Why Does New York Have Two Baseball Teams?
Editorial credit: Gary Yim / Shutterstock.com
As the home to the largest city in America, New York City, it’s no surprise that New York is able to support two MLB teams. However, how does the history of baseball in New York affect the formation of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets?
Over and above the fact that New York has the population and finances to support two teams, New York was a divided city that was host to multiple teams which played in two different baseball leagues. These teams survived the unification of New York City, hence two MLB teams.
To better understand why New York has two MLB teams, we will explore the history of baseball in New York City and their two teams. Whereafter we will look at some other states with two or more MLB teams.
The History Of Baseball In New York
During the rise of baseball’s popularity in New York in the 1880s (especially in urban areas of the state,) there was yet to be a single unified New York City.
Instead, Manhattan and the Bronx were part of New York City, while Queens and Brooklyn formed their own separate cities (these separate cities formed their own team known as The New York Metropolitans, while Manhattan and Brooklyn each had their own teams.)
In 1898 New York City became fully incorporated, which included the absorption of Queens and Brooklyn, thus leading to three major baseball teams within the city’s borders by the year 1913 (New York Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Dodgers.)
Up until the 1950s, there were two major baseball leagues in America, the American League (in which the New York Yankees competed) and the National League (in which the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants competed.)
However, due to building disputes arising around the construction of new baseball stadiums in New York City in 1957, both the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to California, having been attracted by lucrative franchise deals.
Consequently, the departure of two baseball teams from New York left a single team competing in the American League and no New York teams competing in the National League.
In answer to New York’s absence from the American League, the New York Mets were founded in Queens in 1962 to compete in the National League on New York’s behalf; while also being a homage to the New York Metropolitans from the 1880s.
Therefore, despite the formation of a unified and centralized Major League Baseball (MLB) in 2000, the history and popularity of baseball mean the state (and the city of New York) have the population, infrastructure, and funds to comfortably support two MLB teams!
How Many MLB Are There In New York?
Although there are literally hundreds of little league, minor league, and amateur league baseball teams in New York, there are only two MLB baseball teams:
- The New York Yankees, and
- The New York Mets.
1. The New York Yankees
Founded in the Bronx in 1903 as the New York Highlanders, they changed their name to the New York Yankees in 1913.
They currently play in one of the most expensive baseball stadiums in the world, the $1.5 billion Yankee Stadium (not to be confused with its discontinued predecessor in 2009.)
The New York Yankees are considered the greatest baseball team of all time and arguably the most remarkable American sports team of all time. Over their history, the New York Yankees have achieved the following MLB records:
- 19 American League East Division titles,
- 40 American League pennants,
- 27 World Series Championships,
- 44 Hall of Fame players,
- 11 Hall of Fame managers,
- Highest valued baseball franchise (second highest in the world at approximately $6 billion.)
In conclusion, with a winning percentage of .570 (10,503 wins to 7,937 losses), the New York Yankees have a proud history and are expected to remain one of the greatest baseball teams of all time in the foreseeable future!
2. The New York Mets
Founded in 1962, the New York Mets were considered one of the first expansion teams in the MLB upon the departure of the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers to California.
Consequently, the New York Mets originate from Queens and continue to use the blue and orange decals to pay homage to the departed team colors of the Dodgers and Giants respectfully.
The home ground of the New York Mets is Citi Field as a replacement for Shea Stadium at the cost of $850 million dollars. Opened in 2009 in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Shea Stadium has a capacity of approximately 45 000 people.
Although the New York Mets have failed to achieve the success of the New York Yankees, with a mediocre winning percentage of .480 (4,551 wins to 4,927 losses), they have achieved some notable accomplishments:
- Two World Series Championships (1969 and 1986)
- Nine postseason qualifications,
- Five National League pennants,
- 17 Hall of Famer inductees.
Despite their mixed results over the years, the New York Mets continue to have a big following and positive culture, as is evident by fan organizations like The 7 Line Army and the “Meet the Mets” theme song!
Which American States Have More Than One MLB Team?
At the time of writing, there are eight states with more than one MLB team.
- California: five teams (Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants.)
- Florida: two teams (Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays)
- Illinois: two teams (Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox)
- Missouri: two teams (Kansa City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals)
- New York: two teams (New York Yankees and New York Mets)
- Ohio: two teams (Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds)
- Pennsylvania: two teams (Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Texas: two teams (Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.)
In conclusion, despite having two teams, New York City’s baseball teams are not diluted, as is evident from a proud history and dedicated following for both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets!