fox baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In nowadays without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find things that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you may have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling 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. Much of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has more info out there than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree across four continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, 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.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his 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 page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s rating on 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 numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he might completely rake. If anything about Hornsby, apart from his successful character, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only 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 share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just want a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I adore 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 before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the high of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, each team page features a fast 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. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 pink.

Every web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching staff as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as exact as it is right now. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. They usually spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun title and a hilarious player photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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