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

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you may 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 joy is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has extra information obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree throughout four continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the bottom of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he may completely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, aside from his winning persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the highest 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 share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just need a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They're also my favorite group in MLB historical past. (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 web page reveals why.

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

The other indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of information. For instance, every workforce web page features a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, red means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Every page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching workers as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it's at the 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 players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun title and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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