Early Baseball Leagues History
In 1845, Alexander Cartwright led the establishment of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, the first team believed to have played baseball under modern rules. The club's by-laws committee formulated the Knickerbocker Rules, which in large part dealt with organizational matters and laid out rules for playing the game. (read more)
Eliminated the 'reserve clause', allowing free agency that created competition and disdain with the AL and NL.
Sputtering through two short seasons, the league was the first to introduce free agency and multi-year contracts.
The "Junior Circuit" claimed Major League status 25 years after the formation of the NL.
Originally a minor league in 1885, evolved into a major league that eventually became the modern American League.
Known as "The Brotherhood" league, it was formed around players from the National League's first players' union.
The league president's favoritism toward his own St. Louis franchise doomed the league from the beginning.
Became a significant force in baseball by playing on Sundays and allowing sales of alcohol, unlike the NL.
The "Senior Circuit" is the world's oldest professional team sports league still in existence today.
The league included most of the pro clubs and highest caliber players of its time, paving the way for the origin of the NL in 1876.
The first organization governing professional baseball and establishing standard rules across the national sport.