Although there is some controversy about which team is the oldest in Major League Baseball, the Atlanta Braves are widely regarded as America's oldest continuously operational baseball franchise. The team was founded on February 6, 1871, by William Bartholomew and Thomas Morrissey as the Augusta Browns in Augusta, Georgia.
The team originally played in Augusta for one season before moving to New York City where they played from 1872 to 1875. The team then returned to Augusta where it has remained ever since.
During its time in New York City, the team was known as the Gothamites, Brooklyn Atlantics, and Brooklyn Grooms. It wasn't until 1877 that the team officially changed its name to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Today, the franchise is called the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Boston Red Stockings were the first professional baseball team when they began play in 1871. However, due to financial difficulties, they ceased operations after only one season. The original Chicago White Stockings also folded after one season because of financial problems. These events left the Atlanta Braves as the only operating league franchise before the formation of the National Association in 1871.
The Chicago Cubs are another team that claims to be the oldest in the MLB, but their claims are frequently challenged. Although the Cubs were founded in 1871 with the founding of the Chicago White Stockings, the team did not play for the next two years due to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. When they finally returned to the field in 1873, they played only 14 games before suspending operations for the rest of the season due to financial difficulties. The following year, the team was renamed the Chicago White Sox and have remained so ever since.
In 1916, the original Cubs came back from last place to win the World Series over Detroit. Since then, the team has been successful, with or without Robinson Crusoe, Jr. They have won the NL Central seven times and the NL Championship four times. They have also made the World Series five times, winning once. Their all-time leader in wins leads the league in almost every category except losses. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame named William "Big Bill" Evans.
Evans was born on February 21st, 1874 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He grew up watching the Cubs play ball, and at the age of 19, he joined the team as its third baseman. Under his leadership, the team had a record of 544-402 until 1919 when it fell off to 431-401. In 1920, he moved to first base where he has stayed since.
The Cubs are the oldest club to have played in the same city continuously since the National League was created, and the only MLB team to have never moved locations from 1871 to the present. The Cubs have won three World Series since 1876, making them Chicago's most successful sports club.
The Bears were established in 1890 as the Chicago Maroons by former Cubs owner Charles Hoyt who wanted to get out of the baseball business because of financial problems. However, the Maroons played only one season before being bought out by Hoyt's partner William Hulbert who then changed the name to the Chicago Colts. In 1895, the Colts became the first American football team to win the National Championship when they defeated the Cumberland Giants 16-0 at Chicago's West Side Park. The championship was not recognized by any other organization at that time so it can be considered the first NFL Championship. In 1902, Hulbert sold the team to Albert Spalding who renamed them the White Stockings. Spalding also owned the Chicago Baskets of the early NBA and he used that team as his playground for many future All-Stars such as Walter "Flukey" McBride and Pete Newell. In 1963, after years of trying, the City of Chicago finally got another major league team when the White Sox joined the American League.