On This Day

American League in History

Events in Sport

  • 1900-01-29 American League organized in Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Minneapolis

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1900-03-16 AL meets in Chicago, Ban Johnson announces AL league will be Chicago White Stockings, Washington Senators, Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Blues, Boston Americans, Philadelphia Athletics and Baltimore Orioles

Founder of Baseball's American League Ban Johnson
Founder of Baseball's American League
Ban Johnson
  • 1900-04-26 Newly renamed American League opener in Cleveland draws 6,500 (still as a minor league, was Western League)
  • 1900-11-13 Baltimore Orioles (now NY Yankees) enter baseball's American League
  • 1901-04-24 The Chicago White Stockings win against the Cleveland Blues in the 1st game played in baseball's American League
  • 1901-04-25 Erve Beck hits American League's 1st home run
  • 1901-05-01 Chicago White Sox outfielder Herm McFarland hits first grand slam in American League history in 19-9 win at home against Detroit; Tigers commit 12 errors
  • 1901-12-03 At the MLB meeting, the Milwaukee Brewers franchise is officially dropped from the American League and replaced by the St. Louis Browns
  • 1903-01-09 Baseball's National & American Leagues make peace
  • 1903-01-09 Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchase the American League's Baltimore baseball franchise for $18,000 and move it to NYC (later the NY Yankees)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1924-09-14 Walter Johnson selected as the American League MVP

MLB Pitcher Walter Johnson
MLB Pitcher
Walter Johnson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1927-10-11 New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig is named American League MVP; despite hitting MLB record 60 HR's Babe Ruth as a former winner is not eligible

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig
  • 1927-10-17 Ban Johnson, in failing health, retires as AL President
  • 1928-12-01 National League President John Heydler first to propose a baseball rule change calling for a 10th man, or 'designated hitter', to bat in place of the pitcher; ironically, the NL vote in favour of proposal, but the American League turn it down
  • 1934-11-03 NY Yankees 1st baseman Lou Gehrig wins American League Triple Crown after hitting .363 with 49 HRs and 165 RBI; but Philadelphia A's catcher Mickey Cochrane (.320, 2 HRs, 76 RBI) is named AL MVP
  • 1937-02-13 Boston Redskins receive approval from NFL to move to Washington, D.C; to share baseball's Griffith Stadium with first Washington Senators of the American League

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1938-11-02 Boston Red Sox first baseman Jimmie Foxx is voted Most Valuable Player of the American League for the third time

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
MLB Hall of Fame 1st Baseman Jimmie Foxx
MLB Hall of Fame 1st Baseman
Jimmie Foxx
  • 1938-12-14 Will Harridge is elected to a 10-year-term as AL president
  • 1939-07-25 New York Yankees starting pitcher Atley Donald sets American League rookie record for consecutive wins; beats St. Louis Browns 5-1 for his 12th straight victory

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1942-11-03 Boston Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams wins American League Triple Crown (.356 average, 36 HRs, 137 RBI); but NY Yankees pitcher Joe Gordon is AL MVP

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams
  • 1943-09-06 Carl Scheib becomes youngest pitcher in American League history at 16years, 8 months
  • 1950-06-18 Cleveland Indians score an American League record 14 runs in 1st inning; beat Philadelphia A's, 21-2 at Cleveland Stadium
  • 1954-10-02 Don Liddle beats Bob Lemon 7-4 as the New York Giants complete an unlikely World Series sweep of the powerful Cleveland Indians; Cleveland season record of 111-43 sets American League mark for regular season wins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960-11-02 New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris beats teammate Mickey Mantle for American League MVP Award, 225-222; second-closest vote ever

Baseball Player Roger Maris
Baseball Player
Roger Maris
Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • 1960-12-14 Washington Senators joins American League

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964-11-18 Baltimore Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson wins American League MVP

Baseball Hall of Fame Third Baseman Brooks Robinson
Baseball Hall of Fame Third Baseman
Brooks Robinson
  • 1967-03-01 MLB Commissioner William Eckert approves the Baseball Writers Association of America's plan to name a Cy Young Award recipient from both the National and American Leagues
  • 1967-12-01 Pacific Northwest Sports, Inc. is awarded one of the 2 American League baseball expansion franchises; new team named the Seattle Pilots
  • 1973-01-11 American League adopts designated hitter rule
  • 1973-10-23 Yankee GM & pres Lee MacPhail named AL president
  • 1973-12-18 Yanks sign Dick Williams as manager, overturned later by AL Pres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974-01-01 Lee MacPhail takes over as AL president, succeeding Joe Cronin

