fanatics baseball cards Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In these days without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find issues that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder 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 participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with shopping 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 treat, however in a time absent of precise 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 one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has more info obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree across four continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we received weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical category, the number 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 player’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating on the backside of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, 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 might completely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning personality, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They're also my favourite team in MLB historical past. (I am keen on them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory right 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—together with Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of information. For instance, each team web page features a quick visual representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Every web page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching staff as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's right now. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at 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 team, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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