On February 2, 1876, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (National League) was established with the main office in New York thanks, in part, to Chicago businessman, William Hulbert.
After the Chicago Fire destroyed the stadium Hulbert became the team’s owner. It took less than three years to revive the team. East coast cities like New York were his biggest competition when it came to signing talented players.
In a meeting with other baseball owners at Grand Central Hotel in New York City, Hulbert pitched his idea to create closed-circuit league. His idea helped organize established teams and has been kept in tact for 140 years.
The eight teams were the Boston Red Stockings (Atlanta Braves), Chicago White Stockings (Chicago Cubs), Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Grays, Mutual of New York, Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Brown Stockings. In their first season each team played 70 games between April and October.
The New York Mets and Houston Colt .45s (Astros) became the first expansion franchises in 1962. Slowly other teams started to move into the professional ranks. In 1994, the league Major League Baseball reorganized and split into the Eastern, Western and Central division to accommodate all 28 teams.
The White Stocking’s 4-0 victory over the Grays was put in the books as the first shutout.
George Hall of the Philadelphia Athletics became the first batter to hit for the cycle (single, double, triple and home run in a game.)
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs did not form until 1901. The first World Series game was played in 1903. Same division Inter-league play started in 1997 and teams started playing outside division inter-league games in 2002.
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