Major League Baseball (MLB) is a North American professional baseball league consisting of teams that play in the American League and National League. The two leagues, dating to 1901 and 1876 respectively as separate legal entities, merged in 2000 into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball.
MLB constitutes one of the four major professional sports leagues of North America. It is composed of thirty teams: twenty-nine in the United States and one in Canada. Teams in MLB play 162 games each season over six months (April through September). Five teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that culminates in the World Series, a best-of-seven-games championship series between the two league champions that dates to 1903.
The World Series is the annual championship series of North American-based Major League Baseball (MLB), played since 1903 between the American League (AL) and National League (NL) team champions. 109 Series have been contested, with the AL winning 63 and the NL winning 46. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played in October, which is one of the fall (autumn) months in North America, MLB also refers to it as the Fall Classic. The most recent World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox, who defeated the St. Louis Cardinals four games to two in 2013. In the American League, the New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, the Oakland/Philadelphia Athletics have played in 14 and won 9, and the Boston Red Sox have played in 12 and won 8, including the first World Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have appeared in 19 and won 11, the San Francisco/New York Giants have played in 19 World Series and won 7, and the Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers have appeared in 18 and won 6.
The Major League Baseball team now known as the Baltimore Orioles originated in Milwaukee as the Milwaukee Brewers, and then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where they played for more than 50 years, where they were known as the St. Louis Browns. This article covers the franchise's history in St. Louis, which began when the team moved from Milwaukee after the 1901 season and ended with the team's move to Baltimore after the 1953 season.
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many college students.
Spring training typically lasts about six weeks, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day (and often right at the end of spring training, some teams will play spring training games on the same day other teams have opening day of the season), traditionally the first week of April. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period. A few days later, the position players arrive and team practice begins. Team members normally wear their batting practice uniforms for the duration of spring training and only wear their normal jerseys beginning on Opening Day.
The St. Louis Cardinals, a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri, compete in the National League (NL) Central Division of Major League Baseball (MLB). Busch Stadium has served as their home field since 2006. The Cardinals' roots commence from an earlier local team from whom they took their original name, Brown Stockings. St. Louis established themselves in 1882 as a charter American Association (AA) team, shortened their name to "Browns" the next season, then joined the NL in 1892. They were also known as the "Perfectos" before adopting Cardinals as their official name in 1900.
Robert "Bob" Gibson (born November 9, 1935) is a retired American baseball pitcher who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals (1959–1975). Nicknamed "Gibby" and "Hoot", Gibson tallied 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 earned run average (ERA) during his career. A nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. In 1981, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
The National League Central is one of Major League Baseball's six divisions. This division was created in 1994, by moving two teams from the National League West (the Cincinnati Reds and the Houston Astros) and three teams from the National League East (the Chicago Cubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals) of the National League.
When the division was created in 1994, the Pirates were originally supposed to stay in the East while the Atlanta Braves were to be moved to the Central from the West. However, the Braves, wanting to form a natural rivalry with the expansion Florida Marlins (a rivalry that as of 2013 has yet to develop, largely due to the Marlins being noncompetitive except for their two World Series-winning seasons), requested to be moved to the East instead. Despite the Marlins offering to go to the Central, the Pirates instead gave up its spot in the East to the Braves. Since then, the Pirates have tried several times unsuccessfully to be placed back in the East.