jacksonville minor league baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In nowadays with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you could have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable 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 followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has extra info accessible than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree across four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, 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.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his web 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 player’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he could absolutely rake. If anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable character, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just 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 additionally my favorite team in MLB history. (I like 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 right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, at the beginning, a treasure trove of information. As an example, every staff page includes a fast visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, crimson means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

Each page is stuffed 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 record, 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 higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it's in the present day. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at 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 staff, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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