brooks baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In lately with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you could have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home 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. A lot of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those 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 even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The positioning has more data out there than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage across 4 continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his 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 player’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score at the backside of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning persona, 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 somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB history. They are also my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I am keen on 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 page reveals why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing strange comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of data. For instance, each staff page includes a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson 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 purple.

Each web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching employees as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant 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 at this time. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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