back from 1979–1982 and five back-to-back from 1992–1996, the longest consecutive streaks in Major League Baseball
- Miami Marlins:The Miami Marlins are a professional baseball franchise based in Miami, Florida and a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball(MLB's) National League. Their home park is Marlins Park. Their manager is Ozzie Guillén.
The Miami Marlins began play in the 1993 season as the Florida Marlins. They played home games from their inaugural season to the 2011 season atSun Life Stadium, which they shared with the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) and which was also called Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, and Land Shark Stadium during their tenancy. Beginning with the 2012 Major League Baseball season, they play at Marlins Park in downtown Miami, on the site of the former Orange Bowl. The new park, unlike Sun Life Stadium (which was criticized in its baseball configuration for poor sight lines in some locations), was designed foremost as a baseball park. The new park's name is a temporary one until naming rights are purchased. Per agreement with the city and Miami-Dade County (which owns the park), the Marlins officially changed their name to the "Miami Marlins" on November 11, 2011. They also adopted a new logo, color scheme, and uniforms.
The Marlins have the distinction of winning a World Series championship every year they qualified for the postseason, doing so in 1997 and 2003 — both times as the National League wild card team. They defeated the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 series, which was notable for shortstop Edgar Renteria driving in second baseman Craig Counsell for the series-clinching run in the eleventh inning of the seventh and deciding game and the "fire sale" which occurred in the off-season following the dramatic win. The 2003 season was notable for the firing of managerJeff Torborg after thirty-eight games. The Marlins were in last place in the National League East with a 16-22 record at the time. Torborg's successor, 72-year-old Jack McKeon, improbably led them to the National League's wild card berth in the playoffs; they defeated the New York Yankees four games to two in the 2003 World Series.
- Milwaukee Brewers:The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team is a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League and plays its home games at Miller Park. The team is so named because of the city's association with the brewing industry.
Originating in Seattle, Washington, as the Seattle Pilots, the club played for one season in 1969 before being acquired in bankruptcy court by current MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and then moved to Milwaukee. The Brewers were part of the American League from their creation as an expansion club in 1969 through the 1997 season, after which they moved to the National League Central Division. Milwaukee had previously been a National League city when its team was the Milwaukee Braves (1953–1965).
In 1982, Milwaukee won the American League East Division and the American League Pennant, earning their only World Series appearance to date. In the Series, they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three.
In 2008, the Brewers achieved their first postseason berth in the 26 years since their World Series appearance as the wildcard team in the National League. They were eliminated in the NLDS by the eventual World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.
On September 23, 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers clinched their first division title in 29 years. They won the National League Division Series in five games over theArizona Diamondbacks, but lost to the eventual World Series champions St. Louis Cardinals in six games during the NLCS.
- Minnesota Twins:The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball'sAmerican League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome from 1982 to 2009. They played their inaugural game at the newly completed Target Field on April 12, 2010.
The team was founded in Kansas City in 1894 as the Kansas City Blues of the Western League. The team would move to Washington, D.C., in 1901 as one of the eight original teams of the American League, named the Washington Senators or Washington Nationals. Although the Washington team endured long bouts of mediocrity (immortalized in the 1955 Broadway musical Damn Yankees), they had a period of prolonged success in the 1920s and 1930s, led by Hall-of-Famers Bucky Harris, Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Heinie Manush, Joe Cronin, and above all Walter Johnson. ManagerClark Griffithjoined the team in 1912 and became the team's owner in 1920. The franchise remained under Griffith family ownership until 1984.
In 1960, Major League Baseball granted the city of Minneapolis an expansion team. Washington owner Calvin Griffith, Clark's nephew and adopted son, requested that he be allowed to move his team to Minneapolis and instead give Washington the expansion team. Upon league approval, the team moved toMinnesota after the 1960 season, setting up shop in Metropolitan Stadium, while Washington fielded a brand new "Washington Senators" (which later became theTexas Rangers prior to the 1972 season).
Success came quickly to the team in Minnesota. Sluggers Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison, who had already been stars in Washington, were joined by Tony Oliva and Zoilo Versalles, and later second baseman Rod Carew and pitchers Jim Kaat and Jim Perry, winning the American League pennant in 1965. A second wave of success came in the late 1980s and early 1990s, led by Kent Hrbek, Bert Blyleven, Frank Viola, and Kirby Puckett, winning the franchise's second and third World Series (and first in Minnesota).
