List of defunct and relocated Major League Baseball teams

Last updated

Throughout the history of Major League Baseball, numerous franchises have moved or become defunct. Many of these franchises played in the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), the two existing major leagues, but other franchises played in one of the four major leagues that ultimately went defunct. The classification of the major leagues is based on rulings of Major League Baseball's Special Records Committee.

Contents

Major league baseball emerged in the 1870s, and four major leagues, including the NL, played at least one season of baseball in the nineteenth century. During this period, dozens of franchises were founded, but most went defunct, leaving just twelve NL franchises by the 1892 season. After four of the twelve NL franchises went defunct following the 1899 season, the American League emerged in 1901 with several newly-founded franchises. The Federal League (FL) challenged the primacy of the American League and the National League for two seasons, but the FL and all of its franchises went defunct after the 1915 season. The Federal League franchises are the most recent major league franchises to go defunct.

No major league franchises relocated for several years after 1915, until the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee following the 1952 season. Several teams relocated over the next twenty years, often moving to the Western or Southern United States. After a period of over thirty years with no relocation, the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005.

List of defunct and relocated major league franchises

These franchises played in the National League, the American League, or the Federalist League after the 1891 season and either went defunct or relocated. Some franchises appear more than once in the table; for example, the Braves franchise appears twice because they moved to Milwaukee in 1952 and to Atlanta in 1965.

LeagueThe league the franchise was in at the time of their move
FirstFirst year in Major League Baseball
LastLast year in Major League Baseball
Post-change statusThe status of the franchise after moving or becoming defunct
Current statusThe current status of the franchise
PLeague championships won
WS World Series victories
^City would later receive a new franchise
TeamLeagueFirstLastSeasonsPost-change StatusCurrent StatusPWSReason for move/disbandmentRef
Louisville Colonels NL1882189918DefunctDefunct10Contraction of National League [1] [2]
Baltimore Orioles ^NL1882189918DefunctDefunct30Contraction of National League [1] [3]
Cleveland Spiders ^NL1887189913DefunctDefunct00Contraction of National League [1] [4]
Washington Senators ^NL189118999DefunctDefunct00Contraction of National League [1] [5]
Milwaukee Brewers ^AL190119011 St. Louis Browns Baltimore Orioles 00Poor attendance [6] [7]
Baltimore Orioles ^AL190119022Defunct [lower-alpha 1] Defunct00American League wanted a franchise in New York City [9] [10]
Indianapolis Hoosiers FL191419141 Newark Peppers Defunct10Federal League wanted a franchise in the New York metropolitan area [11] [12]
Kansas City Packers ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [13]
Chicago Whales ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct10Disbandment of Federal League [14]
Baltimore Terrapins ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [15]
St. Louis Terriers ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [16]
Brooklyn Tip-Tops ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [17]
Pittsburgh Rebels ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [18]
Buffalo Blues ^FL191419152DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [19]
Newark Peppers FL191519151DefunctDefunct00Disbandment of Federal League [12]
Boston Braves ^NL1876195277 Milwaukee Braves Atlanta Braves 101Poor attendance and competition with the Boston Red Sox [20] [21]
St. Louis Browns ^AL1902195352 Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Orioles 10Poor attendance and competition with the St. Louis Cardinals [22] [7]
Philadelphia Athletics ^AL1901195454 Kansas City Athletics Oakland Athletics 95Poor attendance and competition with the Philadelphia Phillies [23] [24]
New York Giants ^NL1883195775 San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants 175Declining attendance and desire for a new ballpark [25] [26]
Brooklyn Dodgers NL1884195774 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers 131Declining attendance and desire for a new ballpark [27] [28]
Washington Senators ^AL1901196060 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins 31Poor attendance [29] [30]
Milwaukee Braves ^NL1953196513 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves 21Declining attendance [31] [21]
Kansas City Athletics ^AL1955196713 Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics 00Poor attendance and the owner's desire for a larger market [32] [24]
Seattle Pilots ^AL196919691 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers 00Poor attendance and desire for a larger ballpark [33] [34]
Washington Senators ^AL1961197111 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers 00Poor attendance [35] [36]
Montreal Expos NL1969200436 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals 00Poor attendance and desire for a new ballpark [37] [38]

Map of cities that hosted defunct and moved 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 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

The franchises in the following list went defunct before the 1892 season, and played in the National League, the American Association (AA), the Players' League (PL), the Union Association (UA), or some combination of the four leagues. 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. Note that there have been many cases of multiple distinct franchises sharing the same name.

In 1968-1969, the Special Records Committee, which was established by Major League Baseball, defined the major leagues as consisting of the NA, NL, AA, PL, UA, American League, and Federal League. [39] 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, [40] but NA franchises are not included below unless they later played in the National League.

TeamLeagueFirstLastP
Philadelphia AthleticsNL187618760
New York MutualsNL187618760
Hartford Dark Blues [lower-alpha 2] NL187618760
St. Louis Brown StockingsNL187618770
Louisville Grays NL187618770
Cincinnati Red Stockings NL187618800
Brooklyn Hartfords [lower-alpha 2] 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 [lower-alpha 3] UA/NL188418861
Kansas City Cowboys NL188618860
Washington Nationals NL188618890
Indianapolis Hoosiers [lower-alpha 3] 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 prior to joining the National League

Timelines

Post-1891 franchise timeline

This timeline includes all franchises that played in the AL or NL after 1891; it also includes all the four major leagues that ultimately went defunct. Active franchises that did not change cities are listed by their current names, even if they were renamed at some point. Franchise moves 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 franchises known as the Kansas City Cowboys. Franchise moves 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

Notes

  1. This iteration of the Orioles is sometimes considered to be predecessor of the New York Yankees, but the Yankees themselves treat the Orioles and Yankees as separate franchises. [8]
  2. 1 2 The Hartford Dark Blues moved to Brooklyn for the 1877 season, becoming the Brooklyn Hartfords.
  3. 1 2 The St. Louis Maroons relocated to Indianapolis after the 1886 season, becoming the Indianapolis Hoosiers

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