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National League (NL) (1876-1902)

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The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, and the world's oldest current professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, it is sometimes called the Senior Circuit, in contrast to MLB's other league, the American League, which was founded 25 years later.

For National League players after 1902 see Major League Baseball.

National League teams before 1903

Charter franchises (1876)

Other franchises, 1878–1892

Joined in 1878

Joined in 1879

Joined in 1880

Joined in 1881

Joined in 1883

Joined in 1885

  • St. Louis Maroons, joined from U.A. Relocated to Indianapolis for 1887 season as the Indianapolis Hoosiers, folded after 1889

Joined in 1886

Joined in 1887

Joined in 1889

Joined in 1890

Joined in 1892

  • Baltimore Orioles, joined from A.A., contracted after 1899
  • Louisville Colonels, joined from A.A., contracted after 1899
  • St. Louis Perfectos (exist today as the St. Louis Cardinals), joined from A.A.
  • Washington Senators, joined from A.A., contracted after 1899

Classic Eight

The eight-team lineup established in 1900 remained unchanged through 1952. All franchises are still in the league, with five remaining in the same city.

  • Boston Beaneaters (later called the Boston Braves, then Milwaukee Braves, now the Atlanta Braves)
  • Brooklyn Superbas (later called the Brooklyn Dodgers, now the Los Angeles Dodgers)
  • Chicago Orphans (now the Chicago Cubs)
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants)
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • St. Louis Cardinals