female baseball player Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In today without MLB, our staff 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 wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you might have the player 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 joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and incredible 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 followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has more information available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree across four continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we bought weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the vital 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 bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s score at the backside of his web page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he could absolutely rake. If something about Hornsby, apart from his profitable character, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the 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 National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply want a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are also my favorite group in MLB history. (I am keen on 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 web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of one thing unusual comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each crew page features a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. 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 crimson.

Every web page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching staff as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it is right now. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain 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 identify and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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