The average Major League Baseball team rose 16% in value during the past year, to an all-time high of $605 million.
To date, the American League has won 62 World Series titles and the National League, 45. The New York Yankees have appeared in (40) and won (27) the most World Series of any team. A distant second is the St. Louis Cardinals who have won 11 World Series Championships.
The Major League Baseball season runs from the start of April to the end of September, with each club playing 162 games. That means about one day off every ten days, so baseball is pretty much "game-a-day".
In Major League Baseball there are two "Major Leagues" - the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), each of which is split into three divisions. Almost all of the games played by teams are within their own league, although since the late 1990's a small number of "interleague" games are played.
The main difference between the American League and the National League is the Designated Hitter rule (in use in the American League, so pitchers do not hit for themselves, and not used in the National League). When an AL team meet an NL, the Designated Hitter rule is used for games played in AL ballparks, and not for games played in NL ballparks.
Bud Selig was born on July 30, 1934, and started serving as the interim Commissioner of Major League Baseball on September 7, 1992. On July 9, 1998, Selig officially became the Commissioner and still serves in that position.
The Commissioner of Major League Baseball has left his mark on our national pastime as much as any of the players. Their rich history includes an array of decisions ranging from making bats from a single piece of wood to suspending players from the game itself.
1939 was also the year that the first game was televised on an experimental basis. In 1946 the New York Yankees became the first team with a local television contract when they sold the rights to their games for $75,000. By the end of the century they sold those same rights for $52 million per season. By 1951 the World Series was a television staple, and by 1955 all teams sold at least some of their games to local television. In 1966 MLB followed the lead of the NFL and sold its first national television package, netting $300,000 per team. The latest national television contract paid $24 million to each team in 2002.
In the early days of radio, teams saw the broadcasting of their games as free publicity, and charged little or nothing for the rights. The Chicago Cubs were the first team to regularly broadcast their home games, giving them away to local radio in 1925. It would be another fourteen years, however, before every team began regular radio broadcasts of their games.
Regardless of exactly how the game started, by the early 1840s, baseball-type games were being played in vacant lots and fields along the eastern seaboard. Alexander Cartwright, a clerk in Manhattan, helped organize the first baseball club in 1842. Cartwright wrote down rules for the Knickerbockers based on rounders. It was Cartwright who limited the number of outfielders to three, and came up with tagging the runner rather than throwing the ball at him. Cartwright also introduced the idea of three outs to end an inning. The Knickerbocker Rules became the basis for American baseball.
The truth is that baseball, like most sports, evolved over time. The roots of baseball can be found in the English games of cricket and rounders. English emigrants brought these games with them to the United States. Rounders was played with four bases. A feeder tossed a ball to a striker who hit the ball with a stick. The striker was “out” if he swung and missed three times or if a defender caught a hit ball. The striker was also out if a defender threw a ball and hit him as he ran.