gold baseball chain Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In today with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out 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 some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have got the participant 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 historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and improbable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 positioning has extra data available than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across four continents; for each potential 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, choosing our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained bizarre—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.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his 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 participant’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating at the bottom of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite 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 understand anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable persona, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice combined, while 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 site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB historical past. They are also my favorite crew in MLB history. (I am keen on 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 reveals why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two different 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 something strange comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of data. For instance, each group page features a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, red means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Every page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching staff as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature 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's at this time. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at 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 staff, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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