mlb baseball hall of fame Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In today with out MLB, our workers 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 frankly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you might have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: 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 information accessible than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout 4 continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, we obtained weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

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

When most statheads discuss gamers with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you recognize something about Hornsby, aside from his winning character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just need a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are also my favorite team 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of many only indications of one thing strange comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, every group page includes a fast visual representation of the game-by-game results. Green 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 inexperienced bars and 134 crimson.

Every page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching staff as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it is at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. They usually spotlight 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 fun name and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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