19+ 1952 Topps Baseball Cards
1952 topps baseball cards Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In as of late with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.
Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you might have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?
One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.
The site has more info out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout four continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.
One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score at the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.
When most statheads talk about players with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he might completely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.
That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.
The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favourite group in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page reveals why.
The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes on the top of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.
The other indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each staff web page includes a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, purple means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.
Each page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching employees as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.
The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's at present. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at the plate. They usually spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.