baseball bean bag chair Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you could have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has extra info available than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level across 4 continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we got bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant 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 each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s score on the backside of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, aside from his winning character, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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, sometimes you just want a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favorite staff in MLB historical past. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, before everything, a treasure trove of information. As an example, every workforce page includes a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching workers as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player 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's right now. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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