Franchise Quiz

History buffs will know this: the AL, of course, has been in existence since 1901, the NL since 1876. Name the only two NL teams that have been part of the league continuously since 1876.

The Cubs and Braves, and of course the Cubbies are the only ones who have been in the same city all along. These two teams had great early successes: the Cubs (operating as the White Stockings) won 6 pennants in 11 years between 1876 and 1886, and the Braves (then known as the Boston Red Caps or Boston Beaneaters) won 8 pennants in 23 years between 1876 and 1898. Of the other 8 original NL teams, the Phillies and (then-NY) Giants appear from’s records to have joined the NL in 1883, although I’ve generally seen the Giants listed as the successors to the Troy (!)franchise that entered the league in 1879 and the Phillies as the successor to the Worcester (!!) franchise that entered the league in 1880. The other four “original” NL franchises all came over from the rival American Association, founded in 1882; the Pirates jumped leagues in 1887, the Reds and Dodgers in 1890, the Cardinals in 1892 when the AA folded. Although the original 1876 league did have franchises in St. Louis (left the league after 1877), New York and Philadelphia (left the league after 1876), and Cincinnati (left the league after 1880), and there may have been some continuity with those original franchises. But the Cubs and Braves are the only teams that have been there the whole time.

11 thoughts on “Franchise Quiz”

  1. Right. Looking it up isn’t fair. The Reds of course, the other must either be the Pirates, or the Cubs, which were then the Colts. Or about then anyway. Do name changes count?

  2. I think it might be a trick question.
    Weren’t the Dodgers the same team under a different name back then?

  3. …And the Phillies still have only one world series (1980) under their belt. Many other cities (Boston, Chicago, now Houston) get a ton of press over being “cursed”, but the Phillies are almost always bad. I believe they recently were the first franchise to lose 10,000 games (this includes Worcester). I think ESPN should do a sportscentury on the worst owners/mamagement teams of all time. Does ayone have any nominations?

  4. The Giants organization began in 1883 as the New York Gothams. A few years later they changed their name to the Giants. They weren’t around in 1876.
    As an aside, the Giants became the first american pro sports organization to reach 10,000 wins this year(not that the 2005 Giants were worthy of celebrating such a lofty feat)….Take that Dodger fans!

  5. Oh, yeah….
    I believe the answer is the Cubs and Braves.
    The Cubs were known as the White Stockings and the Braves were known as the Red Stockings…very confusing being that the two subsequent american league teams in those cities(Chicago and Boston) had the same sock-colored names.
    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty certain that the Braves organization was constantly in the NL(once called the Beaneaters, I believe…great name)…I’m not so sure about the Cubs.

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