florida baseball stadium Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In today without MLB, our workers 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 surprise of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 current pages.

The location has extra data accessible than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage across 4 continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we got bizarre—and in so doing, found 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 crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his page is displayed in bold. 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 categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he might completely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, apart from his profitable character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. 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 just desire a stats 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 favorite group 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing strange comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, every group page features a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Every 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 document, and that the pitching staff as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant 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's right this moment. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent 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 players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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