banana baseball team Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In today without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find things that remind them of what makes the game 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 could have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and improbable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The positioning has extra info out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage across 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained 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 distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical category, 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 web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss 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 a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he might completely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. 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 love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just need a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

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

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of something strange comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, every group page features a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy 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 an entire 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 nearly as precise as it is as we speak. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain 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 fun identify and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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