is there a salary cap in baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In these days with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find 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 wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you've the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic 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 originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has more info obtainable than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across four continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we received weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor 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 favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB history. They're also my favorite crew in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes at the high of the page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, every crew web page includes a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, purple means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced 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 document, and that the pitching staff as a whole finished 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 almost as exact as it is at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain 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 workforce, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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