baseball apparel companies Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In these days without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you will have the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes 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 current pages.

The positioning has more information obtainable than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level throughout four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we acquired weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One 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 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 page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his web page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he could completely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, other than his successful character, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

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+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply need a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They're additionally my favourite workforce 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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes at the high of the page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, each team web page features a fast visible representation 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 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

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

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it is at present. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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