From SABR member Paul Moehringer at The Hardball Times on May 17, 2019:
The issue of expansion has been a hotly debated since MLB first expanded in 1961 with the additions of the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators. The American and National Leagues had remained at eight teams each since 1901, when the number of people living in the United States was around 76.2 million. By the time baseball expanded in 1961, the population of the country had more than doubled, to 179.3 million.
The country had grown, but baseball’s development lagged.
Meanwhile, by the time baseball was finally beginning to expand, the AFL was launching, as well as the ABA. Later on, the WHA would join the fray, all while the NBA, NFL, and NHL were simultaneously expanding. For years, baseball had been the country’s dominant sport. But by the mid-’70s, the other three major sports leagues had as large if not a bigger footprint in the United States. This chart demonstrates how risk-averse baseball has been in going after new markets.
Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/what-baseball-lost-by-not-expanding-sooner/
Originally published: May 20, 2019. Last Updated: May 20, 2019.