custom baseball socks Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In these days with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out things 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 some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you could have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially 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 current pages.

The positioning has more info obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought 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.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score at the backside of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he could completely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, apart from his winning character, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just need a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They're also my favourite staff in MLB history. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory right 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 Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of many only indications of something strange comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each group web page features a fast visible 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 purple.

Each web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching staff as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is at this time. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at 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 group, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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