cubs baseball game Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In today with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full 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've gotten the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that joy is tied in with searching 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 deal with, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has extra info available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage across 4 continents; for every 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, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every 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 Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the bottom of his page as a quick and soiled 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 current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he could absolutely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, other than his successful 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 considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically 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're 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 classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory 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—including Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing strange comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of data. For example, each team page includes a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, red 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 purple.

Every page is full of 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 workers as an entire finished 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 gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on 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 crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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