baseball player haircuts Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In nowadays with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel 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've the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The site has extra data accessible than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree across four continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, we received weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most 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 Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a number 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 relaxation his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, apart from his successful character, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just need a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They're also my favorite crew in MLB history. (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 page reveals why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of many solely indications of one thing strange comes at the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each crew web page includes a fast visual representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, purple means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Each web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching employees as a complete completed 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 practically as precise as it is at this time. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at 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 staff, too, with a fun title and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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