baseball training facility Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In nowadays with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've got the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 existing pages.

The site has more data obtainable than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player 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 each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he might completely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning personality, it’s that his career 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 National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just need a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They're additionally my favourite group in MLB historical past. (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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. 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, firstly, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each team web page features a quick visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Every web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching employees as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant 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 is right now. Six players 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 gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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