giants logo baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you might have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling 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. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has more data accessible than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across 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 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, we obtained weird—and in so doing, discovered 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.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his web page is displayed in daring. 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 certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he may absolutely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, apart from his profitable character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favourite team 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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of one thing strange comes on the top of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, each crew web page includes a fast visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Every web page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching workers as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it is right now. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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