baseball cross tattoo Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you might have the participant web 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. Much of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 present pages.

The positioning has more info accessible than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree across 4 continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to celebrate the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of 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 daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he might completely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just want a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They are also my favorite team in MLB historical past. (I am keen on them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, every team page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, red 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 crimson.

Each 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 file, and that the pitching staff as an entire completed 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's at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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