mens gucci baseball cap Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In as of late without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 info available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage throughout four continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to celebrate the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we got bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his 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 participant’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score on the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he may completely rake. If something about Hornsby, other than his successful persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times combined, 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 need a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They're also my favorite staff in MLB history. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every crew web page includes a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, purple means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 pink.

Every web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching employees as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as exact as it's right now. 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 gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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