battered bastards of baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In these days without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full 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 admittedly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, 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 looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and fantastic 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 initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The site has more information accessible than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage throughout four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained 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 most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he might completely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are also my favourite team 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 earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of the only indications of one thing unusual comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of information. As an example, every workforce page features a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson 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 crimson.

Each page is crammed 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 report, and that the pitching employees as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it is at the moment. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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