baseball cap drawing Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In as of late with out MLB, our employees 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 nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you may have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but 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 positioning has extra data out there than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we received weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when 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 web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s score on the backside of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he could completely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful persona, it’s that his career 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 average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply want a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are also my favorite team in MLB history. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ house owners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many solely indications of one thing strange comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, before everything, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each crew web page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson 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 red.

Every web page is stuffed 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 record, and that the pitching employees as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature 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 precise as it's right now. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on 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 team, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious player picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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