baseball utility player Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you may have the participant 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 history. Much of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual 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 one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has more data accessible than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. 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 waiting for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web 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 participant’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However 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 know something about Hornsby, aside from his successful personality, 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 average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They're also my favourite group 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 reveals why.

The backstory right 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 different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of the only indications of something strange comes at the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, every group page includes a quick visible representation 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. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 crimson.

Each page is stuffed 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 file, and that the pitching employees as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it's today. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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