baskin robbins baseball nut Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In nowadays without 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 sport so nice.

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

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and improbable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The site has extra data obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree across 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we bought bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his web 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 importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he may completely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, other than his winning character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

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+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They're also my favorite workforce in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the only indications of something unusual comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. As an example, every workforce web page includes a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but 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 function 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 in the present day. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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