Through the 2011 season, the franchise has won three World Series championships (1924, 1987, and 1991), and has fielded 18 American League batting champions
- New York Mets:The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City. They belong to Major League Baseball'sNational League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. During the 1962 and 1963 seasons, the Mets played their home games at the Polo Grounds. From 1964 to 2008, the Mets' home ballpark was Shea Stadium. In 2009, they moved into a new stadium, Citi Field.
In their 1962 inaugural season, the Mets posted a record of 40–120, the worst regular season record since Major League Baseball went to a 162-game season (two games from their inaugural season were never made up). The team never finished better than second to last until the 1969 "Miracle Mets"beat the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in World Series history. Since, they have played in three additional World Series, including a dramatic run in 1973 that ended in a Game Seven loss to the Oakland Athletics, a second championship in1986 against the Boston Red Sox that was cited in the Curse of the Bambino, and a Subway Series against their cross-town rivals the New York Yankees in the 2000 World Series which they lost in five games.
Recent years have again seen the team face struggles, including elimination from postseason contention on the last game of the season in both 2007 (regarded as one of the worst regular season collapses in baseball history) and again in 2008, followed by three losing seasons plagued by injuries and financial difficulties in the wake of the Madoff investment scandal.
- New York Yankees:The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball(MLB) in theAmerican League's East Division. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles. The team moved to New York City in 1903 as the New York Highlanders, taking the Yankees as their official name in 1913. From 1923 to 2008, the Yankees' home ballpark was Yankee Stadium; in 2009, they moved into a new ballpark, also called Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees have won 27 World Series championships and 40 American League pennants, both MLB records. Forty-three Yankees players and eleven Yankees managers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, andYogi Berra. In pursuit of winning championships, the franchise has utilized a large payroll to recruit talent, particularly under former owner George Steinbrenner.
Due in part to their success, the Yankees have garnered enormous popularity and a dedicated fanbase, as well as widespread enmity from fans of other teams in Major League Baseball. The Yankees brand is recognized worldwide.
- Oakland The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From 1968 to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum.
The "Athletics" name originates from the late 19th century "athletic clubs", specifically the Philadelphia Athletics baseball club. They are most prominentlynicknamed "the A's", in reference to the Gothic script "A", a trademark of the team and the old Athletics of Philadelphia. This has gained very prominent use, and in some circles is used more frequently than the full "Athletics" name. They are also known as "the White Elephants" or simply "the Elephants", in reference to then New York Giants' manager John McGraw's calling the team a "white elephant". This was embraced by the team, who then made a white elephant the team's mascot, and often incorporated it into the logo or sleeve patches. During the team's 1970s heyday, management often referred to the team as The Swingin' A's, referencing both their prodigious power and to connect the team with the growingdisco culture.
One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team had some prominent success in Philadelphia, winning three of four World Series from 1910 to 1913 (the "First Dynasty") and two in a row in 1929 and 1930 (the "Second Dynasty"). The team's owner and manager for its first 50 years was Connie Mack, and its Hall-of-Fame players includedChief Bender, Frank "Home Run" Baker, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove. After two decades of decline, however, the team left Philadelphia for Kansas City in 1955 and became the Kansas City Athletics.
After 13 mostly uneventful seasons in the Midwest, the team moved to Oakland in 1968. There a "Third Dynasty" soon emerged, with three World Championships in a row from 1972 to 1974 led by players including Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, ace reliever Rollie Fingers, and colorful ownerCharlie O. Finley. Finally, a "Fourth Dynasty" won three consecutive pennants and the 1989 World Series behind Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco andDennis Eckersley. In more recent years, the A's have often been playoff contenders but have not returned to the World Series since 1990. In 2002, the A's won 20 games in a row, which broke an AL record, as shown in the film Moneyball.
- Philadelphia Phillies:The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. Since 2004, the team's home has been Citizens Bank Park in the South Philadelphia section of the city.
The Phillies have won two World Series championships (against Kansas City in 1980 and Tampa Bay in 2008) and seven National League pennants, the first of which came in 1915. The franchise has also experienced long periods of struggle. It took the Phillies 77 years to win their first World Series--longer than any of the 16 teams that made up the major leagues for the first half of the 20th century. The 77 years of drought is the fourth longest World Series drought in Major League Baseball history. The age of the team and its history of adversity have earned it the dubious distinction of having lost the most games of any team in the history of American professional sports. Notwithstanding the collectively poor performance over the years, the Phillies have performed much better in recent seasons, winning their division five times in a row since 2007.
