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A numbers revolution

From the first box score in 1845 to the creation of RBI and "Strat-O-Matic," no sports loves numbers like baseball.

Originally Published: July 8, 2004
By Alan Schwarz | Special to ESPN.com

So you think the timeline of baseball's obsession with statistics begins in the 1980s, with computers and Bill James? Think again.

Baseball and its numbers fix have existed for more than 150 years -- from the primordial ooze from which statistics developed in the 1860s, to the earliest sabermetricians from 1910-1930, to post-war military scientists writing scholarly articles on them. Assembling a full history of this fascination would take an entire book. As it turns out I did just write ...

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