The origins of baseball aren't exactly known. Some say it stemmed from the game of Rounders that was played in England and Wales during Tudor times. Some say it's a variation of cricket, which dates all the way back to the 16th century, and others claim that it was based on the game of Stoolball, which was played in the British Isles during the 15th century. If you really want to find the first game that used a ball and a stick in similar fashion, you can go all the way back to the 14th century Romanian game of Oina. The origins of the game are such a mystery that in 2011, the MLB Commissioner appointed a Baseball Origins Committee to discover how the game started.
Nevertheless, by 1845 Americans in New York formed a club called the Knickerbockers and played a similar game. Once the Civil War started, the game traveled South and West and thousands of soldiers were playing it in between battles regularly. By 1869, the first professional baseball team - the Cincinnati Red Stockings - was formed, and over the next decade 15 teams would be created to create the National League. The oldest team in the National League still around today is the Boston Red Stockings, who later became the Boston Braves, then the Milwaukee Braves, and are today called the Atlanta Braves. Twenty years later, in 1901, the American League was formed and by 1903 both leagues joined forced to create Major League Baseball. It's America's game and it has created some of America's greatest sports legends. How well do you know them?
Ted Williams, Roger Clemens and David Ortiz all played for the Boston Red Sox at different times in the storied history of the organization. Ortiz was integral in bringing a World Series championship to Boston after an 86-year drought.
Derek Jeter, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig played for the New York Yankees. The Yankees are one of the most popular sports franchises in all of American sports. The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL is the only American team that is more valuable.
Willie Mays, Barry Bonds and Madison Bumgarner all played for the San Francisco Giants and as of 2019, Bumgarner is still active on the roster. Bumgarner has won three World Series championships (2010, 2012, 2014).
Sandy Koufax, Kirk Gibson and Clayton Kershaw all played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and as of 2019, Kershaw was still active on the roster. Kershaw is one of the league's best pitchers, but has a way to go to catch up to Koufax, who is one of the best pitchers in history.
Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Duke Snider played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Before the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, they were located in Brooklyn. They are best-known for being the team that drafted the first African American player - Jackie Robinson.
Ernie Banks, Sammy Sosa and Andre Dawson played for the Chicago Cubs. In 1998, Sosa and Mark McGwire were neck and neck in chasing the single-season home run record. McGwire won, but that record was later broken by Barry Bonds, who currently holds it.
Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Chase Utley played for the Philadelphia Phillies. Utley was a Phillies favorite and won a World Series with the team in 2008. He played both first and second base and was on the winning side of four no-hitters.
Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza and David Wright played for the New York Mets. Wright just retired last year and played his entire career for the Mets. He was such a fan favorite he was nicknamed "Captain America."
Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio played for the Houston Astros. Ryan is considered one of the best pitchers in the history of baseball and holds the record for most no-hitters thrown with seven.
Matt Holliday, Todd Helton and Larry Walker all played for the Colorado Rockies. Larry Walker was a National League home-run leader and MVP in 1997, but it was Holliday and Helton who led the team to its first World Series Appearance in 2007 where they lost to the Boston Red Sox.
Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones and Greg Maddux all played for the Atlanta Braves. When you add John Smoltz and Tom Glavine to the mix, the Atlanta Braves organization is home to some of the best pitchers in MLB history.
Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield and Jake Peavy all played for the San Diego Padres. In 2007, Peavy won a Cy Young award, but Gwynn is probably the most remembered Padre of all time, winning eight batting titles in his career.
Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew and Torii Hunter played for the Minnesota Twins. Puckett was a two-time World Series champion, 10-time All-Star, six-time Gold Glove winner and had one of the highest batting averages in MLB history.
Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell all played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which is one of two teams that play in the state of Philadelphia. Wagner has the most valuable baseball card, with one being sold for more than $3 million.
Kenny Lofton, Jim Thome and Bob Feller all played for the Cleveland Indians. Kenny Lofton was a six-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner. He also stole 622 bases during his career and is known as one of the fastest players in MLB history.
