cool baseball logos Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In today with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out things 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 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 house 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 joy is tied in with looking 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 deal with, but in a time absent of precise 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 one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The site has more data accessible than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage throughout 4 continents; for each 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 anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought 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 crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he could completely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning personality, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I 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 staff in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favourite 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference page reveals why.

The backstory 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 gamers—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 immediately apparent on the web page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. 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, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. For instance, each team web page features a fast visual illustration 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. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each page is stuffed 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 report, and that the pitching staff as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it is today. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight 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 name and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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