msstate baseball game today Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In these days without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to find things that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you could have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence 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. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The site has extra data out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level across four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we bought weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

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

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply want a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They're also my favourite workforce in MLB history. (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 page shows why.

The backstory here is that before 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 different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of many solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however 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, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. For instance, every crew page features a fast visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, purple means a loss, and the peak 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 straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching workers as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature 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 in the present day. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at the plate. And 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 fun identify and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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