auburn tigers baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In as of late without MLB, our staff 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 surprise of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you may have the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally 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 existing pages.

The positioning has more information out there than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout four continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the 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 daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he could absolutely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, apart from his winning persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply want a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of many solely indications of one thing strange comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref provides 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 something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. As an example, every crew page includes a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, crimson 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.

Every page is crammed 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 report, and that the pitching staff as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it's at the moment. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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