April 22 – Start of Major League Baseball

Posted on April 22, 2018

The NFL wasn't the first big professional sports organization in North America. 

Nor was the NBA or the NHL. Before all of them, there was the MLB - Major League Baseball.

Baseball's first professional team was started in Cincinnati way back in 1869. Not long after that, the National League was formed in 1876. And on this date in that same year - 1876 - the first game of the National League was played in Philadelphia.

This is often considered the birth of Major League Baseball.

Do you wonder what the MLB looked like back in the mid- to late 1800s?

It's perhaps not a surprise that the uniforms looked a bit
more formal - check out those ties!
Also, you are no doubt unsurprised by the number of
white players. What may surprise you is to see a black
player on the team below:
Before there was integration, with Jackie Robinson famously breaking
the color barrier in 1947, there was of course segregation along racial lines.

But before the modern era, there were some mixed-race teams.

Former slave William Edward White may be the very first black
player in the MLB - but he only played one game.

Moses Fleetwood Walker is credited as being the first black player
who really played (more than just a one-game "fill in") in the MLB.

John W. "Bud" Fowler set a record by playing 11
consecutive seasons with otherwise-white teams.

Nowadays the MLB has two leagues - the National League and the American League. Each league is made up of 15 teams in 3 regional divisions. Most of the teams are based in U.S. cities, but one - the Toronto Blue Jays - is based in Canada. Many states are not graced with even one MLB team, and several other states have just one team. On the other hand, some states have several. California (MY state!) has the most MLB teams: five of them! California's teams include the San Francisco Giants, the Oakland Athletics (often called the As), the Los Angeles Dodgers (which won the National League last year), the Los Angeles Angels, and the San Diego Padres. 

So...the big city near me, Los Angeles, has more MLB teams than Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, combined! That's because none of those states have any MLB teams other than Arizona, which has exactly one MLB team - and Los Angeles has two teams! The same can be said for two other big cities: Chicago, and New York City.

Check out this map of MLB teams:

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the Global Selfie Earth Day 

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