The Modern Era, 1980-Present
The Modern Era spotlighted some remarkable playing achievements, including power pitching, the breaking of a number of historic records, including Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak, and featured The Boston Red Sox’s world championship season of 2004, which finally broke an 86-year drought. Baseball introduced inter-league play in the 1990s, and added five new franchises. Realignment followed soon after, with the creation of three divisions in each league and the introduction of a new playoff system where a wild-card team would earn a post-season berth. Unfortunately, the era has also been marred by the steroid scandal. But Despite the less appealing aspects of the Modern Era the game continues to produce players who are bigger, stronger, faster and better conditioned than ever before, and the game is thriving.