Shea Stadium, c. 1964
Museum of the City of New York
The New York Mets grew out of a movement begun in 1959 by New York attorney William Shea and veteran baseball executive Branch Rickey. Shea and Rickey sought to create a new major league, the Continental League, which would bring a second team to New York to join the Yankees. The plan ended with a compromise: two new teams would be admitted to the American League in 1961 and two to the National League in 1962, expanding each league from eight to ten (subsequent expansions would bring Major League Baseball up to its current 30 clubs).