What many do not know is how close the radical realignment came to being a reality. The thought behind this realignment was to keep all teams geographically aligned and in the same division. The six divisions would be trimmed back to four and several teams would have to switch leagues. The original 8 National League teams would be split up, 4 in the NL and 4 switching to the AL. The Mets and Yankees would be in the same division, so would the Cubs and White Sox, the Rays and Marlins and the Cardinals and Royals. It would be a completely new MLB with the old game, as we knew it, demolished. The American League would still have 14 teams, as would end up happening anyways while the NL would have 16 teams. Instead, the AL would have two 7 team divisions and the NL would have two 8 team divisions.
The new AL East would still have the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. They would be joined by the Montreal Expos. New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. The AL Midwest would contain the holdover Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians and the newly former Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They would be joined by the NL's Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates. The newly formed NL Central would feature the NL's Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and St Louis Cardinals and be combined with the AL's Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers. Finally, the NL West would have the NL's Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants and the AL's Anaheim Angels, Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. The newly formed Arizona Diamondbacks would join the division as well.
Overall, only 13 of the 28 incumbent teams would remain in their respective leagues. Like many other baseball purists, a move like this would be devastating to the league as a whole. So many traditions would be broken and interleague play would have lost its luster more than it has now. I'm glad the sport as a whole came to its senses before it destroyed something that had remained a constant for over 100 years. But it is still scary to look back and remember how close this came to happening.