google doodle games baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In today without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you have got the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many 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 shopping 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 actual video 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 extra info out there than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree throughout four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the site. 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 vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with a whole lot 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 an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he might completely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, other than his successful personality, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply need a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are also my favourite staff in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of many solely indications of something strange comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, before everything, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, each staff web page features a fast visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, red means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Every web 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 report, and that the pitching staff as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as exact as it is as we speak. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at the plate. And they highlight 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 title and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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