Oct 11, 1899: American League conceived
Submitted by BTGrimes on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 7:00am
How the AL came to be
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS • In the late 1800's the National League was the only "major league." It began play in 1876, hence the description "senior circuit." Two executives of the Western League, Ban Johnson and Charles Comiskey thought there was room for one more major league. So on this date in 1899 they gathered their fellow Western League owners in Chicago's Great Northern Hotel to discuss a plan which would allow them to affiliate with the National League, but remain a minor league.
It was like letting the fox into the chicken coup. As part of the deal, Johnson and Comiskey got the National League to allow the St. Paul, Minnesota franchise of the Western League to relocate to Chicago. It did, and became the Chicago White Stockings - today's White Sox. It was also decided at that October 11, 1899 meeting to change the name of the Western League to the American League of Professional Ball Clubs. It was later simplified to the American League.
The American League didn't last long as a farm system for the National League. By the 1901 season, less than two years later, the American League officially became a second major league.
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