Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball league operating within the United States and Canada. First established in 1969 it is the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in North America and presently consists of 30 teams – 29 in the US and one in Canada.
The MLB regular season is noted as one of the longest in professional sports – at 162 games it is only just shy of being twice as long as the 82-game NBA regular season.
To carry out the mammoth regular season the MLB is divided into two leagues, named the American and National Leagues respectively. These leagues are further divided into three division of East, Central and West for both.
The MLB season culminates in the postseason which sees the winner of each American and National League compete in a best of seven game series called the ‘World Series‘ to determine a champion.
It was not until the 1920s that baseball’s popularity grew. in popularity saw to overcome significant national hardship caused by the Great Depression and World War II. It was during this period that the sport also overcame racial issues with the sports ‘colour barrier’ being broken with the arrival of black American Jackie Robinson.
One of the sport’s greatest ever is considered to be Babe Ruth, credited with ‘inventing’ the home run. A writer in 1918 wrote the following: “The more I see of Babe the more he seems a figure out of mythology.”
The sport continued to grow and develop through the 1950s and ’60s in the two league structure until 2000 when the American and National Leagues merged creating one unified MLB in the process.
To date the New York Yankees have won the most MLB titles (27), playing out of the famous Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
The St. Louis Cardinals have the next-most titles, at 11.