baseball player salary Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In nowadays without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of these 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 becomes counterintuitively much more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has more info available than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree throughout 4 continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating 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 gamers with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest 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 completely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, aside from his successful persona, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the very 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 percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply need a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favourite staff in MLB history. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits 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 players—including Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of one thing strange comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of information. For instance, each group web page includes a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each web page is filled 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 report, and that the pitching staff as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it's at this time. Six gamers have a “?” next 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 workforce, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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