Players’ League of Professional Base Ball Clubs


The Players’ League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (PL) was a professional baseball league that operated in the late 19th century. It was founded as a competitor to the National League (NL) and the American Association (AA) and was the second attempt to establish a third major league.  It emerged as a response to the dissatisfaction of several star players with the NL’s salary structure and business practices. The PL aimed to provide better financial opportunities and greater control for the athletes, being formed by the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players in November 1889, after a dispute over pay with the NL and AA

Despite its noble goals, the Players’ League operated for one season in 1890. During its brief existence, the PL challenged the dominance of the NL and AA, attracting a significant following and even winning over some spectators from the established leagues. However, despite initial success, financial difficulties and fierce competition eventually led to the downfall of the PL. By 1891, the league disbanded, and most of its teams folded or merged with the National League, marking the end of a fascinating but ultimately short-lived chapter in baseball history.

FanSeeStats classifies the Players’ League as a Rival League as it was a Big Sports leagues that competed against the Major Sports Leagues and eventually folded or became absorbed into the Big Leagues.


Rival League

Seasons Summary

YearChampion# of Teams
1890Boston Reds8
Players’ League of Professional Base Ball Clubs Seasons Summary

League Championship Summary

# of seasons: 1

List of teams who won championships sorted by number of championships.

Team# of League Championships
Boston Reds1 (1890)
Players’ League of Professional Base Ball Clubs Championship Summary

League Dissolution & League Legacy

The¬†Players’ League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (PL)¬†folded after one season. Two of its teams jumped to the American Association (AA) to play in that league’s final season. The Boston Reds and Philadelphia Athletics, did not survive the folding of the AA. The PL thus leaves no existing legacy but can be appreciated for its ambition to improve professional Baseball for the players.

Future Features

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