andrew miller baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In today with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you've got the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun 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 games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has extra data available than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across 4 continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we got bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial 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 web page is displayed in bold. 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 certain classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the 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 share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply need a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are also my favorite team 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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference page reveals why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice 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 information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of information. For instance, each team web page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, red means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 pink.

Each page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching employees as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it's at this time. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And so they 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 enjoyable title and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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