fau baseball roster Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In today without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

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 web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only 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 obtainable than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree throughout four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we bought 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.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major 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 emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating at the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the latest 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 relaxation his soul, however he could completely rake. If something about Hornsby, apart from his successful personality, it’s that his career batting average, .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 average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice 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 want a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favourite workforce 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference page reveals why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally 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 try to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of something strange comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, at the beginning, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every workforce web page features a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced 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 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Every web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching workers as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature 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 exact as it is at this time. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure 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 crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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