kutztown baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find issues that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise 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 gotten the player web 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 history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has more data accessible than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage throughout four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, 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 actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the number 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 player’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, 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 relaxation his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They're also my favourite group 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, every staff web page features a quick visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson means a loss, and the height 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 but completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching staff as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it's 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 spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun name and a hilarious player photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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