mississippi state vs vanderbilt baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In today without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

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

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The site has more data obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage across four continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s rating at the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If something about Hornsby, apart from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB history. They're also my favourite team in MLB historical past. (I adore 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 exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of one thing strange comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of data. As an example, every crew page features a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced 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.

Each web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching staff as a complete 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 almost as exact as it's today. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. And so they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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