is there a baseball game tonight Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In lately without MLB, our staff 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 marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've gotten the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes 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 site has extra information accessible than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we got bizarre—and in so doing, found 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 crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical category, 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 page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the bottom of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with a number 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 may completely rake. If something about Hornsby, aside from his profitable persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. 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 really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just need a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They're additionally my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ house owners also purchased 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 try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of many only indications of one thing strange comes on the high of the web page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, each team web page features a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. 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 crimson.

Every web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching workers as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it's right this moment. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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