ken griffey jr presents major league baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you will have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web 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 unbelievable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has more info obtainable than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level throughout 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity 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 player’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at 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 plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he could completely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful persona, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. 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 thrice combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply want a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They are also my favorite workforce in MLB history. (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 web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes at the prime of the page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, each crew web page features a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, purple means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching employees as a whole 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 practically as precise as it is at this time. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And so they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a fun name and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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