List of defunct and relocated Major League Baseball teams

Last updated

Throughout the history of Major League Baseball, numerous franchises have relocated or become defunct. Since the early 20th century, Major League Baseball has consisted of the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), both of which have experienced numerous franchise relocations. Prior to establishment of the American League as a major league in 1901, the National League saw several teams go defunct. In the early 20th century, the Federal League (FL) challenged the primacy of the American League and the National League, but the Federal League and all of its franchises went defunct after the 1915 season. [1] From 1952 to 1971, several major league franchises moved, often relocating from a city with multiple major league franchises. After a period of over thirty years without relocation, the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, and the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

Relocation of professional sports teams is a practice which involves a sporting club moving from one metropolitan area to another, but occasionally, moves between municipalities in the same conurbation are also included. In North America, a league franchise system is used, and as the teams are generally privately owned and operate according to the wishes of their owners, the practice is much more common there than it is in other areas of the world, where sporting teams are often identified with a specific location. Moving of teams is more commonplace among less-established teams with small or nonexistent fan-bases. Reasons for relocations are commonly motivated by either problems with finances, problems with inadequate facilities, lack of support or the wishes of the owner(s). In most cases, it is a combination of some or all of those problems.

National League Baseball league, part of Major League Baseball

The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, and the world's oldest current professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP) of 1871–1875, the NL is sometimes called the Senior Circuit, in contrast to MLB's other league, the American League, which was founded 25 years later.

Contents

List of defunct and relocated major league franchises

LeagueThe league the franchise was in at the time of relocation
FirstFirst year in Major League Baseball
LastLast year in Major League Baseball
RelocationThe status of the franchise after relocating or becoming defunct
CurrentThe current status of the franchise
PLeague championships won
WS World Series victories
^City would later receive a new franchise
TeamLeagueFirstLastSeasonsRelocationCurrentPWSReason for relocation/disbandmentRef
Louisville Colonels NL1882189918DefunctDefunct10Contraction of National League [2] [3]
Baltimore Orioles ^NL1882189918DefunctDefunct30Contraction of National League [2] [4]
Cleveland Spiders ^NL1887189913DefunctDefunct00Contraction of National League [2] [5]
Washington Senators ^NL189118999DefunctDefunct00Contraction of National League [2] [6]
Milwaukee Brewers ^AL190119011 St. Louis Browns Baltimore Orioles 00Poor attendance [7] [8]
Baltimore Orioles ^AL190119022Defunct [9] Defunct00American League wanted a franchise in New York City [10] [11]
Indianapolis Hoosiers FL191419141 Newark Peppers Defunct10Federal League wanted a franchise in the New York metropolitan area [12] [13]
Kansas City Packers ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [14]
Chicago Whales ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct10Disbandment of Federal League [15]
Baltimore Terrapins ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [16]
St. Louis Terriers ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [17]
Brooklyn Tip-Tops ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [18]
Pittsburgh Rebels ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [19]
Buffalo Blues ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [20]
Newark Peppers FL191519151DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [13]
Boston Braves ^NL1876195277 Milwaukee Braves Atlanta Braves 101Poor attendance and competition with the Boston Red Sox [21] [22]
St. Louis Browns ^AL1902195352 Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Orioles 10Poor attendance and competition with the St. Louis Cardinals [23] [8]
Philadelphia Athletics ^AL1901195454 Kansas City Athletics Oakland Athletics 95Poor attendance and competition with the Philadelphia Phillies [24] [25]
New York Giants ^NL1883195775 San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants 175Declining attendance and desire for a new ballpark [26] [27]
Brooklyn Dodgers NL1884195774 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers 131Declining attendance and desire for a new ballpark [28] [29]
Washington Senators ^AL1901196060 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins 31Poor attendance [30] [31]
Milwaukee Braves ^NL1953196513 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves 21Declining attendance [32] [22]
Kansas City Athletics ^AL1955196713 Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics 00Poor attendance and the owner's desire for a larger market [33] [25]
Seattle Pilots ^AL196919691 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers 00Poor attendance and desire for a larger ballpark [34] [35]
Washington Senators ^AL1961197111 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers 00Poor attendance [36] [37]
Montreal Expos NL1969200436 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals 00Poor attendance and desire for a new ballpark [38] [39]

Map of cities that hosted defunct and relocated franchises

Usa edcp location map.svg
Steel pog.svg
Buffalo
Steel pog.svg
Chicago
Steel pog.svg
Newark
Steel pog.svg
Indianapolis
Steel pog.svg
Pittsburgh
Green pog.svg
Louisville
Green pog.svg
Boston
Green pog.svg
Cleveland
Green pog.svg
Montreal
Green pog.svg
New York
Green pog.svg
Seattle
Red pog.svg
Philadelphia
Orange pog.svg
Baltimore
Orange pog.svg
Brooklyn
Orange pog.svg
Kansas City
Orange pog.svg
Milwaukee
Orange pog.svg
St. Louis
Orange pog.svg
Washington
The map shows cities that hosted defunct and relocated baseball franchises that played in a major league after 1891. An orange pog indicates that the city hosted relocated or defunct franchises from multiple leagues. A steel pog indicates that the city hosted a defunct franchise from the Federal League. A green pog indicates the city hosted a relocated or defunct franchise from the National League. A red pog indicates the city hosted a relocated franchise from the American League.

