10 Oldest Baseball Teams in America

Baseball is played in over 100 nations today.  The first form of the game was bat and ball, which was played in England in the mid-18th century. Later this game was introduced in North America by immigrants, which evolved into the baseball game today. By the end of the 19th century, Baseball became the national sport of the United States.  Though the origins came from England, the basis for modern baseball was formed in America during the mid-19th century. 

Hence, the oldest baseball team in the world is from the United States. Let’s take a look at the 10 Oldest Baseball Temas in America. 

10. Minnesota Twins

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1901
Previous Name(s): Washington Senators/ Nationals

Minnesota TwinsPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Minnesota Twins franchise was founded in 1901. At first, it was the Washington Senators baseball club.  The newly formed American League moved from Kansas City to Washington, D.C. and the city needed a new team. The team was moved to Minnesota in 1961 and was renamed the Twins after the area’s nickname, the Twin Cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis).

After Moving to Minnesota, the team won the American League Pennant in 1965. The Minnesota Twins have won 3  World Series titles in 1924, 1987 and 1991. 

Did you Know? 

In 1965, the Minnesota Twins won 102 games, securing their first American League pennant in Minnesota and debuting in the World Series.

9. Oakland Athletics

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1901
Previous Name(s): Philadelphia Athletics; Kansas City Athletics

Oakland AthleticsPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Oakland Athletics was formed in 1901 in the name of Philadelphia Athletics. During this time, the Western League, which was the second major league after the National League, was reformed as the American League.  

They have dominated the early years of the American League, winning the pennant 6 times. They are often called The Athletics or the “A’s”. They have won nine World Series championships and 15 AL pennants in total. 

Did you Know? 

In 2002, the Athletics won twenty consecutive games in a single season, leading the way in introducing sabermetrics to baseball.

8. Los Angeles Dodgers

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1884
Previous Name(s): Brooklyn Atlantics; Brooklyn Grays; Brooklyn Bridegrooms; Brooklyn Grooms; Brooklyn Superbas; Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers; Brooklyn Robins; Brooklyn Dodgers

Los Angeles DodgersPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Los Angeles Dodgers franchise was initially formed in 1883 by the name Brooklyn Grays. It was a minor league team with the Inter-State Association of Professional Baseball Clubs.  A year later, the team went professional and joined the American Association before eventually moving over to the National League in 1890.

The team went through several official names and nicknames and finally settled on the Dodgers in the early 1930s. The Dodgers have won 6 World Series titles and 22 National League pennants. Above everything, the Dodgers were the first to have an African-American player Jackie Robinson, making history in 1947.

Did you Know? 

They have a fierce rivalry with the San Francisco Giants, which dates back to when both teams played in New York City before relocating to California.

7.  Philadelphia Phillies

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1883
Previous Name(s): Philadelphia Quakers

Philadelphia PhilliesPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Philadelphia Phillies started off with the name “Quakers”  and quickly changed their name, making them the oldest continuous one-name and one-city franchise in American professional sport. The team was formed by the sporting goods manufacturer Al Reach and attorney John Rogers in 1883. Al Reach was also one of the first professional baseball players. 

The team was a result of them getting an opportunity to replace the Worcester Brown Stockings in the National League. 

Though unfortunate during the 1883 season. They had won 2 World Series championships, 8 National League pennants, and made 15 playoff appearances. 

Did you Know? 

The franchise has played over 21,000 games, with 10,022 wins and 11,187 losses as of November 6, 2022.

6. San Francisco Giants

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1883
Previous Name(s): New York Gothams; New York Giants

San Francisco GiantsPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The San Francisco Giants was established in 1883 in the name of New York Gothams. They gained their current name when they moved to San Francisco. They were the 2nd team established by millionaire tobacconist John B.Day and veteran amateur baseball player Jim Mutrie in New York.  They also owned the New York Metropolitans. 

There is a minor background story behind their name. The team changed the name to Giants in 1885 after Mutrie proudly called the team “My big fellows! My giants!” following their win against the Philadelphia Phillies. 

They moved to San Francisco in the 1957 season. They have won a total of 8 World Series titles and 23 National League pennants. 

Did you Know? 

After a 56-year championship drought, they won three World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

5. St. Louis Cardinals

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1882
Previous Name(s): St. Louis Brown Stockings; St. Louis Browns; St. Louis Perfectos

St. Louis CardinalsPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

In 1882, the St.Louis Brown Stockings was established, which later turned into today’s St.Louis Cardinals. Before this, there were 2 other versions of the St. Louis Brown Stockings baseball clubs. However, due to game-fixing scandals, expulsion from the National League, and major reorganizations, these early teams only have a loose connection to the Cardinals. 

Before 1882, Chris von der Ahe purchased St. Louis Brown Stockings and reorganized it. He made them the first team of the American Association to challenge the National League teams. 

They adopted their present name, Cardinals, in the year 1900. The St Louis Cardinals have won 11 World Series titles and 23 league pennants. 

Did you Know? 

They are known for notable achievements, including manager/owner Branch Rickey’s invention of the farm system, two batting Triple Crowns by Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean’s 30-win season, Stan Musial’s 17 MLB records, Bob Gibson’s 1.12 ERA in 1968, and Mark McGwire’s single-season home run record in 1998.

4.  Cincinnati Reds

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1882
Previous Name(s): Cincinnati Red Stockings; Cincinnati Redlegs

Cincinnati RedsPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

According to the history books of the Cincinnati Reds, they were the first all-professional team. Founded in 1866, the team was formed as one of the founding members of the American  Association, and they won the first AA pennant in 1882. 

