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Baseball Leagues

In baseball, leagues can be broadly classified into two—major and minor. Over the years these have been further divided. Major league is the highest level of play in professional baseball in North America and includes Canada and Mexico. Popularly known as the MLB, it has its own constitution and its season begins in April and lasts through September.

There are two major leagues, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, better known as the National League, and the American League. Being 25 years older than the latter, the former is also known as the Senior Circuit and is considered the first true major baseball league. Every year, the season champions of the two leagues clash in the World
Series. The National League is made up of three divisions of six teams and a wild card team. The division champs and the wild card fight it out to qualify for the World Series. The American League had humble beginnings as a minor league. The two have 30 teams grouped by geography.

Minor league teams tend to play in smaller, less elaborate venues usually in smaller cities. Initially, during their inception, minor leagues operated wholly independently. But now, most of them are under the control of the two major leagues and are meant for preparing the younger players. Member teams are also known as “farm teams”.

Minor leagues baseball teams are classified based on their levels of play. For instance, the best among these play at level “AAA” which consists of the International League and the Pacific Coast League. These are followed by “AA” leagues such as the Eastern League, the Southern League and the Texas League. There are also “A” leagues and some independent leagues which do not have any affiliations. There are more than 40 teams which are the cream of the minor league and this includes teams from Mexico.

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