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Major League Baseball is the top level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada. Baseball and the MLB has been one of the major sports and forms of entertainment for many years in the United States. This is why its also called America's "National Pastime".
History of Major League Baseball
Professional baseball started with the first professional team in 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. In 1876 the National League was formed with eight professional teams. Then in 1901 another baseball league, the American League, was formed. There were eight teams in the original American League as well.
Starting in 1903, the American League and the National League agreed to have their two championship teams play each other in the World Series. They have played this game ever since and it's one of the most watched championships in sports.
Over the history of baseball there have been many significant events. One was in WWII when President Roosevelt agreed to let baseball continue during the war because it was important to the country. Another was when Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in the Major Leagues in 1947. Over the years, baseball and the MLB has become a part of American history including many of its great players like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Cal Ripken Jr.
Each Major League Baseball team has a 25-man roster and a 40-man roster. The 25-man roster has the players that can play in games and travel with the team. The 40-man roster has all the players from the 25-man roster as well as an additional 15 players that are on a major league contract and could be called up to play with the team at any time. After September 1st, the 40-man roster becomes the main roster and any of the 40 players can play.
There are 30 MLB teams. They are divided up evenly between the American League and National League. The American League has 15 teams and the National League has 15 teams. Each of the leagues is divided into three divisions called the East, the Central, and the West. Go here for a list of MLB Teams and divisions.
MLB Season and Playoffs
The Major League baseball season is the longest of the major American sports at 162 games. The season starts in April and ends in early October. Eight teams, four from each league, get into the playoffs. The first match-ups are best of five games, meaning the first team with 3 wins moves on. The next match-ups are best of seven games as well as the final championship between the winners of the two the leagues, the World Series.
Minor League Baseball, also called the farm system, is where players learn how to play and prepare for the Major Leagues. There are multiple leagues of different levels including Single A, Double A, and Triple A. As players improve they can move up in the levels until the major league team is ready to call them up. The minor league teams are owned or affiliated with major league teams.
Fun Facts about Major League Baseball