MLB Explained

MLB Explained

The Major Leagues, also known as Major League Baseball (in English Major League Baseball or MLB according to abbreviationfinder) are the highest level professional baseball leagues in the world. Currently the MLB has 30 teams divided into the National League and the American League, founded in 1901 and 1876 respectively. The league champions meet in the World Series in the best of seven games.

Originally the two leagues were separate legal entities. In 2000 the two leagues legally merged into the MLB. The MLB commissioner is the chief executive officer of MLB.


This term primarily refers to the entity that operates the two major leagues in the United States and one team from Canada, the National League and the American League, through a common organizational structure that has existed since 1903.

The American League is distinguished from the National League in that the designated hitter rule is used. In National League games the pitcher is usually the ninth batter.

During World Series games, the use of this distinction depends on where the game is played. For example, if the game is played at Yankee Stadium, the rules of the American League take effect because the team that plays in said stadium is from this league.

Teams and game schedule

There are a total of 30 teams in the two leagues: In the 2013 season it was established that the Houston Astros team would become part of the American League, so out of 16 teams in the National League and 14 in the American League, things will now be evened out with 15 teams in each of the Leagues.

Each consists of three divisions, grouped by geographic location and named “East”, “Central” and “West”. A season normally lasts from April to September.

Each team plays 162 regular season games. This duration was established in 1961.

From 1898 to 1960, 154 matches were played. Games were played between teams from the same league. In 1997, Major League Baseball introduced interleague play.


Once the regular season is over, the first three places in each division per league (6 teams) and the occupants of the “wild card”, that is, the 2 best second places per league, automatically advance to the playoff round (8 teams).


american league

american league
Division Team Foundation City/Area Stadium Opening Ability
East Baltimore Orioles 1901 Baltimore, Maryland Oriole Park at Camden Yards 1992 48,876
Boston Red Sox 1901 Boston, Massachusetts fenway park 1912 39,928
new york yankees 1901 Bronx, New York (New York) yankee stadium 2009 52,235
Tampa Bay Rays 1998 Saint Petersburg, Florida (Tampa Bay Area) Tropicana Field 1990 38,437
Toronto Blue Jays 1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Rogers Center 1989 50,516
Central Chicago White Sox 1901 Chicago, Ill. U.S. Cellular Field 1991 40,615
Cleveland Indians 1901 Cleveland, Ohio ProgressiveField 1994 43,345
Detroit Tigers 1901 Detroit, Michigan Comerica Park 2000 41,070
Kansas City Royals 1969 Kansas City, Missouri Kauffman Stadium 1973 40,793
minnesota twins 1901 Minneapolis, Minn. Target Field 2010 40,000
West Los Angeles Angels 1961 Anaheim, California Angel Stadium of Anaheim 1966 45,050
Oakland Athletics 1901 Oakland, Calif. Coliseum 1966 34,077
Seattle Mariners 1977 Seattle, Washington Safeco Field 1999 47,116
Texas Rangers 1961 Arlington, Texas (Dallas area) Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 1994 49,115

National League

National League
Division Team Foundation City/Area Stadium Opening Ability
East Atlanta Braves 1876 Atlanta, Ga. TurnerField 1997 50,091
Miami Marlins 1993 Miami Gardens, Florida (Miami Area) marlin park 2012 36,742
New York Mets 1962 Flushing, New York (New York) Citi Field 2009 41,800
Philadelphia Phillies 1883 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Citizens Bank Park 2004 43,647
Washington Nationals 1969 Washington D.C. nationals park 2008 41,222
Central Chicago Cubs 1876 Chicago, Ill. Wrigley Field 1914 41,160
Cincinnati Reds 1882 Cincinnati, Ohio Great American Ball Park 2003 42,059
Houston Astros 1962 Houston, Texas Minute Maid Park 2000 40,950
Milwaukee Brewers 1969 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Miller Park 2001 41,900
Pittsburgh Pirates 1882 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PNC Park 2001 38,496
St.Louis Cardinals 1882 Saint Louis, Missouri Busch Stadium 2006 43,975
West Arizona Diamondbacks 1998 Phoenix, Arizona Chase Field 1998 49,033
Colorado Rockies 1993 Denver, Colo. Coors Field nineteen ninety five 50,445
Los Angeles Dodgers 1890 Los Angeles California Dodger Stadium 1962 56,000
San Diego Padres 1969 San Diego, California Petco Park 2004 42,445
San Francisco Giants 1883 San francisco California AT&T Park 2000 41,503

Game of stars

The first days of July mark the middle of the season (81 games), during which there is a three-day break and the All-Star Game is played . This game is played between National League players grouped in a single team against American League players similarly arranged. The League that wins this game will have a locality advantage for the World Series, that is, in the World Series the franchise that belongs to the winning team of the ALL-STAR GAME (Star Games) will be local at the beginning.

In the All-Star Game, the designated hitter will always be used, the difference lies in the way the designated hitter is chosen.

Since 2000 the two leagues have been legally separated and are thus two distinct entities that function from the direction of the MLB commissioner’s office. The Major League Baseball season generally runs from the month of April through October.

Latin American players in the Major Leagues

For many authors, the first Latino in the Major Leagues was the Cuban Esteban Bellán, who played in the now defunct National Association league from 1871 to 1873.

