baseball music Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player 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 issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but 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 one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The site has extra data out there than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary actual 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 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 participant’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating at the backside of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he might completely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, other than his successful character, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love 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 workforce 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 vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the web page. One of the only indications of something strange comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. 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, initially, a treasure trove of data. For example, each group page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, pink means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 crimson.

Every web page is stuffed 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 document, and that the pitching workers as a complete finished 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 nearly as exact as it's at present. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain 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 staff, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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