montreal baseball team Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In nowadays with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out things that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of the 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 searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The location has extra info available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree across 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth wonder, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the number 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 web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the bottom of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, 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, however he may completely rake. If something about Hornsby, aside from his profitable character, 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 average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply want a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They are additionally my favorite workforce in MLB historical past. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally purchased 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 kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many solely indications of one thing strange comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, every staff page includes a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 crimson.

Every web page is crammed 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 file, and that the pitching workers as an entire completed 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 exact as it's at this time. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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