bethune cookman baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In lately with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have got the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with searching 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 deal with, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The positioning has more information available than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout four continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to celebrate the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you know something about Hornsby, aside from his winning personality, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply need a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They are also my favorite staff in MLB historical past. (I like 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 shows why.

The backstory right 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—together with Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many only indications of something strange comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, each staff web page features a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game results. 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 inexperienced bars and 134 crimson.

Each web page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching staff as an entire finished 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 almost as precise as it's at the moment. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure 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 crew, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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