From Corrine Landrey at The Hardball Times on October 27, 2015:
In 1901, baseball as we know it was born when the American League joined the National League to form America’s two major leagues. Over the decades, the sport has undergone numerous changes from free agency to the designated hitter rule, but the overall consistency of the sport since the turn of the 20th century is remarkable: 90 feet between the bases, three strikes you’re out, and, well, pretty much the entire first 15 minutes of Ken Burns’ Baseball. As a result, if we were mystically granted the ability to watch a game with our great-great-grandfathers, they’d mostly be able to follow along. In my estimation, baseball’s ability to provide common ground across generations is one of the more incredible and valuable aspects of the sport.
Of baseball’s many constants throughout the years, one of the more prominent has been its franchises. The American League brought eight charter franchises into the major leagues in 1901, a perfect match for the National League’s eight. City names and team nicknames have changed—the Washington Senators are now the Minnesota Twins, the Brooklyn Superbas are now the Los Angeles Dodgers, etc.—but the Original 16 franchises have all survived to the present day.
The first year of expansion [in 1961] was contained to just the American League, but since 1962 it’s been a two-league venture. Therefore, since the 2015 World Series is the 53rd series to coexist with expansion in both leagues, it is the 53rd time two expansion teams could conceivably meet in the World Series. Yet there was never a Fall Classic held without one of those Original 16 franchise represented until now.
Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-all-expansion-team-world-series/
Originally published: October 28, 2015. Last Updated: October 28, 2015.