Major League Baseball is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.
2013 MLB All Star Game by Reds Winning
A total of 30 teams now play in the American League and National League, with 15 teams in each league.
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League, is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada, and the world's oldest current professional team sports league.
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League, is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada.
Major League Baseball 2K12 Official Trailer by GameSpot
The AL and NL operated as separate legal entities from 1901 and 1876 respectively.
After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities since 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000.
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and the associated Minor League Baseball – a constellation of leagues and clubs known as organized baseball.
The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises about 240 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs.
Minor League Baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues.
With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.
The World Baseball Classic is an international baseball tournament sanctioned from 2006 to 2013 by the International Baseball Federation and after 2013 by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
Baseball's first professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869, 30 years after Abner Doubleday supposedly invented the game of baseball.
Abner Doubleday was a career United States Army officer and Union general in the American Civil War.
Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio that serves as county seat of Hamilton County.
The first few decades of professional baseball were characterized by rivalries between leagues and by players who often jumped from one team or league to another.
The period before 1920 in baseball was known as the dead-ball era; players rarely hit home runs during this time.
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process.
In baseball, the dead-ball era was the period between around 1900 and the emergence of Babe Ruth as a power hitter in 1919.
Baseball survived a conspiracy to fix the 1919 World Series, which came to be known as the Black Sox Scandal.
The eight "Chicago Black Sox players of the Chicago White Sox were accused of intentionally losing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from gamblers.
The 1919 World Series matched the American League champion Chicago White Sox against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds.
The sport rose in popularity in the 1920s, and survived potential downturns during the Great Depression and World War II. Shortly after the war, baseball's color barrier was broken by Jackie Robinson.
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was an American professional baseball second baseman who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place during the 1930s.
The 1950s and 1960s were a time of expansion for the AL and NL, then new stadiums and artificial turf surfaces began to change the game in the 1970s and 1980s.
Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass.
Home runs dominated the game during the 1990s, and media reports began to discuss the use of anabolic steroids among Major League players in the mid-2000s.
Anabolic steroids, also known more properly as anabolic-androgenic steroids, are steroidal androgens that are structurally related to and have similar effects as testosterone in the body.
In 2006, an investigation produced the Mitchell Report, which implicated many players in the use of performance-enhancing substances, including at least one player from each team.
The Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball, informally known as the "Mitchell Report," is the result of former Democratic United States Senator from Maine George J. Mitchell's 21-month investigation into the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone in Major League Baseball.
Today, MLB is composed of thirty teams: twenty-nine in the United States and one in Canada.
Teams play 162 games each season and five teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that culminates in the World Series, a best-of-seven championship series between the two league champions that dates to 1903.
Baseball broadcasts are aired on television, radio, and the Internet throughout North America and in several other countries throughout the world.
North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere.
MLB has the highest season attendance of any sports league in the world with more than 73 million spectators in 2015.