baseball on now Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find things that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you may have the participant 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 joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has extra info accessible than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage across 4 continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he may absolutely rake. If anything about Hornsby, aside from his winning character, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply need a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They're also my favourite workforce in MLB history. (I adore 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 page reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of many only indications of one thing unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but 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, at the beginning, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, each team web page features a quick visual representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink 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.

Every page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching workers as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function 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's as we speak. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And so they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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