A baseball team is a group of players organized to take part in a game against another similar group. A team can be organized for a single game (e.g. a pick-up game, or an All-Star Game) or more frequently, it is put together to play a schedule of games against different opponents.
The first baseball teams were made up of amateurs who were members of a sports club that often organized teams in other sports as well. The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York is generally considered the first organized baseball team, having been formed in 1845 with a constitution, a set roster and other features characteristic of a modern team. The first professional team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings, which began to pay its players in 1869. It would play a schedule of exhibition games against amateur teams, sometimes featuring a few professional players of their own.
Most teams nowadays are part of a league, which organizes a fixed schedule of games and determines the winner of its championship. Teams may also play games against teams outside their league, either as exhibitions or in games that count towards the league's championship.
It normally takes two teams to play a game. However, games can be played by members of a single team divided into two sides for the purpose of that game (these are known as "intra-squad games" and are a feature of the early days of spring training). There have also been attempts at having three-sided games, with each of the three teams involved playing six of the nine innings, but this is not a practice that has caught on.
Teams generally feature the following types of members:
- a front office composed of non-playing personnel, with an owner, executives such as a team president and vice-presidents, a general manager and his assistants;
- a coaching staff including a manager, several coaches and specialized personnel such as batting practice pitchers and bullpen catchers;
- a training staff including an athletic trainer, physical therapists, team doctors and strength and conditioning coaches; and
- a roster of players whose size is determined by league rules.
- Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt: Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, Brassey's, Washington, DC, 2003.
- Mark L. Armour and Daniel R. Levitt: In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2015. ISBN 978-0803234970
- Ed Coen: "Setting the Record Straight on Major League team Nicknames", in Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 48 Number 2, Fall 2019, pp. 67-75.
- Don Cox: All-Time Nines: Baseball’s Greatest Teams as Determined by Analytics, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4766-6328-9
- Donald Dewey and Nicholas Acocella: Total Ballclubs: The Ultimate Book of Baseball Clubs, Sport Media Publishing, Wilmington, DE, 2005. ISBN 1894963377
- Donald Honig: Baseball's 10 Greatest Teams, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1982. ISBN 0025535706
- Brandon Isleib: Playing for a Winner: How Baseball Teams' Success Raises Players' Reputations, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4766-6538-2
- Douglas Jordan: "Baseball Championship Windows: How Long Are They?", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 47, Nr. 1 (spring 2018), pp. 38-44.
- Greg Pearson: Maybe Next Year: Long-Suffering Sports Fans and the Teams That Never Deliver, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4766-6679-2
- Tom Stone: Now Taking the Field: Baseball's All-Time Dream Teams for All 30 Franchises, ACTA Publications, Chicago, IL, 2018. ISBN 978-0879466664
- Jonathan Weeks: Cellar Dwellers: The Worst Teams in Baseball History, Scarecrow Press, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Lanham, MD, 2012. ISBN 978-0-8108-8532-5
- Jonathan Weeks: Baseball's Dynasties and the Players Who Built Them, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4422-6156-3
- Richard Worth: Baseball Team Names: A Worldwide Dictionary, 1869-2011, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2013. ISBN 978-0-7864-6844-7
|MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL|
|Postseasons | Awards | Ballparks | Minor Leagues|