List of defunct and relocated Major League Baseball teams

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Throughout the history of Major League Baseball, numerous franchises have relocated or become defunct. Since the early 20th century, Major League Baseball has consisted of the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), both of which have experienced numerous franchise relocations. Prior to establishment of the American League as a major league in 1901, the National League saw several teams go defunct. In the early 20th century, the Federal League (FL) challenged the primacy of the American League and the National League, but the Federal League and all of its franchises went defunct after the 1915 season.[1] From 1952 to 1971, several major league franchises moved, often relocating from a city with multiple major league franchises. After a period of over thirty years without relocation, the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005.

List of defunct and relocated major league franchises[edit]

League The league the franchise was in at the time of relocation
First First year in Major League Baseball
Last Last year in Major League Baseball
Relocation The status of the franchise after relocating or becoming defunct
Current The current status of the franchise
P League championships won
WS World Series victories
^ City would later receive a new franchise
Team League First Last Seasons Relocation Current P WS Reason for relocation/disbandment Ref
Louisville Colonels NL 1882 1899 18 Defunct Defunct 1 0 Contraction of National League[2] [3]
Baltimore Orioles^ NL 1882 1899 18 Defunct Defunct 3 0 Contraction of National League[2] [4]
Cleveland Spiders^ NL 1887 1899 13 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Contraction of National League[2] [5]
Washington Senators^ NL 1891 1899 9 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Contraction of National League[2] [6]
Milwaukee Brewers^ AL 1901 1901 1 St. Louis Browns Baltimore Orioles 0 0 Poor attendance[7] [8]
Baltimore Orioles^ AL 1901 1902 2 Defunct[9] Defunct 0 0 American League wanted a franchise in New York City[10] [11]
Indianapolis Hoosiers FL 1914 1914 1 Newark Peppers Defunct 1 0 Federal League wanted a franchise in the New York metropolitan area[12] [13]
Kansas City Packers^ FL 1914 1915 2 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Disbandment of Federal League [14]
Chicago Whales^ FL 1914 1915 2 Defunct Defunct 1 0 Disbandment of Federal League [15]
Baltimore Terrapins^ FL 1914 1915 2 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Disbandment of Federal League [16]
St. Louis Terriers^ FL 1914 1915 2 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Disbandment of Federal League [17]
Brooklyn Tip-Tops^ FL 1914 1915 2 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Disbandment of Federal League [18]
Pittsburgh Rebels^ FL 1914 1915 2 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Disbandment of Federal League [19]
Buffalo Blues^ FL 1914 1915 2 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Disbandment of Federal League [20]
Newark Peppers FL 1915 1915 1 Defunct Defunct 0 0 Disbandment of Federal League [13]
Boston Braves^ NL 1876 1952 77 Milwaukee Braves Atlanta Braves 10 1 Poor attendance and competition with the Boston Red Sox[21] [22]
St. Louis Browns^ AL 1902 1953 52 Baltimore Orioles Baltimore Orioles 1 0 Poor attendance and competition with the St. Louis Cardinals[23] [8]
Philadelphia Athletics^ AL 1901 1954 54 Kansas City Athletics Oakland Athletics 9 5 Poor attendance and competition with the Philadelphia Phillies[24] [25]
New York Giants^ NL 1883 1957 75 San Francisco Giants San Francisco Giants 17 5 Declining attendance and desire for a new ballpark[26] [27]
Brooklyn Dodgers NL 1884 1957 74 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers 13 1 Declining attendance and desire for a new ballpark[28] [29]
Washington Senators^ AL 1901 1960 60 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins 3 1 Poor attendance[30] [31]
Milwaukee Braves^ NL 1953 1965 13 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves 2 1 Declining attendance[32] [22]
Kansas City Athletics^ AL 1955 1967 13 Oakland Athletics Oakland Athletics 0 0 Poor attendance and the owner's desire for a larger market[33] [25]
Seattle Pilots^ AL 1969 1969 1 Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee Brewers 0 0 Poor attendance and desire for a larger ballpark[34] [35]
Washington Senators^ AL 1961 1971 11 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers 0 0 Poor attendance[36] [37]
Montreal Expos NL 1969 2004 36 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals 0 0 Poor attendance and desire for a new ballpark[38] [39]

Map of cities that hosted defunct and relocated franchises[edit]

