American League

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The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, that eventually aspired to major league status. The league is often called the Junior Circuit because it was elevated to Major League status in 1901, 25 years after the formation of the National League (the "Senior Circuit"). The American League champion plays in the World Series against the National League champion after the end of every season. Through the 2010 season, American League teams have won 62 of the 106 World Series played since 1903, with 27 of those coming from the New York Yankees alone. The Texas Rangers are currently the defending American League champions. The New York Yankees have won 40 American League titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Oakland Athletics (15) and the Boston Red Sox (12).



Originally a minor league known as the Western League, the league later developed into a major league after the American Association disbanded. In its early history, the Western League struggled until 1894, when Ban Johnson became the president of the league. Johnson led the Western League into major league status and soon became the president of the newly renamed American League. Babe Ruth, noted as one of the most prolific hitters in Major League Baseball history, spent the majority of his career in the American League. The American League has one notable difference over the National League, and that is the designated hitter rule. Under the rule, a team may use a batter in their lineup who is not in the field defensively, compared to the old rule that made it mandatory for the pitcher to hit.

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