Ever since I was a little kid, I loved baseball. I loved playing it in the street with my friends or playing in my little league for the Chiefs when I was 9 (I loved being on the chiefs). But as I got older, I just didn’t have time to invest in watching games everyday. Life, school, jobs and life happened and time to sit around and watch 162 games of baseball just wasn’t in the cards for me anymore. I started to only watch games during the playoffs because, let’s face it, the season is too damn long. So how did MLB decide to play that many games in the first place?
While baseball has been around forever, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the National and American leagues decided on the schedule that would remain till this very day. For a few years, teams had played each of their rivals 20 times for a 140-game season. In 1920, this was expanded to 22 games teams would play against each of their seven rivals, 11 at home and 11 away,this resulted in an 154-game season. This was the gold standard until 1961 and expansion teams became a thing.
In 61′, the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators joined the American League and the next season the National League introduced the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45’s. “After the first expansion, each team had nine rivals rather than seven, and the 154-game season made for bad math,” said MLB historian, John Thorn. “To play 22 games against each rival would require an 198-game season, so MLB settled on 18 games per rival for nine rivals, for a total of 162 games.”