mcbl baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In nowadays without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

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

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and improbable 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 much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has extra information out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level across four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to celebrate the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, we got weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary real 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 web 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 participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he might completely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable persona, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just want a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They're additionally my favorite group in MLB history. (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 earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of one thing strange comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every staff page includes a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, purple means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Every 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 record, and that the pitching workers 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 nearly as exact as it's right now. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure 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 crew, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious participant picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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