DECEMBER 5, 1996 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK • It became official on this date in 1996. For the first time in the 125-year history of major league baseball, the Cubs will play the White Sox, the Yankees will play the Mets, the Dodgers will play the Angels in regular season games. Eventually all National League teams would play all American League counterparts. Welcome to interleague play.
Interleague play was part of an agreement players unanimously approved to end four years of nasty labor unrest between players and owners that prompted a strike and cost the devotion of millions of fans.
Interleague play started with the 1997 season. Before then the only time a National League team played an American League team was in the World Series.
Some fans feel it should still be that way. But it can’t be denied many teams have seen a boost in attendance. Welcome to interleague play.
Associated Press (AP) December 6, 1996