division 2 baseball rankings Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In today without 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 game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've gotten the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre 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 precise games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much 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 site has extra data accessible than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage throughout 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his 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 page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’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 talk about gamers with a number of black ink, they go to favorites from the current 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, however he could absolutely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, apart from his successful persona, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They are also my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of many solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. As an example, every workforce page includes a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, purple means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 red.

Every web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward 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 a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

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 “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. And they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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