baseball scout Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In as of late with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out things that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

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

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre 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 video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much 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 extra data available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree across 4 continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his 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 page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply need a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They're also my favorite crew in MLB history. (I am keen on 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’ house owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of many only indications of one thing strange comes on the top of the web page, when B-Ref provides an option 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 info itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of data. As an example, each staff page features a fast visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

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

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as exact as it's at the moment. Six gamers 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 gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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