jon jay baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In lately with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you might have the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird 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 initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has extra data out there than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage throughout four continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the bottom of his web page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful 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 general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They're additionally my favourite staff 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s because 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 illustration, every group page includes a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. 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 green bars and 134 pink.

Each web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching staff as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it is immediately. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at the plate. And they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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