baseball air force 1 Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In as of late without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find issues that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

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've the player 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 searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those 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 turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has extra information accessible than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout 4 continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, we bought bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in daring. 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 categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the bottom of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he may completely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, apart from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting average, .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 proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 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 just desire a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They are also 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 page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of many solely indications of something unusual comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers 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 something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. For instance, each staff page includes a fast visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, purple 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 red.

Every page is stuffed 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 document, and that the pitching staff as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is in the present day. Six players have a “?” subsequent 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 group, too, with a fun title and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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