 

List of franchises that went defunct prior to 1892

The Boston Reds won pennants in the Players' League and the American Association before going defunct 1890 Boston Reds.jpg
The Boston Reds won pennants in the Players' League and the American Association before going defunct

The franchises in the following list went defunct prior to the 1892 season. These franchises played in the National League, the American Association (AA), the Players' League (PL), the Union Association (UA), or, in some cases, a combination of the four leagues. In 1968-1969, a Special Records Committee established by Major League Baseball defined the major leagues as consisting of the NL, AA, PL, UA, American League, and Federal League. [40] The NL has played continuously since 1876, the AA existed from 1882 to 1891, the UA existed for one season in 1884, and the PL operated for one season in 1890. The Special Records Committee excluded the National Association (NA), which operated from 1871 to 1875, as a major league. Some baseball writers have nonetheless argued that the NA should be considered the first major league, [1] but NA franchises are not included below. Note that there have been many cases of multiple distinct franchises sharing the same name.

The American Association (AA) was a professional baseball league that existed for 10 seasons from 1882 to 1891. Together with the National League (NL), founded in 1876, the AA participated in an early version of the World Series seven times versus the champion of the NL in an interleague championship playoff tournament. At the end of its run, several AA franchises joined the NL. After 1891, the NL existed alone, with each season's champions being awarded the prized Temple Cup (1894-1897).

The Players' National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, popularly known as the Players' League, was a short-lived but star-studded professional American baseball league of the 19th century. It emerged from the Brotherhood of Professional Base-Ball Players, the sport's first players' union.

The Union Association was a league in Major League Baseball which lasted for only one season in 1884. St. Louis won the pennant and joined the National League the following season. Chicago moved to Pittsburgh in late August, and four teams folded during the season and were replaced.

The Providence Grays won the National League in 1879 and 1884 before folding in 1885 1884grays.jpg
The Providence Grays won the National League in 1879 and 1884 before folding in 1885
TeamLeagueFirstLastP
Philadelphia AthleticsNL187618760
New York MutualsNL187618760
Hartford Dark Blues [41] NL187618760
St. Louis Brown StockingsNL187618770
Louisville Grays NL187618770
Cincinnati Red Stockings NL187618800
Brooklyn Hartfords [41] NL187718770
Milwaukee Grays NL187818780
Indianapolis Blues NL187818780
Providence Grays NL187818852
Syracuse Stars NL187918790
Troy Trojans NL187918820
Cleveland Blues NL187918840
Buffalo Bisons NL187918850
Worcester Worcesters NL188018820
Detroit Wolverines NL188118881
Philadelphia Athletics AA188218901
Columbus Buckeyes AA188318840
New York Metropolitans AA188318871
Altoona Mountain Citys UA188418840
Baltimore Monumentals UA188418840
Boston Reds UA188418840
Pittsburgh Stogies UA188418840
Cincinnati Outlaw Reds UA188418840
Indianapolis Hoosiers AA188418840
Kansas City Cowboys UA188418840
Milwaukee Brewers UA188418840
Philadelphia Keystones UA188418840
Richmond Virginians AA188418840
St. Paul Saints UA188418840
Toledo Blue Stockings AA188418840
Washington Statesmen AA188418840
Washington Nationals UA188418840
Wilmington Quicksteps UA188418840
St. Louis Maroons [42] UA/NL188418861
Kansas City Cowboys NL188618860
Washington Nationals NL188618890
Indianapolis Hoosiers [42] NL188718890
Kansas City Cowboys AA188818890
Columbus Solons AA188918910
Brooklyn Gladiators AA189018900
Brooklyn Ward's Wonders PL189018900
Buffalo Bisons PL189018900
Chicago Pirates PL189018900
Cleveland Infants PL189018900
New York Giants PL189018900
Pittsburgh Burghers PL189018900
Rochester Broncos AA189018900
Syracuse Stars AA189018900
Toledo Maumees AA189018900
Boston Reds PL/AA189018912
Philadelphia Athletics PL/AA189018910
Cincinnati Kelly's Killers AA189118910
Milwaukee Brewers AA189118910

†Indicates a franchise that played in the National Association

Timelines

Franchise timeline

This timeline includes all franchises that played in the AL or NL after 1891. Active franchises that did not change cities are listed by their current names, even if they went through a name change at some point. Relocations of franchises are marked in black.

National League franchisesAmerican League franchisesOther leagues

List of defunct and relocated Major League Baseball teams

National League franchisesAmerican League franchisesOther leagues

Pre-1900 city timeline

This timeline shows the history of major league franchises before 1900. Multiple bars for a city indicates that the city hosted multiple major league franchises at the same time; for example, Philadelphia at times hosted two or three franchises concurrently. Gaps in the bars indicate a change in franchises; for example, there were three different franchises known as the Kansas City Cowboys. Franchise relocations are not tracked by this timeline.


National League FranchiseAmerican Association franchiseUnion Association franchisePlayer's League franchise

List of defunct and relocated Major League Baseball teams

National League FranchiseAmerican Association franchiseUnion Association franchisePlayer's League franchise

See also

Related Research Articles

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  41. 1 2 The Hartford Dark Blues moved to Brooklyn for the 1877 season, becoming the Brooklyn Hartfords.
  42. 1 2 The St. Louis Maroons relocated to Indianapolis after the 1886 season, becoming the Indianapolis Hoosiers