onroto baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In today with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find issues 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 a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The positioning has extra data accessible than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree throughout four continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we obtained weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial 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 Major League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s score at the bottom of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, 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 could absolutely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, other than 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 overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, 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 desire a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favorite group in MLB history. (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 reveals why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of the only indications of one thing strange comes at the high of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of data. As an example, every team web page includes a quick 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. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Every web page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching employees as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it is right this moment. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on 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 workforce, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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