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Interleague play
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Interleague play

Interleague play in Major League Baseball was introduced in 1997. Prior to this year, teams in the American League and National League did not meet during the regular season.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Interesting match-ups
3 Pros
4 Cons
5 External Links

History

The proposal to introduce interleague play was not, and is still not, a universally endorsed one. However, with attendance waning as the result of the 1994 baseball strike, it was judged by many that something was needed to stir up interest in the league. Interleague play created some match-ups that had not been seen before, and some which held special significance for geographical and historical reasons.

The first interleague game took place on June 12, 1997 as the Texas Rangers hosted the San Francisco Giants at The Ballpark in Arlington (now Ameriquest Field in Arlington).

From 1997 to 2001, teams from the American League West played teams from the National League West, etc., typically scheduled to alternate between home and away in consecutive years. However, in 2002, the league began alternating which divisions would play which divisions, and thus in 2002 the American League East played the National League West, the American League Central played the National League East, and the American League West played the National League Central. Match-ups which had been of particular interest prior to this format (e.g. New York Yankees vs. New York Mets) were preserved. This is expected to be the continuing format of interleague play.

The Designated Hitter rule is applied in the same manner as in the World Series. In an American League ballpark, both teams use a Designated Hitter to hit for the pitcher. In a National League ballpark, both team's pitchers must hit.

Overall, the National League holds an 869-840 edge over the American League through 2003.

Interesting match-ups

There are several match-ups that are the result of interleague play which are highly anticipated and well-attended for a number of reasons:

Pros

Cons

External Links