Mark McGwire, Lou Brock and Rogers Hornsby all played for the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League. Mark McGwire led the entire MLB in home runs with 70, which was the record until 2001 when Barry Bonds hit 73.
Zack Greinke, Luis Gonzalez and Randy Johnson played for the Arizona Diamondback. In 2004, Johnson become one of only 23 people to have pitched a perfect game in the MLB. He pitched this game against the Atlanta Braves.
Giancarlo Stanton, Dontrelle Willis and Derrek Lee played for the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are a a fairly new team, having joined the National League in 1993 as the Florida Marlins. The franchise was started by the CEO of Blockbuster.
Wade Boggs, B. J. Upton and Evan Longoria all played for the Tampa Bay Rays. Longoria played for the Rays from 2008 to 2017, but is now a third baseman for the San Francisco Giants. Tampa Bay joined the MLB in 1998.
Ian Desmond, Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman played for the Washington Nationals of Washington, D.C. The Montreal Expos was an MLB team from 1969 to 2004 and by 2005 they were renamed and relocated, giving birth to the Nationals.
Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson all played for the Oakland Athletics at different times. Eckersley was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2004 but is most well-known for giving up a walk-off home run to Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series.
Bo Jackson, George Brett and Bret Saberhagen all played for the Kansas City Royals. Bo Jackson is one of the only players to have played two major American sports. He also played as a running back for the Oakland Raiders in the NFL.
Fred McGriff, Roberto Alomar and Roy Halladay all played for the Toronto Blue Jays, which is the only Canadian team in the MLB. The Blue Jays organization entered the league in 1977. Montral had an MLB team until 2004.
Ken Griffey, Jr., Ichiro Suzuki and Edgar Martinez played for the Seattle Mariners. Ichiro holds the single-season records for most hits and most singles in a season. Griffey Jr. received more than 99% of first-ballot votes when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Ty Cobb, Ivan Rodriguez and Al Kaline all played for the Detroit Tigers. Cobb is considered one of the greatest professional athletes in the history of sports and he holds the record for highest all-time batting average in the MLB with a .367 BA.
Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Pete Rose all played for the Cincinnati Reds. Rose became a manager for the Reds once his playing career ended, but was ultimately banned from baseball for betting on games in which he managed.
Gaylord Perry, Mark Teixeira and Adrian Beltre played for the Texas Rangers. The Rangers organization was established in 1961 as the Washington Senators and they represented Washington, D.C. Then they moved to Arlington, TX in 1972 and have been there ever since.
Cal Ripken, Jr., Frank Robinson and Mike Mussina all played for the Baltimore Orioles. Cal Ripken Jr. is nicknamed the Ironman and holds the record for consecutive games played with 2,632. It is considered one of the "unbreakable" records in the MLB.
Frank Thomas, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Paul Konerko all played for the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox are infamous for taking part in the Black Sox scandal of 1919, where players allegedly accepted money to lose.
Prince Fielder, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount played for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers originally entered the MLB as the Seattle Pilots in 1969 but were quickly moved to Milwaukee in 1970 and have been there ever since.
Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Trout and John Lackey all played for the Los Angeles Angels, which is one of two MLB teams based in Los Angeles. Trout currently plays center field for the team and is the highest-paid athlete in the MLB.
Alex Rodriguez, Yu Darvish and Rafael Palmeiro all played for the Texas Rangers. Before Alex Rodriguez wore the pinstripes in the Bronx, he played shortstop for the Rangers. His free agency led to one of the biggest paydays in all of sports.
Satchel Paige, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thorpe all played for the Cincinnati Reds. Satchel Paige played in the Negro League for most of his career, but once MLB integrated, he joined the Cleveland Indians. At 42, he was the oldest MLB rookie.
Cy Young, Doc Miller and Cliff Curtis played for the Boston Rustlers in the early 1900s. The team has since evolved many times and is today known as the Atlanta Braves. Young is known as one of the sport's greatest pitchers and the Cy Young award is named after him.
Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra all played for the New York Yankees and they're not just considered Yankee royalty, but MLB royalty. Mantle, Dimaggio and Berra have several awards and records among them.