Major League Baseball, like so many other professional sports, is not free of the unequal distribution of wealth, talent and other factors that allow for a continued David and Goliath scenario between the teams. The competitive balance between teams is a major factor in determining which teams will make it to the World Series and which will not. This problem of balance has grown ever larger as Major League Baseball has grown. As more money for teams, higher salaries for players, longer seasons with many more games played, free agency, farm league training, and other aspects of the game developed, the issue of competitive balance has become more pronounced. It deserves attention when discussing past and future World Series champions and the current reigning teams of Major League Baseball.
This history covers competitive balance in Major League Baseball from 1900 through 1999. It is organized into four parts: statistics, dynasties, anti-dynasties, and factors of imbalance. The last part pays special attention to three primary factors: Cinderella status, player development, and economics. Several possible solutions to these problematic factors are analyzed and critiqued.