nike baseball bag Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In these days with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. 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 deal with, however in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally 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 present pages.

The positioning has more information available than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, we bought bizarre—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.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the bottom of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he could absolutely rake. If you realize anything about Hornsby, other than his winning personality, it’s that his career 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 proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst staff in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favorite team 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 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 gamers—including Cy Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of something strange comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, initially, a treasure trove of data. For instance, every group web page includes a fast visual representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, red means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 pink.

Every page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy 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 finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it's as we speak. Six gamers 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 identify and a hilarious player picture—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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