baseball word search Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In lately with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

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

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook 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 bizarre stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was initially 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 current pages.

The positioning has extra info accessible than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we got bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a player 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 sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, 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 could absolutely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. 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 really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply need a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favourite team in MLB historical past. (I like 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 web page shows 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 other 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 the only indications of something strange comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. As an example, each group web page features a quick visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green 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 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching staff as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature 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's at this time. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a fun title and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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