About MLB

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. The American League (AL) and the National League (NL) operate as separate legal entities within MLB.MLB is headquartered in New York City, with offices in London and Tokyo. Baseball broadcasts are aired on television, radio, and the Internet throughout North America and in several other countries around the world. MLB has the highest season attendance of any sports league in the world with more than 73 million spectators in 2015. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first all-professional baseball club, and they were established in 1869. Before then, several teams have paid specific players in secret. The first organized baseball league, the National Association of Professional Baseball Players, was founded in 1871. The following year, this organization was replaced by the National League. 

In 1903, the American League was founded and two years later the World Series was created to pit the champions of each league against each other. The Boston Red Sox has the most World Series titles with nine. The New York Yankees have won the second-most World Series titles with 27. The first modern World Series was played in 1903. As the Series was designed to pit the best team from the NL against the best team from the AL, it quickly became apparent that there was a competitive imbalance between the two leagues. The NL teams, particularly the New York Giants, dominated the Series in the early years. This prompted MLB to institute a "gentlemen's agreement" in which the AL agreed to limit its roster of players to those who had been signed by their respective clubs before September 1, while the NL would not be bound by such restrictions.

The agreement worked for several years, but it eventually led to the so-called "live-ball era", in which baseballs were intentionally hit harder and farther than before. This led to an increase in both home runs and runs scored across MLB. The increased offense caused attendance to skyrocket, and by 1930, MLB was drawing more fans than any other sport. However, the Great Depression and the onset of World War II led to a decrease in both attendance and player salaries. After the war, MLB saw another increase in both attendance and player salaries. This was followed by another decrease in attendance and salary growth during the 1970s.

The 1980s and 1990s were marked by an increase in player salaries, as well as a decrease in the number of African-American players in MLB. In 1997, Jackie Robinson's daughter Rachel founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation to promote diversity in MLB. In 2000, Selig negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association which resulted in increased revenue sharing among teams and led to the construction of several new baseball stadiums. Under Selig's tenure, MLB has seen a significant increase in revenue and attendance. In 2012, MLB generated $7.5 billion in revenue, which was a record at the time. The same year, MLB saw its highest attendance since 2008 with 73 million spectators.

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