5 MLB Teams That Are Defuncted
Defunct MLB teams include Louisville Colonels, Cleveland Spiders, and many others. Some of them have relocated, and some have defected.
Four teams were defuncted while the National League was controversially reduced from 12 to 8 franchises in the 1899 season. Some other franchises played in one of the eleven Major leagues before being ultimately defected.
Five of the MLB franchises that were defuncted are listed below.
1. Louisville Colonels
Louisville Colonels were an MLB team that played in American Association and the National League.
Louisville Colonels was established in 1882 and existed for ten years till 1891. They were called Louisville Eclipse in the starting two years and later changed its name.
The Colonels were known as a semi-pro team before joining the newly formed league of AA in 1882 and was running under the ownership of Barney Dreyfuss. After American Association dissolved in 1892, they moved to National League and played there until 1899 before Dreyfuss acquired control interest of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The new owner of Pirate, Dreyfuss, brought 14 players from Colonels which ended the original Colonels Organization and was closed forever.
2. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles was founded in 1882 and officially recognized as Baltimore Base Ball and Exhibition Company.
They were part of the American Association from 1882 to 1891 and moved to National League after disestablishment. They remained in the NL for seven years and were able to induct six players into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Baltimore Orioles won three league titles consecutively for three years from 1894 to 1896 and won Temple Cup national championship for two years in 1896 and 1897. Though successful, they contracted out of the NL after the 1899 season when the league reduced its size to eight.
The team played at the old Oriole Park for some time and moved to Union Park during the 1891 season. They had six managers, among which three got inducted into the Hall of Fame.
3. Cleveland Spiders
Cleveland Spiders were a professional baseball team founded in 1887 and based in Cleveland, Ohio.
The team was affiliated with National League from 1889 to 1899 for ten years after leaving the American Association after a year of affiliation. Previously they were known as Forest Citys and Blues and later emerged their name after its inaugural in the National League season.
Cleveland Spiders won seven straight seasons under their manager Patsy Tebeau win 1891 to 1898 and finished second in the National League three times but didn't win any pennants. Although, they won the 1895 Temple Cup, a two-team league championship playoff predating the World Series.
The Spiders were the first team of Forest City and the third professional baseball franchise based in Cleveland.
4. Washington Senators
Washington Senators were known as Washington Statesmen and the Washington Nationals. After the team united with National League in 1892, they got owned by Jacob Earl Wagner. For only the establishment year in 1891, they joined American Association.
Playing for nine years, they produced two Baseball Hall of Famers, Roger Bresnahan as a player and Jon O'Rourke as the manager. The defunct happened when the teams were reduced from twelve to eight teams after the 1899 season, which includes the emission of Washington Senators.
In the years of their franchise, they never won any pennants and had a winning percentage of just 0.366.
5. Chicago Whales
Chicago Whales was a short-term professional baseball team formed in 1913 and remained till 1915.
They were named Chicago Federals to differentiate themselves from Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. They were affiliated with Federal League, where they finished second in 1914 and were able to win the league championship in 1915.
Whales produced two Baseball Hall of Famers, Mordecai Brown as a player and Joe Tinker as a manager and owner Charles Weeghman. They ended when the Federal League dealt with American and National leagues that disbanded all its franchises.
There are many other teams which defuncted in various periods, and they are listed below:
- Milwaukee Brewers (1901)
- Indianapolis Hoosiers (1914)
- Baltimore Terrapins (1914-1915)
- Pittsburgh Rebels (1914-1915)
- Buffalo Blues (1914-1915)
- Newark Peppers (1915)