brooklyn baseball team Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In nowadays 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 nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you could have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and incredible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much 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 location has extra info available than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage across four continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we received bizarre—and in so doing, found 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.” 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 each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating at the bottom of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, aside from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. 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+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply need a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They're also my favorite workforce in MLB historical past. (I adore 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 shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the only indications of one thing strange comes on the high 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 something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, before everything, a treasure trove of data. As an example, each workforce web page features a quick visual representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, purple means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each web page is stuffed 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 file, and that the pitching staff as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature 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 precise as it is right now. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And so 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 fun name and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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