baseball field tarp Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In as of late without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find issues 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 among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've got the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and improbable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual video 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 one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The positioning has more data available than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree throughout four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, we obtained weird—and in so doing, found 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.” 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 web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he may absolutely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, other than his winning persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .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 right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favorite crew in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the beginning, a treasure trove of information. For instance, each workforce page includes a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, red 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 crimson.

Each page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching employees as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or better.

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 “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at 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 name and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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