With the 97th rendition of La Liga Mexicana de Béisbol looming, we’d like to pay homage to the rich history of Mexico’s most tenured professional sports league.

While some historians trace the origin of Mexican baseball to the Mexican-American War (1846-48), others trace its roots to the 1880s with the formation of the Mexican Central Railway, which dispersed the game throughout Mexico. Though, what can be agreed on is the arrival of the Mexican Baseball League, founded in 1925.

The 1925 Mexican Baseball League consisted of six franchises, with the first game played on June 28, 1925, at the Parque Franco Inglés in Mexico City, where the Equipo México defeated Nacional de Agraria 7-5 in a 14-inning game. The inaugural champion of the LMB was the 74 Regimiento de San Luis, defeating the Equipo México 3-1 in the league championship series.

Interestingly enough, the six franchises that constituted the Mexican Baseball League in 1925 are no longer active. In fact, since the LMB was founded, there have been 90 franchises that have appeared and departed the league.

The LMB expanded to eight franchises in the 1960s, 10 teams in the early 1970s, and by 1979, the league consisted of 20 clubs. Due to economic instability, the LMB was downsized to 14 clubs before increasing again, as 18 current clubs head into the 2022 LMB season to contend for the Serie del Rey.

Speaking of the Serie del Rey, which is the annual championship series of the Mexican Baseball League, it wasn’t officially appointed until the 1970 season. The inaugural Serie del Rey was won by El Águila de Veracruz over the Diablos Rojos del Mexico, the most established club in LMB history.

Since the 1970s, teams in the Mexican Baseball League have been divided into divisions based on their geographic regions to encourage the methodology of the LMB playoffs and streamline travel costs. The 2022 LMB season features two divisions, known as the North and South Zone. However, the league formed an additional zone in 1996, known as the Central Zone, which vanished after the 2001 LMB season.

Clubs in the Mexican Baseball League have played as many as 120 games, though the 2022 LMB season will feature a 90-game schedule, after which 12 teams will compete in the LMB Playoffs across four rounds to declare the 2022 Serie del Ray champion.

With just one week until the 97th season of the Mexican Baseball League, Mexico’s finest baseball players across 18 clubs are set to contest for the exclusive Serie del Rey.

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