Mark WIlson:

Reading from left to right, you watch as six teams create the National Association of Baseball. Things seem tranquil enough, but that quickly explodes to more than 50 teams, split across various leagues, schismed by profits and politics. The run lasted about 15 years, but over that time, attendance waned, some leagues bit it, and eventually baseball shrunk back from the over-expansion in 1900. Soon thereafter, the National Association teamed up with the American League to form the two-party scaffolding of the MLB as we know it today.

A big bang followed by a massive collapse — interesting infographic.