1991 upper deck michael jordan baseball card Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In these days with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've got the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. 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 these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has more data obtainable than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout 4 continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

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

When most statheads speak about players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he could completely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, aside from his winning character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply want a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They are also my favorite crew in MLB history. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits 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—including Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the top of the page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of data. For instance, each workforce page includes a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, red means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

Every page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching workers as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function 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's right now. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at the plate. And they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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