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Baseball Flags (U.S.)

Major League Baseball, MLB

Last modified: 2020-12-26 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | baseball |
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MLB flag     MLB flag
images from Pete Loeser, 25 January 2019

See also:

Introduction: Major League Baseball

The oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada is that of baseball. Today it is organized under the direction of the "Major League Baseball" organization, or MLB. It is divided into two "leagues". A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league divided into three conferences. The NL is the oldest, started in 1876, and AL was started in 1901. The first professional team, or franchise, was started in Cincinnati in 1869. Before that time there were some unorganized teams and local leagues, with some players paid under the table, some not, but certainly nothing official or professional. During this time there were no contracts and players often jumped from one team or league to another.
Pete Loeser, 25 January 2019

MLB Teams Arranged by Divisions and Cities
AL East Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays Toronto Blue Jays
AL Central Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins
AL West Houston Astros Los Angeles Angels Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers
NL East Atlanta Braves Miami Marlins New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies Washington Nationals
NL Central Chicago Cubs Cincinnati Reds Milwaukee Brewers Pittsburgh Pirates St. Louis Cardinals
NL West Arizona Diamondbacks Colorado Rockies Los Angeles Dodgers San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants

MLB Teams in Alphabetical Order by Mascots/Team Names
Blue Jays
Red Sox
White Sox

Baseball pennants

The upper echelon of professional baseball in the United States is currently organised in two leagues, with each of these consisting of three divisions, with each of these consisting of five teams. A team winning the title of their league, thereby gains the right to oppose the champion of the other league. Besting the champion of that other league doesn't gain anything flag-wise, but each of the two league champions get(s) the pennant of their league.

So, every year the championship of the league is at stake, in the form of a pennant. Originally this appears to have been an actual pennant, but nowadays the wording allows for it actually being a flag. Either way, it appears to still exists in the cloth, but as there are only some 200 of those, they do not feature very prominently in the media. So:

  • Does a league create a pennant each year, to be awarded to the eventual winner? (The pennants might differ in years only for a long time before the design is changed.)
  • Do they make the same only afterwards, which additionally allows for adding the name of the winning team?
  • Does the team merely win the right to making such a pennant/flag themselves, which on the other hand makes it possible to customise it for the team colours?

What happens to these pennants? Depending on the sport, one might imagine:

  • The pennant is on loan to the winners, and is returned to the league one year later.
  • The pennant is given to the team (more likely if it has a date), but can only be displayed prominently for that one season.
  • Similar, but may be displayed until the team wins a newer title.
  • Similar, but any number of pennants may be on display simultaneously chronicling all the team's league championships ever.
  • Similar, but any number of years will be displayed on the same pennant, with the most recent pennant chronicling all the team's league championships ever.

Obviously, there may be a fixed size for these pennants, and even if totally regulated, the separate leagues may still have different designs. (And do the winners of the divisions get anything for coming out on top?)
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 12 September 2020

There may have been an actual pennant in the early days of the sport, but now the term "pennant" is figurative. Teams receive trophies for winning divisions, leagues and the overall World Series.

The teams fly actual flags on their stadiums. The types and sizes vary. A team with only one World Series might showcase their flag differently than a team with 20+ Championships. There could be one flag or dozens.

We supply the flags for the Orioles stadium. There are only flags for the highest level achieved and no flags for division titles. There are 3 World Series and 3 American League Champions flags in the set. The sets are made in multiple sizes.
Rick Wyatt, 12 September 2020