Baseball was getting popular during the early 1800s in the New York area, so a few casual baseball clubs decided to implement the National Association of Base Ball Players. The NABBP was the first official program to govern baseball teams, and by 1867 there were more than 400 clubs holding a club membership to the association. One such club happened to be named the Chicago White Stockings who are known as the Chicago Cubs today, and are the oldest American team of organized sports.
The Introduction of Professional Game Play
The first club to refer to themselves as a professional baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings. They were eventually joined by eleven others so that there were twelve professional teams registered to play in the NABBP during the 1869 season. The very first major league lasted for four years and was named the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP).
Within the organization, players were jumping their contracts to play with other teams when offered a better deal, so a new professional league was formed and named simply the National Baseball League. There ended up being dozens of different leagues formed throughout the years, most named after their location such as the Eastern League and the Western League.
In the late 1800s two leagues and one association were dominant in the arena-the American League, the National League, and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. They all signed contracts with one another to manage a fair playing field across the board for baseball teams. Until the early 1900s baseball was concentrated in the Western states until the Pacific Coast League was formed including baseball teams from Los Angeles, Seattle, and Sacramento.
Today the game of baseball is as popular as ever and makes leagues as well as players quite a bit of money thanks to the droves of fans who enjoy watching their favorite teams play both in person and on their television screens.