In my opinion, stating that baseball remains America’s Pastime in 2023 is a tough argument to make, as it often is the third-most popular sport in the United States. However, it is very obvious that baseball has been and always will be statistics-driven: baseball-reference.com has data all the way back to the 1876 National League season. Two franchises from that season still exist — the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves — but interestingly, both used a name subsequently used by their later-arriving American League brethren.

And the data available continues to grow: Retrosheet researchers continue to search for box scores and play-by-plays for older seasons, their latest release including box scores and play-by-play for the 1919 and 1920 seasons. Occasionally this research changes individuals’ stats. The data is available for download if interested.

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