The second Latino in the Major Leagues was Colombian Luis Castro, who played in 1902 for the Philadelphia Athletics. Since then the number of Latin Americans has continued to grow steadily.

In recent decades there has been a significant increase in the importation of major league baseball players from Latin American countries, especially from places like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Venezuela. In the year 2000, 169 of the 1,200 players (14%) in the Major Leagues were from Latin America.

There are several reasons for this, including Jackie Robinson ‘s admission to the Dodgers in 1947, making him the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. This decision allowed black Latino players to play Major League Baseball, although there have been Latinos in both organizations since the early 20th century.

Since the early 1960s there have been several team expansions (from sixteen to thirty, which is the number Major League Baseball had in 2007), which meant that scouts and owners needed more options to fill out their rosters.. Latin American players were less expensive than those from the United States and brought talent and variety to the game.

Since that time there have been many exceptional baseball players from Latin American countries in the Major Leagues.

The debut date of Latin American players by country is as follows:

  • Cuba: Esteban Bellan, 1871.
  • Colombia: Luis Castro, 1902.
  • Mexico: Baldomero (Mel) Almada, September 8, 1933.
  • Venezuela: Alejandro Carrasquel, April 23, 1939.
  • Puerto Rico: Hiram Bithorn, 1942 Apr 15.
  • Panama: Humberto Robinson, April 20, 1955.
  • Dominican Republic: Ozzie Virgil, 1956.
  • Nicaragua: Dennis Martínez, September 14, 1976.


Osvaldo Virgil (first Dominican in the Major Leagues, in 1956); Mexican Beto Ávila, the first Latin American to win a batting title; Panamanian Rod Carew. The Cuban Orestes Miñoso, of the Chicago White Sox, has been the only one in the history of the Major Leagues to have participated as a player in 5 different decades (his first game was on April 19, 1949 and the last on April 5). October 1980. _

Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award and World Series game winner in 1981, Colombian shortstop, Edgar Rentería, World Series champion in 1997 with the Florida Marlins and in 2010 with the San Francisco Giants, chosen the most valuable player of this last world series.

Omar Vizquel, from Venezuela who played for several Major League teams and retired last season, will be the new coach of the Los Angeles of Anaheim infielders starting this 2013 season, he has won 11 Gold Gloves, as well he has had more than 2,500 hits in his career, and in 2008 he surpassed the mark for most career games (2,583) at shortstop held by his compatriot Luis Aparicio. David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox player) from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and who helped his team to the World Series in 2004), Sammy Sosa (who has hit over 600 home runs).

Dominican Albert Pujols is considered one of the best hitters among active Latin Americans, he is the most productive of all Latin players who debuted in the 2000s. Among active players he is the leader in AVG, OBP and OPS. In 2001 he was the National League Rookie of the Year, in 2005 and 2008 he was elected MVP in the same league, and in 2006 he won the Gold Glove at first base.

Johan Santana, Venezuelan two-time winner of the Cy Young Award (2004 and 2006), is the most successful Latin American in recent years, leading departments such as wins, strikeouts and ERA, in 2006 he was the leader of the Triple Crown.

Andrés Galarraga, also Venezuelan, known as “El Gato” or “Big Cat”, played 19 seasons, two 1B Gold Gloves, 399 HR for life and the only Latin American to win all three offensive Triple Crown departments, only that in different years (Batting in 1993, HR and RBI in 1996). Venezuelan Oswaldo “Ozzie” Guillén, first non-American Manager (Strategist) to reach a World Series and win it.

Adolfo Luque remained in the Major Leagues uninterruptedly from 1918, the date on which he definitively established himself with Cincinatti, until 1935, the year in which he compiled one and zero for the New York Giants, in the Major League’s own National League.. In that period of time, the “Perfect Havana”, as the North American journalists called him, won 194 games and lost 170, with an average of 3.24 earned runs.

Orlando Hernández Pedroso (Born in Havana, Cuba, on October 11, 1965), also known as El Duque, has to his credit four golden rings awarded to the World Series champion, spread over 3 consecutive occasions with which he is considered the best team of all time; New York Yankees (1998, 1999, 2000) and one with the Chicago White Sox (2005) with whom he shared a staff with his compatriot José Contreras, being the main prop on all four occasions. He is famous for his particular style of throwing, in which he is able to raise his left knee to the height of his head.

Latinos included in the Hall of Fame

  • Roberto Clemente from Puerto Rico was the first Latino inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Juan Marichal called the Dominican Dandy, who played for the San Francisco Giants for thirteen years and had six seasons in which he won twenty or more games.
  • Luis Aparicio, Venezuelan shortstop.
  • Panama’s Rod Carew, who holds one of the highest lifetime batting averages in major league history, over 3,000 hits and the only Latino with seven batting titles.
  • Tony Pérez, Cuban, who was a relevant figure for the Cincinnati Reds for years.
  • Martin Dihigo. Called by the fans El Maestro and El Inmortal, considered the most complete player, he could throw and play all positions, he was a pitcher and a batter in the same championship, in 1977 the Veterans Committee of the Negro Leagues exalted him to the Hall of America Baseball Fame.
  • Atanasio Rigal Perez. Known as Tani, listed in 2000.
  • Jose de la Caridad Mendez. Called by the fans The Black Diamond. Included in 2006.
  • Christopher Torrent. Known by the nickname of El Bambino, whose exaltation took place in 2006.
  • German Mesa. Known as the Mesa