boys baseball uniform Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late without 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 wonder of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you have got the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes 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 site has more data available than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across 4 continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we acquired weird—and in so doing, found 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.” Each time 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 each 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 player’s rating at the bottom of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current 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, but he may absolutely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable personality, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire 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 additionally my favourite group in MLB historical past. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic 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’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of many solely indications of something strange comes at the top of the 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 one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every staff page includes a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, red 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.

Every page is filled 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 record, and that the pitching workers as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is today. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.