How well do you know the history of Major League Baseball?

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By jwblackwell



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Major Points on North American Professional Baseball League:

  • Major League Baseball (MLB) is the oldest major professional sports league in the world, composed of 30 teams equally divided between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL).

  • MLB is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan and is considered one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

  • Professional baseball's first team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was founded in 1869, and the period before 1920 was the dead-ball era when home runs were rarely hit.

  • Each team plays 162 games per season, and six teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that culminates in the World Series.

  • MLB is the second-wealthiest professional sport league by revenue after the National Football League (NFL) and has the highest total season attendance of any sports league in the world.

  • MLB oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises lower-tier teams affiliated with the major league clubs.

  • The chief executive of MLB is the commissioner, currently Rob Manfred, and the multimedia branch of MLB is MLB Advanced Media.

  • The National League (NL) used the designated hitter (DH) rule for the first time in 2020, and as part of the settlement of the 2021–22 Major League Baseball lockout, this change was made permanent.

  • The early years of the NL were tumultuous, with threats from rival leagues and a rebellion by players against the hated "reserve clause".

  • The period between 1900 and 1919 is commonly referred to as the "dead-ball era," with games of this era tending to be low-scoring and often dominated by pitchers.

  • Additionally, many ballparks had large dimensions, and home runs were rare, and "small ball" tactics dominated the strategies of the time.

  • The baseball used American rather than the modern Australian wool yarn and was not wound as tightly, affecting the distance that it would travel.

  • Hitting methods like the Baltimore Chop were used to increase the number of infield singles.A Brief History of Major League Baseball

  • The foul strike rule was adopted in the early 20th century, causing baseball to become a low-scoring game.

  • The Black Sox Scandal rocked baseball in 1919, resulting in eight players receiving a permanent ban from the league.

  • Popularity of baseball increased in the 1920s and 1930s, with the New York Yankees winning eight out of 11 World Series by the end of the 1930s.

  • The Great Depression caused a decline in baseball’s popularity in the early 1930s, leading to pay cuts and roster reductions for players.

  • World War II caused a significant shortage of professional baseball players, with many joining service baseball teams.

  • Branch Rickey introduced Jackie Robinson as the first black baseball player in the International League in the mid-1940s.

  • Walter O'Malley moved the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958, making it the first major league franchise on the West Coast.

  • The balance between pitching and hitting swung in favor of pitchers by the late 1960s, leading to rule changes such as reducing the strike zone and lowering the pitcher’s mound.

  • Artificial turf became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to a change in the nature of professional baseball.

  • Scandals such as the Pittsburgh drug trials and the Houston Astros sign-stealing controversy in 2019 have impacted baseball.

  • Major League Baseball banned women from signing contracts in 1952, but the ban was lifted in 1992. No female MLB players have been recorded.

  • Teams moved to new cities from the 1950s, with new teams also added, including the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners in 1977.Overview of Major League Baseball

  • The Houston Astros were fined $5 million and forfeited their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts for stealing signs during the 2017 season.

  • The steroid era saw players using performance-enhancing drugs to hit more home runs in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

  • The National League added the Florida Marlins and the Colorado Rockies in 1993, and the Brewers switched leagues by joining the National League in 1998. The NL's Arizona Diamondbacks and the AL's Tampa Bay Devil Rays were added in 1998.

  • In 2001, the team owners voted in favor of contraction, but the plan was halted when the Twins landlord was awarded a court injunction that required the team to play its 2002 home games at their stadium.

  • In recent years, technologies such as Statcast and advanced statistics have evolved the game of baseball, allowing teams to assess players' mechanics and improve their performance.

  • The rate of teams using a defensive shift has gone up from 13.7% in 2016 to 33.6% in 2022, but MLB announced in September 2022 that extreme infield defensive shifts would be banned starting in 2023.

  • The game of baseball has slowed down significantly due to increased strikeouts, walks, and time taken for a pitcher to pitch. The MLB announced the introduction of a pitch clock for the 2023 season and beyond.

  • Baseball uniforms are worn to indicate a person's role in the game and identify the teams and their players, managers, and coaches. Most teams also have one or more alternate uniforms, and throwback uniforms have become popular.

  • Spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season, which allows new players to compete for roster and position spots and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play.

  • Each team plays 162 games per season, and a team's schedule is typically organized into three-game series, sets of consecutive games against the same opponent, with occasional two- or four-game series. Postponed games or continuations of suspended games can result in an ad hoc one-game or five-game series.

  • The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is held during a four-day break from the regular-season schedule in early-to-mid July. The game features a team of players from the American League and a team of players from the National League in an exhibition game.

  • Beginning in 1947, the eight position players in each team's starting lineup have been voted into the All-Star Game by fans. The fan voting was discontinued after a 1957 ballot-box-stuffing scandal in Cincinnati but was reinstated in 1970 and has continued ever since, including Internet voting in recent years.

  • The 2002 contest in Milwaukee controversially ended in an 11-inning tie when both managers ran out of pitchers. Starting in 2003, the league that wins the All-Star game received home-field advantage in the World Series. This was discontinued after the 2016 season.Overview of Major League Baseball

  • The 2020 All-Star Game was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Los Angeles was awarded the next available All-Star Game in 2022.

  • Twelve teams enter the postseason playoffs, consisting of six division champions and six "wild-card" teams.

  • Four rounds of series of games are played to determine the champion, with the division winners being the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 seeds, based on win–loss records.

  • The team with the best record among non-division winners is the first wildcard and the No. 4 seed, followed by the team with the second-best record as the second wildcard and the No. 5 seed, and the team with the third-best record as the third wild card and the No. 6 seed.

  • Home-field advantage in the World Series is determined by regular-season records of the two league champions, replacing a system used for the prior 14 seasons where the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game would receive home-field advantage.

  • An All-Star team from MLB is sent to a biennial end-of-the-season tour of Japan, playing exhibition games against the All-Stars from Nippon Professional Baseball or their national team Samurai Japan.

  • MLB played the MLB China Series in the People's Republic of China in 2008, and the MLB Taiwan All-Star Series in Taiwan in November 2011.

  • The Arizona Diamondbacks opened the 2014 season against Los Angeles Dodgers on March 22–23 in Australia, with the games counting as home games for the Diamondbacks.

  • In 2019, the Red Sox were the home team in a regular-season two-game series against the Yankees, which were the first regular-season MLB games held in Europe.

  • Several networks televise baseball games, including Fox, ESPN, TBS, and MLB Network.

  • ESPN Radio holds national broadcast rights and broadcasts Sunday Night Baseball weekly throughout the season in addition to all playoff games.

  • Each team employs its own announcers, who broadcast during the regular season, and most teams operate regional networks to cover their fan bases.

  • MLB games are broadcast live on the internet through and radio-only broadcasts are also available via subscription to Gameday Audio.

  • International broadcasting of MLB games is available in Latin America, Puerto Rico, the UK, Australia, the Middle East, North Africa, France, Germany, and Hungary.


Think you're a true baseball fan? Test your knowledge of the North American Professional Baseball League and its rich history with this quiz! From the early days of the Cincinnati Red Stockings to the current controversies surrounding the Houston Astros, this quiz covers it all. Challenge yourself with questions about the league's structure, rules, and notable moments in history. Show off your knowledge of America's favorite pastime and see if you have what it takes to hit a home run on this quiz!

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