List of defunct and relocated Major League Baseball teams is located in the United States
Buffalo
Buffalo
Chicago
Chicago
Newark
Newark
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
Louisville
Louisville
Boston
Boston
Cleveland
Cleveland
Montreal
Montreal
New York
New York
Seattle
Seattle
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Baltimore
Baltimore
Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Kansas City
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
St. Louis
St. Louis
Washington
Washington
The map shows cities that hosted defunct and relocated baseball franchises that played in a major league after 1891. An orange pog indicates that the city hosted relocated or defunct franchises from multiple leagues. A steel pog indicates that the city hosted a defunct franchise from the Federal League. A green pog indicates the city hosted a relocated or defunct franchise from the National League. A red pog indicates the city hosted a relocated franchise from the American League.

 

List of franchises that went defunct prior to 1892[edit]

The Boston Reds won pennants in the Players' League and the American Association before going defunct

The franchises in the following list went defunct prior to the 1892 season. These franchises played in the National League, the American Association (AA), the Players' League (PL), the Union Association (UA), or, in some cases, a combination of the four leagues. In 1968-1969, a Special Records Committee established by Major League Baseball defined the major leagues as consisting of the NL, AA, PL, UA, American League, and Federal League.[40] The NL has played continuously since 1876, the AA existed from 1882 to 1891, the UA existed for one season in 1884, and the PL operated for one season in 1890. The Special Records Committee excluded the National Association (NA), which operated from 1871 to 1875, as a major league. Some baseball writers have nonetheless argued that the NA should be considered the first major league,[1] but NA franchises are not included below. Note that there have been many cases of multiple distinct franchises sharing the same name.

The Providence Grays won the National League in 1879 and 1884 before folding in 1885
Team League First Last P
Philadelphia Athletics NL 1876 1876 0
New York Mutuals NL 1876 1876 0
Hartford Dark Blues[41] NL 1876 1876 0
St. Louis Brown Stockings NL 1876 1877 0
Louisville Grays NL 1876 1877 0
Cincinnati Red Stockings NL 1876 1880 0
Brooklyn Hartfords[41] NL 1877 1877 0
Milwaukee Grays NL 1878 1878 0
Indianapolis Blues NL 1878 1878 0
Providence Grays NL 1878 1885 2
Syracuse Stars NL 1879 1879 0
Troy Trojans NL 1879 1882 0
Cleveland Blues NL 1879 1884 0
Buffalo Bisons NL 1879 1885 0
Worcester Worcesters NL 1880 1882 0
Detroit Wolverines NL 1881 1888 1
Philadelphia Athletics AA 1882 1890 1
Columbus Buckeyes AA 1883 1884 0
New York Metropolitans AA 1883 1887 1
Altoona Mountain Citys UA 1884 1884 0
Baltimore Monumentals UA 1884 1884 0
Boston Reds UA 1884 1884 0
Pittsburgh Stogies UA 1884 1884 0
Cincinnati Outlaw Reds UA 1884 1884 0
Indianapolis Hoosiers AA 1884 1884 0
Kansas City Cowboys UA 1884 1884 0
Milwaukee Brewers UA 1884 1884 0
Philadelphia Keystones UA 1884 1884 0
Richmond Virginians AA 1884 1884 0
St. Paul Saints UA 1884 1884 0
Toledo Blue Stockings AA 1884 1884 0
Washington Statesmen AA 1884 1884 0
Washington Nationals UA 1884 1884 0
Wilmington Quicksteps UA 1884 1884 0
St. Louis Maroons[42] UA/NL 1884 1886 1
Kansas City Cowboys NL 1886 1886 0
Washington Nationals NL 1886 1889 0
Indianapolis Hoosiers[42] NL 1887 1889 0
Kansas City Cowboys AA 1888 1889 0
Columbus Solons AA 1889 1891 0
Brooklyn Gladiators AA 1890 1890 0
Brooklyn Ward's Wonders PL 1890 1890 0
Buffalo Bisons PL 1890 1890 0
Chicago Pirates PL 1890 1890 0
Cleveland Infants PL 1890 1890 0
New York Giants PL 1890 1890 0
Pittsburgh Burghers PL 1890 1890 0
Rochester Broncos AA 1890 1890 0
Syracuse Stars AA 1890 1890 0
Toledo Maumees AA 1890 1890 0
Boston Reds PL/AA 1890 1891 2
Philadelphia Athletics PL/AA 1890 1891 0
Cincinnati Kelly's Killers AA 1891 1891 0
Milwaukee Brewers AA 1891 1891 0

†Indicates a franchise that played in the National Association

Timelines[edit]

Franchise timeline[edit]

This timeline includes all franchises that played in the AL or NL after 1891. Active franchises that did not change cities are listed by their current names, even if they went through a name change at some point. Relocations of franchises are marked in black.

