baseball stuff for kids Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In these days without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out issues 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 a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you've the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and incredible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The site has extra info out there than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in skill level throughout 4 continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first actual 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 category, the number on his page is displayed in daring. 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 player’s rating 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 plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he could completely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, aside from his winning persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They are also my favourite team in MLB history. (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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of many solely indications of something strange comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers 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 other indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. As an example, each crew web page includes a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, red 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 crimson.

Each page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching employees as a whole 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's as we speak. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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