The Republican Baseball League (known as the Colonial Baseball League prior to 2173 was formed in 2128 as a way to facilitate a "Colonial Series" between the independent Galileo and Athena baseball leagues. Since that time, it has grown to become the official organizing and rules organization of all professional baseball played within the Republican Star Cluster. The majority of the worlds within the Republic have at least one team and play in one of the five leagues.
The current leagues within Republican Baseball are:
- The Capitol League
- The Independent League
- The Japanese League
- The Cross Republic League
- The Fenghuang League.
Each league is made up of a different number of divisions that play each other for the league penant. The leagues with the four best win records then engage in two best-of-seven playoff games to determine who goes to the Republican Series. The winner of the Series is considered the Republican Champions. Should two of the five league champions have a tie in their win records, a three-game playoff is played to determine who enters the Republican Series playoff games.
Republican baseball has had a series of expansions since it's founding in 2128.
The first occurred in 2132 when disperate Galileo and Athena leagues were combined to form the Galileo-Athena League and the New Nippon System joined with the Japanese League with teams on both Yamanashi and Kanagawa. On Galileo, four teams were added for New Chicago's entry into the sport.
In 2138 baseball expanded again with the addition of two teams from White Sand on Athena. The Athena Division was split into two new divisions, the Athena City Division and the Green Sea Division for the other Athenian teams.
Gangwon joined Republican Baseball in 2142 with the addition of four teams and the creation of the Gangwon Division within the Japanese League. Troy would join just four years later with another four teams in Rainer and Crescent City to form the Trojan Division within the Galileo-Athena League. Oceania would add another two teams to the Green Sea Division in 2149.
2152 would see a major reorganization within Republican Baseball. Planets were complaining that they were never seeing their teams have a shot at the Republican Series, especially within the Galileo-Athena League which now had five divisions. Additionally, it was impossible to see some teams ever play one another in the Series because they belonged to the same league. Also, with new planets wanting to join, it became clear that two leagues wouldn't suffice. So, in 2152, the two leagues were split into four.
The Troyer and non-Athena City Athenian teams were split from the Galileo-Athena League to form the Independent League. The Athenian teams kept with the Green Sea Division while the original Troyer teams became part of the Central Troy Division. Little Shasta and Kirkwood-by-the-Sea entered baseball with two teams each, forming the Mountain Division.
Because of independence, the Galileo-Athena League was renamed the Capitol League because of Galileo's new status as the Republican capitol. The Hwon-Normandy League also became the Cross Republic League. Also, a new league, the Fenghuang League was begun to accommodate interest from all three of the Fenghuang System's planets, with each forming a division within.
The last major expansion of Republican Baseball occurred in 2182 with the addition of the Interstellar Division of the Cross Republic League to accommodate teams from from New Normandy and the Hwon System worlds that could not be squeezed into the already over populated existing divisions.
With the last expansion, twelve of the Republic's fifteen worlds had at least one baseball team to support but most had at least two. There could be no doubt that baseball was the official sport of the Unified Republic of Stars.
Timeline of Events
For the most part, the rules of Republican Baseball follow closely to what they were in America's Major League Baseball in the 2120's. The difference in on the New Nipponese worlds where the rules follow that of Japan's professional baseball league. Since the Japanese League is its own entity, these rules continue to be followed except during the Republican Series.
Playoff games are played to the best-of-seven. Home advantage goes to the team with the best record where the entire series is then played to cut down on travel time.
The Republican Series itself, after 2140, is a first-to-seven game series with four games being played on the home planet of the team with the best record. Following that, four games are then played on the other team's planet, switching back if another four games are neeeded. Should the series go to thirteen games, a possibility in a series tied 6-6, the odd game is played on the first team's planet to cut down on travel times.
Since Republican Baseball is interplanetary baseball, travel is a major factor for scheduling. As such, the entire season is made up of four game series against opponents played entirely on one world or the other. Typically, since most divisions are made up of teams from the same planet, they will play teams of their division and teams from another division that traveled to that planet.
Thus, in Republican Baseball, there is the concept not just of "home games" but "home planet games". Home games are anything played at a team's own ballpark. Home planet games are anything played on the team's planet. Being "on the road" is usually applied only when a team is visiting another planet.
When a division goes on the road, it is usually to play all the teams in the hosting division, one after the other in four game series. The home division will usually play divisional games before or after the visiting division. Thus, a lucky schedule is one where the team stays put for both divisional and visiting division games while an unlucky schedule is one that requires a lot of travel, a week in space or more.
Needless to say, the schedule is a relatively complex task to carry out and occupies a the Commissioner's office the vast majority of the off season.
- ↑ At first, the arrangement of playing by the hometeam's rules were considered grossly unfair because the Colonial Series until 2135 was the best of four. This was improved somewhat when the series became best of seven. However, any unhappiness with the rule went away when the series was expanded to first-to-seven in 2140.