how much is a babe ruth signed baseball worth Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In these days with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

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

One of many 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 browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and implausible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even 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 more data available than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree throughout 4 continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the number 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 web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the bottom of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he might completely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. 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+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They're also my favorite workforce 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 here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing strange comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each staff page includes a quick visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, pink 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 pink.

Every web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching workers as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic 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 precise as it's at present. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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