baseball dad shirts Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In as of late without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out things that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you have got the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house 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 looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird 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 becomes counterintuitively even 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 site has more information out there than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage across four continents; for every potential 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, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, we got bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever 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 each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest 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 could absolutely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They are also my favorite crew 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference web 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—including Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of many solely indications of something unusual comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

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

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

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is at present. 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 players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun title and a hilarious player photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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