baseball equipment companies Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In today with out MLB, our employees 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 surprise of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've gotten the participant web 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 history. Much of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun 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 actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even 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 information available than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage throughout four continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received 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.

One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his 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 page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a number of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If something about Hornsby, aside from his winning persona, it’s that his career batting common, .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 percentage (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 love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just need a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favourite crew 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many solely indications of something unusual comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of knowledge. For instance, each team web page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, purple 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 crammed 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 report, and that the pitching employees as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it's today. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight 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 title and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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