The franchise was founded in Philadelphia in 1883, replacing the team from Worcester, Massachusetts. The team has played at several stadiums in the city, beginning with Recreation Park and continuing at Baker Bowl; Shibe Park, which was later renamed Connie Mack Stadium in honor of the longtime Philadelphia Athletics manager; Veterans Stadium; and now Citizens Bank Park.
The team's spring training facilities are located in Clearwater, Florida, where its Class-A minor league affiliate Clearwater Threshers play at Bright House Field. Its Double-A affiliate is the Reading Phillies, which plays in Reading, Pennsylvania, and its Triple-A affiliate is the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, which plays in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
- Pittsburgh Pirates:The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of theNational League, and are five-time World Series champions. The Pirates are also often referred to as the "Bucs" or sometimes the "Buccos" (derived frombuccaneer, a synonym for pirate).
The franchise joined the National League in its sixth season in 1887 and was competitive from its early years, winning three National League titles from 1901 to 1903, playing in the very first World Series in 1903 and winning their first World Series in 1909 behind Honus Wagner. The Pirates have had many ups and downs during their long history, most famously winning the 1960 World Series on a walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski, the only time that Game 7 of the World Series has ever ended with a home run. They also won the 1971 World Series behind Roberto Clemente and the 1979 World Series under the slogan "We Are Family", led by "Pops" Willie Stargell. Overall the Pirates have won five World Series and lost two. The five that the Pirates won were all seven-game Series. After a run of regular-season success in the early 1990s (making the NLCS three straight years), the Pirates have struggled more recently, with 19 consecutive losing seasons to date, the longest in North American professional sports history.
- San Diego Padres:The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball team based in San Diego. They play in the National League Western Division. Founded in 1969, the Padres have won the National League Pennant twice, in 1984 and 1998, losing in the World Series both times. They and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are the only MLB California teams to originate in California; the Dodgers and Giants are originally from New York, and theAthletics are originally from Philadelphia.
As of June 1, 2012, the Padres are the only team in MLB to never record a no-hitter. They are also one of two teams, along with the Miami Marlins, in Major League Baseball history to never have a player hit for the cycle.
- San Francisco Giants:The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division.
As one of the oldest baseball teams, they have won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball, and any North American professional sports team. They have won 21 National League pennants and appeared in 18 World Series competitions – both records in the National League (tied for NL pennants with the Los Angeles Dodgers and for World Series appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals). The Giants 6 World Series Championships are also tied for second in the National League with the Dodgers (the St. Louis Cardinals have won 11). The Giants have played in the World Series an NL record 18 times, but boycotted the event in 1904. With their history, the Giants have the most Hall of Fame players in all of professional baseball. The Giants rivalry with the Dodgers is one of the greatest longest-standing rivalries and is regarded the biggest in American baseball.
The Giants played at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, New York, until the close of the 1957 season, after which they moved west to California to become the San Francisco Giants. As the New York Giants, they won 14 pennants and 5 World Championships, from the era of John McGraw andChristy Mathewson to that ofBobby Thomson and Willie Mays. The Giants have won four pennants and the 2010 World Series since arriving in San Francisco.
- Seattle Mariners:The Seattle Mariners are a professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. Enfranchised in 1977, the Mariners are a member of theWestern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Safeco Field has been the Mariners' home ballpark since July 1999. From their 1977 inception until June 1999, the club's home park was the Kingdome.
The "Mariners" name originates from the prominence of marine culture in the city of Seattle. They are nicknamed "the M's", a title featured in their primary logo from 1987–1992. The current team colors are Navy Blue, Northwest Green (also known as dark cyan), and Metallic Silver, after having been Royal Blueand Gold from 1977–1992. Their mascot is the Mariner Moose.
The organization did not field a winning team until 1991, and any real success eluded them until 1995 when they won their first division championship and defeated the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. The game-winning hit in Game 5, in which Edgar Martinez drove homeKen Griffey, Jr. to win the game in the 11th inning, clinched a series win for the Mariners, and has since become an iconic moment in team history.
- St. Louis Cardinals:The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in theNational League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to the New York Yankees, who have won 27. They have played in 18 Fall Classics, tying them with the Dodgers and Giants for most World Series appearances among National League clubs and second overall to the Yankees' 40 appearances. The Cardinals are the reigning World Serieschampions, having defeated the Texas Rangers in seven games in the 2011 World Series.
The Cardinals were founded in the American Association in 1882 as the St. Louis Brown Stockings, taking the name from an earlier National League team. They joined the National League in 1892, and have been known as the Cardinals since 1900. They were called the "Perfectos" in 1899. The Cardinals began playing in the current Busch Stadium in 2006. The Cardinals have a long-standing rivalry with the Chicago Cubs.
