baseball fathers day gifts Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In nowadays with out 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 sport so great.

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

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally 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 current pages.

The site has extra info available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree throughout 4 continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant 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 both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he might completely rake. If you recognize something about Hornsby, apart from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just want a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favorite crew in MLB historical past. (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 shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of data. As an example, each group web page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, red means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Every 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 participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's as we speak. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And 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 player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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