good baseball team names Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In lately with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you may have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that joy is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and improbable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has extra information available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout 4 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, picking our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, we obtained weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his page is displayed in daring. 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 certain categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on the backside of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he could absolutely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful persona, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. 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, typically you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They are also my favourite team in MLB history. (I like 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 web page reveals 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 try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, every team page features a fast visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. 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 inexperienced bars and 134 crimson.

Every 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 document, and that the pitching workers as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it's at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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