So much for 'separate but equal'
At the turn of the 20th century, baseball was beset with declining attendance, rowdyism, greedy owners and very unhappy players.
Despite all of its problems, baseball found a way to divide itself into two leagues, cleaned itself up and started a World Series in 1903 — and succeeded magnificently.
In 1900, President Byron Bancroft Van Johnson changed the Western League’s name to the American League. He promoted honest baseball, lowered ticket prices and provided wholesome family atmospheres. The National League just ignored the AL.
Johnson was able, resourceful and very determined. When the NL dropped its least profitable clubs in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, he quickly incorporated all four into the American League.
But soon after, the mild-manner Johnson threw gas on the ...