A New Century Dawns
The beginning of the twentieth century marked a resurgence of professional baseball after the turbulence of the 1890s. The ascent of the American League to major league status reestablished baseball as a two-league game, as it was in the glory years of the 1880s. Another reminder of the 1880s, a postseason championship series, was reborn as the World Series. With the newfound stability of the majors, other levels of baseball also flourished. The number of minor leagues expanded annually, and semipro and college ball were more popular than ever. Baseball also expanded internationally. Japan, for example, sent its top clubs to the United States to gain experience— and occasionally taught their hosts something about the sport. The new century also saw professional leagues formed by African Americans, who had been effectively exiled from the national pastime. The future of the game seemed limitless.
SOURCE: Buffalo Courier, January 30, 1901
After transforming the Western League into the American League and enjoying a successful 1900 season, AL President Ban Johnson planned to further upgrade the AL to equal status with the National League. A key component in his strategy was to move franchises currently in midsize cities to larger cities; four AL cities—Kansas City, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Buffalo—were stripped of league membership at a meeting in Chicago on January 28, 1901. While this move may seem logical to modern baseball fans, it enraged supporters of the affected clubs. The writer of the article below angrily and sarcastically describes the circumstances under which Buffalo was demoted.