anaheim baseball team Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In these days 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 sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird 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 precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has extra data obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage throughout 4 continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant 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 both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on the backside of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite 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 already know something about Hornsby, aside from his profitable character, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favorite staff 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 web page shows why.

The backstory right here is that before 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 instantly apparent on the web page. One of many only indications of something strange comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, each staff page features a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green 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 green bars and 134 purple.

Every web page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching staff as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's right now. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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