lhsaa baseball playoffs Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In today without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find things that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The positioning has extra data accessible than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across 4 continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest 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 may absolutely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, apart from his winning character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only 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 percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire 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're additionally my favorite staff in MLB history. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic 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 also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two different future Corridor 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 only indications of something strange comes on the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of data. For example, each staff web page features a quick visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, red means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each page is crammed 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 document, and that the pitching employees as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it is today. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on 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 crew, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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