baseball arcade game Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find things 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 a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the 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 shopping 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 treat, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely 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 out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage throughout 4 continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the bottom of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, 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 rest his soul, however he might absolutely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, apart from his successful character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply need a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They're also my favorite staff 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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows 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 gamers—together with Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes on the top of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of data. As an example, every team page features a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, purple means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 pink.

Each web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple 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 a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is at present. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight 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 identify and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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