baseball party favors Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In these days with out MLB, our staff 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 great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you will have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling 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. Much of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and implausible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, 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 only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The site has extra information available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage throughout 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found 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 category, the number on his web 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 emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating at the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal 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 understand anything about Hornsby, apart from his profitable personality, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favourite team in MLB history. (I am keen on 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 gamers—including Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, each workforce web page includes a quick visual 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. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching workers as a complete 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 practically as exact as it's right now. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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