baseball bat cross necklace Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In as of late without MLB, our staff 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 marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you have 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 historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of precise 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 only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has more info out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in skill level throughout four continents; for each possible 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 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, we acquired weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first real 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 class, the quantity on his web 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 page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s rating at the backside of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he may completely rake. If you know something about Hornsby, aside from his winning persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just want a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They are additionally my favourite team in MLB history. (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 reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of something strange comes on the top of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of information. As an example, each workforce web page includes a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, red 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.

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

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it's as we speak. 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 gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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