how much do aaa baseball players make Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who may 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 complete database to find things that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've gotten the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise 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 only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has extra data accessible than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, discovered 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.” 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 Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the backside of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, 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, but he could absolutely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, aside from his successful character, 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 somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply need a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They are also my favourite staff in MLB historical past. (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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly obvious on the web page. One of many solely indications of something strange comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each staff web page includes a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, red means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching employees as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it's in the present day. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain 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 team, too, with a fun title and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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