korean baseball players Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In these days with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual 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 only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has extra info available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage throughout 4 continents; for every possible 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, selecting our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the positioning. 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 ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the 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 Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his page as a fast and dirty 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 latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he could completely rake. If you know something about Hornsby, apart from his successful character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. 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+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

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

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many only indications of one thing unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every staff web page includes a fast visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink 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 record, and that the pitching staff as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant 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 right now. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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