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Exhibition Baseball Americana

John Lipman, composer. Western League March. Indianapolis: William B. Burford, 1896. Music Division, Library of Congress (010.01.00)

From Minor to Major

Amateur composer John Lipman, a German immigrant, dedicated his rousing Western League March in D and G major to the eight-team minor league circuit centered in the upper Midwest. Under former Cincinnati sports editor Ban Johnson and St. Paul club owner Charles Comiskey, pictured at the top right, the erratic Western League (1885–1899) was reorganized and renamed the American League. The new outfit soon declared itself a major league and quickly became a powerful rival to the well-established National League (1876).