Are you team Chicago Cubs or White Sox? Real Chicagoans might have difficulty betting between the two teams, especially when Major League Baseball (MLB) is just around the corner. But why choose between the two in the first place?
You might ask, “Why does Chicago have two baseball teams?” Well, each team was formed to represent different baseball leagues. While the Chicago White Sox play in the American League, the Cubs play in the National league.
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Reasons for Having Two Baseball Teams in Chicago
There are two significant reasons why there are two baseball teams in Chicago. As you learn more about these reasons, you’ll also realize why the city kept the two teams in MLB instead of just one.
1. Chicago is a city big enough to support two teams.
Chicago is a large city. Compared to Arizona, which has a little under 114 square miles, Chicago is significantly broader as it encompasses 234 square miles—the geography of the city groups it in extremely far-apart sides, the southside, and the northside.
That said, it would be hard for fans to support only one team back then. Television and the internet were yet to be invented, and it would be difficult for people to travel to the other side of the city to support one Chicago Major League baseball team.
2. Each Chicago baseball team represents a different league.
As we mentioned earlier, each Chicago baseball team represents a different league in the MLB. More specifically, the Chicago Cubs represent the city in the National League, while the Chicago White Sox play in the American League.
These Chicago pro baseball teams played independently and even engaged in a baseball war. The World Series was founded in 1903, bringing together the annual winners of each league to determine a national champion, hence the birth of Major League Baseball.
Not long after, the two teams faced each other in the World Series, where the Chicago White Sox won over the Cubs in 1906. Since then, the two teams have continued to represent the city of Chicago in the MLB.
That, right there, is the answer to why Chicago have two baseball teams.
What Are Chicago’s Baseball Teams?
The baseball team names representing Chicago in the MLB are the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. Let’s have a closer look at these Chicago teams:
1. Chicago Cubs
Ever wondered which of the two is the oldest baseball team? Well, it was the Chicago Cubs who established baseball in the city in 1871.
The team plays home games at Wrigley Field on the city’s Northside. The stadium was built in 1914 and is still standing after centuries to accommodate die-hard Cubbies.
Thanks to the rich history of the Chicago Cubs, we’re able to witness some beautiful traditions that make each of their game more exciting to watch:
- “It’s gonna happen” sign
When the first “it’s gonna happen” sign was seen in 2007, fans carried out this optimistic energy, and the slogan has been plastered on boards and shirts in every Cubs game until today.
- Singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
Another beautiful and heartwarming tradition that Cubbies do is sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch. Thanks to Harry Caaray, Cub fans have the perfect opportunity to show their support in unison.
- Raising a white flag
This may be the oldest tradition of the Cubs since it dates back to 1937. Each time the team wins at Wrigley, expect a white flag to be raised along with the applause of high-spirited fans.
2. Chicago White Sox
The founding of the Americal League in 1900 gave birth to Cub’s former nemesis – the White Sox. The team was formerly known as Sioux City and has played in the minor league since 1894.
This professional league’s ballpark, the Guaranteed Rate Field, is located south of Chicago. This is not their original ballpark. The Sox played at Southside Park for a decade and 80 seasons at Comiskey Park before settling at the Guaranteed Rate Field.
Since then, the team brought home three World Series titles: the first in 1906, then in 1917, and the latest in 2005.
Cities That Have Two Baseball Teams
Aside from asking, why Chicago have two baseball teams, you might also ask yourself, “how many cities have two baseball teams?” Well, there are two more: Los Angeles and New York. When searching for “best baseball cities,” you can trust that these three cities won’t leave you hanging with baseball events.
Los Angeles is the home of the LA Dodgers and the LA Angels, while New York caters to the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some FAQs!
Which team has more fans, White Sox or Chicago Cubs?
If you want to know which team has more fans between the Sox vs. Cubs, the Cubs have the most loyal fan base of the two.
You don’t have to scroll through Reddit for an explanation. A ranking based on TV ratings, stadium attendance, ticket and merchandise sales, social media reach, and hometown crowd reach determined Cubs to have more fans than Sox or any MLB team besides the Boston Red Sox.
Why do some states don’t have baseball teams?
As of today, 22 states do not have an MLB team. This may be due to the low population count of these states, including Hawaii, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
Which is the most successful baseball team?
In terms of being the World Series champion, the New York Yankees can be considered the most successful baseball team and have the best record with 27 championships under their belt.
Now that you know the answer to “Why does Chicago have two baseball teams?” relies on MLB’s history and the city’s population, you can stop wondering when looking at the match schedule and choose which of the Chicago MLB teams you’ll root for the next season.
Even for other citieswithe two baseball teams, fans should remember that even if the two teams go after each other, it’s the city they represent. Whichever team you choose, both teams have their own rich history you can be proud of.
Rogers is a hardcore baseball enthusiast. He joined Nations Baseball as a writer to share his knowledge and help others realize their passions for the sport. Roger is striving towards becoming a coach at his local baseball club.