In 1899 the Red Stockings left the AA to play in the National League. They later shortened their name to Reds in the 1890 season but then again to Redlegs in 1954 before returning ot the Reds in 1959. The Cincinnati Reds have won 5 World Series titles, 9 NL pennants, 1 AA pennant, and 10 division titles. 

Did you Know? 

During the 1970s, the team was known as the “Big Red Machine” and included Hall of Fame players like Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Pérez, and the controversial Pete Rose. They won the World Series in 1975 and 1976.

3.  Pittsburgh Pirates

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1882
Previous Name(s): Allegheny; Pittsburgh Allegheneys; Pittsburg Pirates

Pittsburgh PiratesPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

Storytime! The story of the Pittsburgh Pirates began on October 15th, 1881, when the strongest team in the area, aka today’s Pittsburg Pirates, was chosen to join the American Association as a founding member and start playing in the 1882 season. The team was listed as ” Allegheny” because their home field was located in Allegheny City. 

The Pittsburgh team was the first of the AA teams to leave and join the National League, and they did it in the year 1887. Though they had their fair share of failures, they won a total of 5 World Series championships, 9 National League pennants, 9 National League East division titles, and made 3 appearances in the wild-card game. 

Did you Know? 

On September 1, 1971, the Pirates became the first MLB team to field an all-Black and Latino lineup, showcasing their commitment to diversity in the sport.

2. Chicago Cubs

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1876
Previous Name(s): Chicago White Stockings; Chicago Colts; Chicago Orphans

Chicago CubsPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Chicago Cubs also claim that they are the oldest in the MLB. Although the origins of the Cubs date back to around 1871 with the formation of the Chicago White Stockings, the team did not play for the next 2 years due to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. 

The Chicago White Stockings were one of the first teams to join the National Association of Professional Baseball Players and also the National League, which replaced the National Association in 1876. 

The team always played for Chicago and went through a few names before settling on the Cubs in 1903. Later, Wrigley Field, one of the oldest MLB stadiums, became their home stadium. The Chicago Cubs has also won 3 World Series titles. 

Did you Know? 

Bill Wrigley, who was famous for making chewing gum, bought more and more shares in the Chicago Cubs baseball team in 1916. Eventually, by 1921, he owned more than half of the team.

1. Atlanta Braves

Year Established:
Date of Entry into MLB: 1876
Previous Name(s): Boston Red Stockings; Boston Red Caps; Boston Beaneaters; Boston Doves; Boston Rustlers; Boston Braves; Boston Bees; Milwaukee Braves

Atlanta BravesPhoto Source: Wikipedia Commons

You might have already understood that there is some debate over which team is the oldest in Major League Baseball. Well, it is often agreed upon that Atlanta Braves is the oldest continually operating baseball team in America. 

The Atlanta Braves was established in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings, and it was one of the 8 charter teams of the National League.  They played and won the very first game of the National League on April 22, 1876.  

The Red Stockings stayed in Boston until 1952 and moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and changed the team’s name to the Milwaukee Braves. At the same time, the team in Boston went through several names and ended up choosing the Braves in 1941.  In 1966, the team moved to Atlanta, where it has remained to date. 

The Atlanta Braves have won 23 divisional titles, 18 National League pennants, and four World Series championships.

Did you Know? 

The team went through a period of struggles from 1917 to 1932, with only two winning seasons during that time.

Final Thought

Over a hundred years of existence, his sport has had one of the most followers in America. Their games are spirited and are watched across the country and often overseas. Although most of the mentioned teams originated around the same time, the Atlanta Braves are considered the oldest baseball team in America. This is because it is actually the oldest continually operating team. 

Well, the spirit of the game has not faded in over a century and hope to stay the same way. Such sports bring out good spirits and healthy competition. 

Whatever team you support, I wish they hit a home run!

Spread the love

Related Post

There are 1 comments


    it is the writers opinion on the order for the article, but overall well done historically.
    May 4, 1869 – The 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first all-professional team, kick off the regular season with a 45-9 win over the Great Westerns of Cincinnati.
    June 15, 1869 – In what was widely considered the greatest game in baseball history up to that time, the visiting Red Stockings defeated the powerhouse Mutual club of New York, 4-2.
    Nov. 6, 1869 – In the final official match of the season, the Red Stockings defeat the Mutuals of New York, 17-8, on Union Grounds. Baseball’s first team of professionals finished the season with a perfect 57-0 record (although the team won more than 70 games, team captain Harry Wright only counted games against other National Association clubs as official).
    June 14, 1870 – After 130 consecutive games without a loss, Cincinnati falls to the Brooklyn Atlantics, 8-7, in extra innings. The streak includes 81 official games and 49 exhibitions.
    Feb. 2, 1876 – The National League is formed in New York City with Cincinnati as a charter member, along with Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Hartford, Louisville, New York and Philadelphia.
    Oct. 8, 1880 – Cincinnati is expelled from the National League, due in part to its refusal to stop renting out their ballpark on Sundays and to cease selling beer during games.
    Nov. 2, 1881 – The American Association is formed during a meeting at the Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati. The Reds would play their next 8 seasons in that league.
    Sept. 16, 1882 – The Reds clinch the American Association pennant. It is the first league championship won by a professional team based in Cincinnati.
    April 17, 1889 – The first Opening Day “festivities” are seen in Cincinnati. Ballpark decorations and a pregame concert by the Cincinnati Orchestra greet fans before the opener.
    Nov. 14, 1889 – Cincinnati is granted re-admission to the National League, joining Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

    above, these are facts and the author acknowledges them, and contends professional baseball’s oldest team is based on continuity of ownership.

    That assumption points to Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta.
    The oldest pro baseball to me, is where it started.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *