cal lutheran baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and implausible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has more data obtainable than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we got weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just 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 Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’s score at the bottom of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, 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 rest his soul, but he may completely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable personality, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They're additionally my favorite team in MLB history. (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 page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of many only indications of one thing unusual comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of data. For example, each workforce web page includes a quick visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 crimson.

Every page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching workers as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's right this moment. Six players 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 gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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