National League franchises American League franchises Other leagues

National League franchises American League franchises Other leagues

Pre-1900 city timeline[edit]

This timeline shows the history of major league franchises before 1900. Multiple bars for a city indicates that the city hosted multiple major league franchises at the same time; for example, Philadelphia at times hosted two or three franchises concurrently. Gaps in the bars indicate a change in franchises; for example, there were three different franchises known as the Kansas City Cowboys. Franchise relocations are not tracked by this timeline.


National League Franchise American Association franchise Union Association franchise Player's League franchise

National League Franchise American Association franchise Union Association franchise Player's League franchise

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ryczek, William. "Why the National Association Was a Major League". The National Pastime Museum. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "MLB TO ELIMINATE TWO TEAMS". Wired. AP. 7 November 2001. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Louisville Colonels Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Baltimore Orioles Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Cleveland Spiders Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Washington Senators Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  7. ^ Russell, Doug (2 March 2012). "Milwaukee's first Major League team remembered. No, not them". OnMilwaukee. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Baltimore Orioles Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  9. ^ This iteration of the Orioles is sometimes considered to be predecessor of the New York Yankees, but the Yankees themselves treat the Yankees as a separate franchise. Lynch, Mike. "1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History". Sports Reference. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  10. ^ Thorn, John. "The House That McGraw Built". Our Game. John Thorn. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Baltimore Orioles Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  12. ^ Spatz, Lyle (2012). Historical Dictionary of Baseball. Scarecrow Press. p. 161.
  13. ^ a b "Newark Peppers Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Kansas City Packers Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Chicago Whales Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Baltimore Terrapins Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  17. ^ "St. Louis Terriers Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Brooklyn Tip-Tops Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Pittsburgh Rebels Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Buffalo Bisons Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  21. ^ Emery, Tom (31 March 2016). "When the Braves called Boston home". Providence Journal. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  22. ^ a b "Atlanta Braves Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  23. ^ Jones, Landon (10 December 2014). "How Bill Veeck Invented the Baltimore Orioles". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  24. ^ Warrington, Robert D. "Departure Without Dignity: The Athletics Leave Philadelphia". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Philadelphia Athletics Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  26. ^ Goldman, Steven. "What the hell are the Giants doing in San Francisco, anyway?". SBNation. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  27. ^ "San Francisco Giants Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  28. ^ Hirsch, Paul. "Walter O'Malley Was Right". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  29. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  30. ^ Hennessy, Kevin. "Calvin Griffith: The Ups and Downs of the last Family-Owned Baseball Team". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  31. ^ "Minnesota Twins Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  32. ^ Hylon, J. Gordon. "Why Milwaukee Lost the Braves: Perspectives on Law and Culture From a Half-Century Later". Marquette University Law School. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  33. ^ Rieper, Max (20 January 2016). "Losing a sports team: The relocation of the Kansas City Athletics". SBNation. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  34. ^ Caple, Jim (24 August 2016). "Seattle Pilots barely remembered, except through Brewers, 'Ball Four'". ESPN. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  35. ^ "Milwaukee Brewers Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  36. ^ Eisen, Jeffrey M. (1987). "Franchise Relocation in Major League Baseball". University of Miami Entertainment & Sports Law Review. 4 (19). Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  37. ^ "Texas Rangers Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  38. ^ Panetta, Alexander (13 September 2014). "Twenty years after historic season cancelled, the 'Montreal Expos' back in first". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  39. ^ "Washington Nationals Team History & Encyclopedia". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  40. ^ Thorn, John (4 May 2015). "Why Is the National Association Not a Major League … and Other Records Issues". MLB.com. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  41. ^ a b The Hartford Dark Blues moved to Brooklyn for the 1877 season, becoming the Brooklyn Hartfords.
  42. ^ a b The St. Louis Maroons relocated to Indianapolis after the 1886 season, becoming the Indianapolis Hoosiers