free baseball font Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In nowadays 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 nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The positioning has more data out there than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level across 4 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, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we bought bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web 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 player’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with a number of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he may completely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, aside from his successful character, 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 average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

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

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of information. For instance, every crew web page includes a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink 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 red.

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

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's in the present day. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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