1962 topps baseball cards Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In as of late without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find 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 a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you will have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has extra info obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout four continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating at the bottom of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with a number of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he may absolutely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, aside from his successful character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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 year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 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 want a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They are also my favourite workforce in MLB historical past. (I like 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 shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of the only indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, every workforce web page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, pink 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 purple.

Every web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching employees as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun title and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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