bobby brown baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late with out 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 game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've got the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The site has extra information available than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, team, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary real 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 web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, 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 rest his soul, however he could completely rake. If anything about Hornsby, other than his winning persona, 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 Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just want a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They are also my favorite 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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, every workforce web page includes a quick visual representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, purple means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Every page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching staff as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it's as we speak. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And they spotlight 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 enjoyable identify and a hilarious player photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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