arkansas pine bluff baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In nowadays without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you have got the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house 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 improbable 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 originally slated for Thursday—it becomes 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 site has extra info available than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level throughout 4 continents; for each 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, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we got weird—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 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 player’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score on the backside of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he might absolutely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, other than his winning personality, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just want a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favorite crew in MLB history. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, each team web page includes a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, red means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching staff as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is at this time. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight 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 fun identify and a hilarious player picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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