baseball players who died in 2021 Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In lately without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you might have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook 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 weird stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of these 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 becomes counterintuitively even more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has more data out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in skill level throughout 4 continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received bizarre—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.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the bottom of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he could completely rake. If something about Hornsby, apart from his winning character, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically 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 are additionally my favourite team 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 shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of many only indications of one thing strange comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice 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 one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, every staff web page features a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, crimson 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 red.

Each page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 document, 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 better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it is as we speak. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. They usually 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 fun title and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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