The first attempt at a national major league was the short-lived National Association, which existed from 1871 to 1875. Two current major league franchises, the Atlanta Braves andthe Chicago Cubs, can trace their origins to the National Association.
Currently, there are two major leagues: the National League (founded in 1876) and the American League (major-league status in1901).
Several other defunct leagues are officially considered to be major, and their statistics and records are included with those of the two current major leagues. These includethe Union Association(1884), the American Association (1882–1891, not to be confused with later minor leagues of the same name), the Players' League (1890) and the Federal League (1914–1915). In thelate 1950s, a serious attempt was made to establish a third major league, the Continental League, but that league never played.
In the 1860s, aided by the Civil War, "New York"-stylebaseball expanded into a national game and spawned baseball's first governing body, The National Association of Base Ball Players, was formed. The NABBP existed as an amateur league for twelve years. By...