fruitland baseball tournament Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In lately with out 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 nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you will 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 web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but 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 current pages.

The site has extra data accessible than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout four continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his page is displayed in daring. 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 classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s score at the backside of his page as a quick and soiled 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 recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal 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 you understand anything about Hornsby, apart from his successful personality, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just desire a stats web 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 favourite crew in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ house owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each group page features a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, purple means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 crimson.

Every web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching workers as a whole 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 precise as it's today. Six players have a “?” next 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 gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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