- Tampa Bay Rays:The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in 1998, the club has played at Tropicana Field. Having finished in last place in nine of their first ten seasons, the Rays' first season with a winning record was 2008, when they won their first division title and proceeded to win the pennant. Since 2007, the Rays have had four straight winning seasons and three playoff appearances, including two AL East championships.
In November 2007, majority owner Stuart Sternberg made significant changes to his franchise's image, changing the club's name from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to the "Tampa Bay Rays", which he described as "a beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida."The teams' primary colors, formerly black, green, and blue, were changed to navy blue, Columbia blue, and gold, and the team's symbol was changed from a devil ray to a ray of sunlight. The devil ray symbol, however, is still used on the sleeve of their jerseys, and there is still a tank of cownose rays in the outfield.
- Texas Rangers:The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers franchise are currently a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions since 2010, although they lost consecutive World Series appearances against the San Francisco Giants in 2010 and the St. Louis Cardinals in2011. Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. The team's name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name.
The franchise was established in 1961 by the name of the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city's first ballclub, the original Washington Senators, moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. After the 1971 season, the new Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, and debuted as the Rangers the following spring.
The Texas Rangers Baseball Club has made five appearances in the MLB postseason, all following division championships, in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, and 2011. In 2010, the Rangers advanced past the Division Series for the first time, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Texas then brought home their firstAmerican League Pennant after beating the New York Yankees in six games. In the 2010 World Series, the franchise's first, the Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants in five games. Their lone victory made them the first Texas MLB team to win a World Series game, the Houston Astros having been swept in their 2005 World Series appearance. They repeated as American League champions the following year, then lost the 2011 World Series to theSt. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
- Toronto Blue Jays:The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of theEastern Division ofMajor League Baseball (MLB)'s American League (AL).
The "Blue Jays" name originates from the bird of the same name, and the fact that blue is the traditional colour of Toronto's other professional sports teams, the Maple Leafs and the Argonauts. Nicknamed "the Jays", the team's official colours are royal blue, navy blue, white, and red. An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Toronto in 1977, initially owned by the Labatt Brewing Company. Originally based at Exhibition Stadium, the team began playing its home games at the SkyDome, upon completion of its construction in 1989. Since 2000, the Blue Jays have been owned by Rogers Communications, and in 2004, the SkyDome was purchased by that company, which renamed the venue to Rogers Centre. They are the second MLB team to be based outside theUnited States, and currently the only team outside the U.S. after fellow Canadian franchise, the Montreal Expos, relocated to Washington, D.C. after the 2004 season (becoming the Washington Nationals).
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Blue Jays went through struggles typical of an expansion team, frequently finishing in last place in their division. In 1983, the team had its first winning season, and two years later, they became division champions. From 1985–1993, the Blue Jays were an AL East powerhouse, winning five division championships in nine seasons, including three consecutive from 1991–93. During their run of three straight division championships, the team also became back-to-back World Series champions from 1992–93, led by a core group of award-winning All-Star players, including Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud, and Devon White. They became the first (and to date, only) team outside the U.S. to appear in and win a World Series, and the fastest AL expansion team to do so, winning in their 16th year. Since 1993, the Blue Jays have not made the playoffs, though they have remained competitive in their division.
- Washington Nationals:The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the East Division of theNational League of Major League Baseball (MLB). The team moved into the newly built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons inRFK Stadium. The new park is located on South Capitol Street in Southeast D.C., near the Anacostia River and with views of the Capitol.
The Nationals name derives from the former Washington baseball team which had the same name (used interchangeably with Senators). Theirnickname is "the Nats"—a shortened version that was also used by the old D.C. teams.
An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1969. As the Montreal Expos, they were the first major league team in Canada. They played their home games at Jarry Park St adium and later in the Olympic Stadium. In 1981, the Expos won a division championship, won their first-ever playoff series by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies, 3–2, and advanced to the National League Championship Series, where they would go on to lose that series to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3–2, in their only postseason appearance during the strike-shortened season. The Expos had their highest winning percentage in the strike-shortened season of 1994, when the team had the best record in baseball. The team's subsequent shedding of players caused fan interest to drop off. After the 2001 season, MLB considered revoking the team's franchise, along with either the Minnesota Twins or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. After being purchased by MLB in 2002, the team was moved before the 2005 season to Washington and renamed the Nationals, the first relocation since the second Washington Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, and became the Texas Rangers in 1972.