baseball team gear Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late without MLB, our staff 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 surprise of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you might have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook 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 those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was initially 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 current pages.

The positioning has more information accessible than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in skill level across 4 continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we got weird—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.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, 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 participant’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on 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 number of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, 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, but he might absolutely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the very best 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 National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. 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 desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are additionally my favourite crew in MLB historical past. (I adore 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 web 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 players—including Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of many solely indications of something strange comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each crew web page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, red 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 pink.

Each page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching workers as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant 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 is right now. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And so they 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 name and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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