florida state baseball roster Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In nowadays without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out things that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you could have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web 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 enjoyable names and implausible 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 followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has extra info available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across 4 continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If anything about Hornsby, aside from his profitable persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. 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 yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just desire a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They're additionally my favourite staff in MLB history. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory 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—together with Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of many only indications of one thing unusual comes at the prime of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, every crew web page features a quick visible illustration 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 green bars and 134 purple.

Each page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 file, 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 almost as exact as it's immediately. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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