Baseball Player and Manager Joe Cronin
Baseball Player and Manager
Joe Cronin
  • 1974-06-11 Mel Stottlemyre sets an American League record by making his 272nd consecutive start without pitching a game in relief
  • 1975-11-26 Boston Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn becomes the first rookie ever to be named American League MVP
  • 1981-11-03 Milwaukee Brewers future Baseball Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers (6-3 record, 28 saves and 1.04 ERA) wins American League Cy Young Award, with 22 of 28 possible 1st-place votes

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1982-11-03 Pitcher Pete Vuckovich becomes Milwaukee Brewers' second consecutive American League Cy Young Award winner; edges Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles; Vuckovich, 18-6 with 105 strikeouts and 3.34 ERA

Baseball Player Jim Palmer
Baseball Player
Jim Palmer

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1987-11-03 Oakland A's first baseman Mark McGwire wins American League Rookie of the Year with 49 home runs, 118 RBI; second to win AL award unanimously; first Carlton Fisk 1972

MLB First Baseman Mark McGwire
MLB First Baseman
Mark McGwire
  • 1997-11-03 Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra becomes 6th player to be unanimous choice for American League Rookie of the Year; leads AL in hits (209), triples (11), multi-hit games (68); also sets AL rookie-record with 30-game hitting streak
  • 1998-03-31 Milwaukee becomes first team since the inception of the American League in 1901 to switch MLB leagues; Brewers lose first NL game, 2-1 to the Braves in Atlanta

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

2001-04-02 New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens becomes American League all-time strikeout leader, recording his 3,509th K in a 7-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals; Walter Johnson previous record 3,508 Ks

MLB Pitching Legend Roger Clemens
MLB Pitching Legend
Roger Clemens
  • 2019-08-12 Baltimore Orioles concede 7 home runs in doubleheader defeats against NY Yankees to break the American League single season HRs allowed record with 248 and counting

Birthdays in Sport

Person of interestBan Johnson

1864-01-06 Ban Johnson, American baseball executive, founder and President of the American League, born in Norwalk, Connecticut (d. 1931)

Founder of Baseball's American League Ban Johnson
Founder of Baseball's American League
Ban Johnson

Person of interestJoe Cronin

1906-10-12 Joe Cronin, American baseball shortstop (Pirates, Red Sox, Senators, MVP 1930, AL President), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1984)

Baseball Player and Manager Joe Cronin
Baseball Player and Manager
Joe Cronin
  • 1924-10-25 Bobby Brown, American baseball third baseman (NY Yankees; World Series 1947, 49–51) and executive (president American League 1984-94), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2021)
  • 1931-05-26 Jim Frey, American MLB manager (Kansas City Royals, American League C'ship 1980; Chicago Cubs), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2020)
  • 1932-06-04 John McNamara, American MLB manager (American League Manager of the Year 1986; Boston Red Sox), born in Sacramento, California (d. 2020)
  • 1937-06-28 Ron Luciano, American baseball umpire in the American League (1969-79), born in Endicott, New York (d. 1995)
  • 1939-05-25 Gene A. Budig, American baseball executive (last American League [AL] president 1994-99), born in McCook, Nebraska (d. 2020)

Deaths in Sport

Person of interestBan Johnson

1931-03-28 Ban Johnson, American baseball executive, founder and President of the American League, dies after a long illness at 67

Founder of Baseball's American League Ban Johnson
Founder of Baseball's American League
Ban Johnson

Person of interestJoe Cronin

1984-09-07 Joe Cronin, American baseball shortstop (Pirates, Red Sox, Senators, MVP 1930, AL President), dies at 77

Baseball Player and Manager Joe Cronin
Baseball Player and Manager
Joe Cronin
  • 1995-01-18 Ron Luciano, American baseball umpire in the American League (1969-79), dies at 57
  • 2020-04-12 Jim Frey, American MLB manager (Kansas City Royals, American League C'ship 1980; Chicago Cubs), dies at 88
  • 2020-07-28 John McNamara, American MLB manager (American League Manager of the Year 1986; Boston Red Sox), dies at 88
  • 2020-09-08 Gene A. Budig, American baseball executive (last American League [AL] president 1994-99), dies from liver disease at 81
  • 2021-03-25 Bobby Brown, American baseball third baseman (NY Yankees; World Series 1947, 49–51) and executive (president American League 1984-94), dies at 96