baseball playoff scores Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In nowadays with out 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 game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've gotten the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home 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 looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic 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 initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has more information out there than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we received weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’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 a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he may completely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times combined, 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 want a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They are also my favorite workforce in MLB historical past. (I am keen on 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 web page reveals why.

The backstory right 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 other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of many solely indications of something strange comes at the prime of the page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. 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, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each group page features a quick visual representation 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. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 red.

Each page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching employees as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's immediately. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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