pensacola baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In these days without MLB, our staff 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 nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you have got the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and improbable 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 originally 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 existing pages.

The positioning has more information accessible than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage throughout 4 continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we got bizarre—and in so doing, discovered 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.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s rating at the backside of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he may completely rake. If you know something about Hornsby, apart from his successful character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, whereas 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 site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of something unusual comes at the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, at the beginning, a treasure trove of data. As an example, each group page features 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 inexperienced bars and 134 crimson.

Each page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but 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 characteristic 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 precise as it's at this time. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a fun identify and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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