cartoon baseball player Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In as of late without MLB, our workers 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 albeit, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've gotten the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has more data available than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level across 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we received weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant 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 each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with plenty 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 an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he might absolutely rake. If you know something about Hornsby, aside from his winning character, 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 Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. 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 desire a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They're additionally my favourite staff in MLB history. (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 reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of something strange comes at the prime of the page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. For instance, each staff page includes a quick visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching staff as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally 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 unsure 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 workforce, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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