Why Does Chicago Have Two Baseball Teams? Here’s the Reason

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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why does chicago have two baseball teams

Conflicts. Face-offs. We hear about them in movies and world history. But guess what: these happen in baseball too. In fact these events could actually hold the answer to why does Chicago have two baseball teams.

But surely, it has to be more than that. The truth about the two coexisting baseball teams in Chicago is more fruitful than conflicting. And, guess what: it has got to be more interesting than you expect.

There is more to it when you keep scrolling down.


Chicago Has Two Baseball Teams – Here’s Why:

If you use simple logic to look into it, you would naturally consider Chicago’s geographical expanse as a leading factor on why Chicago has two baseball teams. It makes sense. Like New York, Chicago has a fairly sizable landscape consisting of extremely far-apart sides: the southside and the northside.

Viewing access and game promotions in a geographically polarized city, exacerbated by the absence of television in the past, would presumably be a challenge. Thus, it would be logical for wealthy baseball enthusiasts to found Chicago baseball teams from either side to represent their spaces.

But, that is just one aspect of broader baseball history.

The National League, known fully as the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, has since graced America in 1876. Being the oldest extant baseball team in the country and the world, it confidently carries on a “senior circuit” tag.

Still the oldest, it now shares the platform with the 1901-founded American League (or “junior circuit”). These two baseball leagues make up the Major League Baseball (MLB) in the country.

The emergence of the “junior circuit” twenty-five years later will soon influence the event leading to Chicago having two baseball teams.

As expected, these two giant leagues went into a head-on collision, particularly in 1997, wherein the interleague games heated both exhibition and world series games.

In Chicago, these two leagues bore two successful major league baseball teams when the two leagues were reconciling (with the two respective umpires unified under the singular MLB policy within the year 1999).

And so, there you have it: Chicago ranking among the four other metropolitan areas in the U.S. with two major baseball teams.

What Are Chicago’s Two Baseball Teams


The sports platforms in Chicago have 2 baseball teams, namely Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.

1. Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are known for playing the highest number of games and scoring runs compared to other MLB teams. The team also stands out for having rolled out simultaneously with the institutionalization of the National League in 1871.

This northside team is also famously known to play in Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Moreover, it competes as a member of the National League Central Division.

2. Chicago White Sox

Among the two, this team builds a reputation for satisfying its fans with spectacular stadium traditions (fireworks being one). It has held this reputation since its establishment together with the American League.

This southside team holds a total of 6 American League pennants and 3 World Series titles. A member of the American League Central Division, the team plays at the Guaranteed Rate Field.

So does Chicago have two baseball teams? Yes, it does.

Which Other Cities Have Two Baseball Teams


There are only three known cities or metropolitan areas, aside from Chicago, that have two baseball teams.

1. New York

New York City celebrated its “golden age of Baseball” from 1947-1957, featuring three major league baseball teams: Yankees, Giants, and the Dodgers. Figures like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Phil Rizzuto, among many others, were featured during this period.

But in 1957, due to a decline in profit and audience presence preempted by the changing socio-cultural trends during the time, owners of the Giants and the Dodgers allowed the two MLB teams to move out of New York to California.

Fortunately, the Mets came to the scene in 1961 to keep the baseball traction in New York.

Here are New York’sYork’s two MLB teams:

  • New York Yankees: In terms of track record, the New York Yankees boast a great one.
  • This Bronx-based team put New York baseball history on the map by raking 40 American League pennants, 27 World Series championships, and 19 American League East Division titles.
  • Today, the team gained back momentum after losing to the Boston Red Sox at the American League wild-card game. That loss cannot even slightly change the fact that the Yankees remain one of the most successful baseball franchises in American history.
  • The Yankees compete as a member of the American League East Division.
  • The New York Mets: Although the Mets slightly tail behind the Yankees in terms of track record, the team, in its rights, built a formidable reputation as the 11th best record in baseball, as well the highest potentials of run differential.

All-in-all, the Mets have 2 World Series championships, 9 postseason qualifications, and 5 national league pennants.

The Mets are based in Queens and are a member of the National League East Division.

2. San Francisco Bay Area

There is no wonder why the San Francisco Bay area won first place in America’s “Best Baseball Cities in 2012”. By the record, this metropolitan area leads among those that produce the most major league teams in the last 100 years.

Here are San Francisco’sFrancisco’s two MLB teams:

  • San Francisco Giants: Founded in 1883, the San Francisco Giants thrive as one of the oldest teams on the record. In total, it has bagged a total of 8 World Series championship titles and 23 NL pennants.
  • The team plays at the Oracle Park stadium in San Francisco. Accordingly, it is a National League West Division-recognized MLB team.
  • Oakland Athletics: The Oakland Athletics, known as the Oakland A’s, was founded in 1901.
  • One of the oldest and most successful MLB teams to set the San Francisco baseball landscape, it holds 9 World Series championship titles and 15 AL pennants.

The American League West Division team plays at the Oakland Coliseum.

3. Los Angeles

Like the baseball teams Chicago has, the baseball teams in Los Angeles come down to two: the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

These two MLB teams contend against each other in the famous “freeway series.”

  • Los Angeles Angels: The team was founded in 1966 and is an American League West Division member. The team plays at Angel Stadium at the ballpark. The Angels are known for appearing only once at a 2002 World Series and winning it.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers were established in 1883 and are a National League West Division member. In total, this successful franchise holds 7 World Series Titles and 24 NL pennants.

The Dodgers play at the Dodgers Coliseum.


So you now know the reason behind the question: why does Chicago have two baseball teams? To summarize the points, it all has first to do with geographical convenience. Like the other three metropolitan cities or areas with also two baseball teams, Chicago has far-apart hemispheres

The second reason Chicago has two baseball teams lies in the political dynamics between two major leagues: the National League and the American League. These dynamics, in turn, make the baseball experience in the U.S. as enjoyable as always.

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