blizzard baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In lately with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out things 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 some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you may have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of the 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 looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has more data obtainable than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across 4 continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score on the backside of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he might completely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, aside from his winning character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

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 three times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just want a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They're also my favorite group 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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference page reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of the only indications of one thing strange comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, each group web page includes a quick visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, pink means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Each page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s easy 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 an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player 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 is today. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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