After a tumultuous five-year existence, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA) folded following the 1875 season. The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (NL) was formed in Chicago, Illinois by businessman, and owner of the Chicago White Stockings (now known as, the Chicago Cubs), William Hulbert, for the purpose of replacing the NA, which he believed to have been corrupt, mismanaged, full of rowdy, drunken ballplayers, and under the influence of the gambling community. One of the new rules put into place by the new league was that all teams had to be located in cities that had a population of 75,000 or more. The initial NL season began with eight teams, and they were asked to play seventy games between April 22 and October 21. The NL is considered to be the first "major league", although it has been argued that the NA can make that claim.
National League: Chicago White Stockings
Champions of the West: St. Louis Brown Stockings (Unofficial postseason)
1876 in baseball Wikipedia
Four premier semi-professional teams were in play in 1876. They were the Binghamton Crickets, the Columbus Buckeyes, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys and the Syracuse Stars. In competition against NL clubs these 4 semi-pro teams played 32 games – winning 16, losing 14 and tying 2 contests. Of the 60 players on these 4 semi-pro teams no fewer than 50 of them wound up playing in the National League over the next 5 seasons.Chicago White Stockings signed Cap Anson as a free agent.
Hartford Dark Blues signed Candy Cummings as a free agent.
Boston Red Caps signed George Wright as a free agent.
August 10, 1876 – The New York Mutuals loaned Nealy Phelps to the Philadelphia Athletics. Phelps returned to the Mutuals on the same day.