angels baseball jersey Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In these days without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder 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 might have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of precise 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 extra data out there than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we got bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he may completely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, other than his profitable personality, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They are also my favorite team in MLB history. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, every team web page includes a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced 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 crimson.

Each web 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 report, and that the pitching workers as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it is right this moment. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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