The American League (AL), also known as the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, is one of the two leagues in the Major League Baseball (MLB), the other being the National League (NL). Established in 1905, the league was previously a minor baseball league known as the Western League. The American League is also referred to as the ‘Junior Circuit’ because it was elevated to its major league status 25 years after the NL, which, is referred to as the ‘Senior Circuit’.
The AL is currently made up of 14 teams, with 13 teams from the United States and 1 team from Canada. AL champions play in the World Series against the champions of the NL. Teams from the AL have won a total of 61 games of the 104 World Series games played. The team with the most wins in AL history is the New York Yankees which have also won the most World Series games in the MLB.
There are 3 divisions in the AL – the AL Central, the AL West and the AL East. The only Canadian team in the AL and in the MLB is the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays belong to the AL East and was enfranchised in 1977.
Throughout the history of the AL, there have been multiple team expansions, renaming and relocation. Early changes include the following: In 1902, the Milwaukee Brewers moved and became the St. Louis Browns. During that same year, the Cleveland Blues was renamed as the Cleveland Bronchos and later, was again renamed as the Cleveland Naps in 1903 before settling as the Cleveland Indians in 1915. In 1902, the team known as the Chicago White Stockings became the Chicago White Sox.
Recent name changes include the 2005 change of the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The most recent change was done in 2008 when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays was renamed as the Tampa Bay Rays.