1992 baseball cards worth money Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In these days without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've got the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of many 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 incredible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has more info out there than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level throughout four continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere 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 simply ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s rating on the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the current 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 relaxation his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just need a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They are also my favourite team in MLB history. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of one thing strange comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of data. As an example, each group page includes a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 crimson.

Each page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching employees as a complete 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 today. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at 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 team, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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