The American League (or formally the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs) is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States of America. It developed from a minor league, the Western League, that aspired to major league status, was formed on January 29, 1900, expanded in 1900-1901 into major cities, and changed its name.

The older National League at first refused to recognize the new league and it was only after much contention that an agreement (the National Agreement) was signed that produced an acceptance of each league by the other as an equal partner in major league baseball.

Table of contents
1 Teams
2 Other leagues


Starting in 1901, the eight charter teams were the following:

The Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit franchises exist today in their same cities. The Boston Americans later became the Red Sox, and the Cleveland Blues later became the Indians.

The Baltimore Orioles moved to New York in 1903 and are today known as the New York Yankees. The Milwaukee Brewers became the St. Louis Browns in 1902 and became today's Baltimore Orioles in 1953. The Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City in 1955 and then to Oakland in 1968. The Washington Senators relocated in 1961, becoming the Minnesota Twins.

Expansion and relocation

The American League has expanded four times. The first occurred in 1961, when the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators joined the league, the latter replacing the previous Washington franchise, which had just relocated to Minnesota. The Los Angeles Angels are today known as the Anaheim Angels. The second Washington franchise moved to Texas in 1972 and became the Texas Rangers.

The second expansion occurred in 1969 when the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots joined the league. The Pilots stayed just one season in Seattle before moving to Milwaukee and becoming today's Milwaukee Brewers. In 1977, the third expansion occurred adding the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. A fourth expansion took place in 1998 when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined, and in a reorganization, the Milwaukee Brewers moved to the National League.

See Major League Baseball for a complete listing to today's American League teams.

Other leagues

Several other sports have had leagues called "American League", usually with the sport name as a qualifier, such as the "American Football League" (which eventually merged with the National Football League, adopting the latter's name for the combination).\n