Major League Baseball: Oldest Current Team Names

Philadelphia Phillies Uniform History

The "Philadelphia Phillies" is the Oldest MLB Franchise Name in Continuous Use - 1890 (

Cincinnati Reds?  Nope.

Here’s a list of the oldest current baseball team names in continuous use.

The “Cincinnati Reds” was the franchise name from 1890 – 1953, but due to anti-Communist sentiment  in the heyday of the 1950’s (1954 – 1959) the team was called the “Cincinnati Redlegs.”

That gives the title of Oldest Current Team Name to the Philadelphia Phillies, who have been called that since 1890 without interruption.

Tomorrow, Sports List of the Day will look at the historical name changes of all 30 current baseball team names.

Philadelphia Phillies 1890
Pittsburgh Pirates 1891
St. Louis Cardinals 1900
Chicago White Sox 1901
Detroit Tigers 1901
Chicago Cubs 1903
Boston Red Sox 1908
New York Yankees 1913
Cleveland Indians 1915
Baltimore Orioles 1954
Los Angeles Dodgers 1958
San Francisco Giants 1958
Cincinnati Reds 1960
Minnesota Twins 1961
New York Mets 1962
Houston Astros 1964
Atlanta Braves 1966
Oakland Athletics 1968
Kansas City Royals 1969
San Diego Padres 1969
Milwaukee Brewers 1970
Texas Rangers 1972
Seattle Mariners 1977
Toronto Blue Jays 1977
Colorado Rockies 1993
Florida Marlins 1993
Arizona Diamondbacks 1998
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2005
Washington Nationals 2005
Tampa Bay Rays 2008

Posted on July 8, 2011, in MLB Baseball and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The Detroit Tigers have been in existence since 1894. They joined the American League in 1901. Your dates are wrong.
    Also, Pittsburgh didn’t officially become the Pirates until 1911. They were the “Alleghenys” before that.

    • Well, yes and no. It is true that the Detroit Tigers have been around since 1894. They were a part of the Western League up until 1901, when that League became the American League and joined the National League to form Major League Baseball. So this list goes back to AL teams from 1901 (and NL teams from 1876).

      The Pittsburgh Alleghenys played from 1882-1886 in the American Association before joining the NL in 1887. They changed their name to the Pirates in 1891:

      Thanks for the comment. Based on it, I will write up a new post this week on the origin dates of franchises, regardless of league. That will really take us back. Keep an eye out for it.

      Also, you can check this post on baseball’s history of team name changes (but this too goes back to the NL and AL foundation years of 1876 and 1901, respectively).

      It helps to have reader opinion. I do my best to be 100%, and think I mostly am, but if anyone notices anything off-kilter in any post, let me know and I’ll fix it. It’s a big help. Thanks!

  2. Hi! I’m Rick Worth, the author of BASEBALL TEAM NAMES. I wrote this book, dear reader so that you could have some fun! Did you know that baseball team nicknames go back to the 1850’s with sich monikers as Atlantics, Eckfords, Knickerbockers and Athletics? BASEBALL TEAM NAMES, starting with the professional era, covers every baseball team nickname, official and unofficial, in every city and town, in every league, for every season, in every country from 1869 to date. Thank you for your interest in BASEBALL TEAM NAMES.

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