pirates baseball score Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In today with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find 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, in spite of everything, when you might have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The site has more information accessible than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, team, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree across four continents; for each attainable 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, picking our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, 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.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Every time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If something about Hornsby, aside from his successful character, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the highest 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 National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply want a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favorite staff in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows 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 Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of many solely indications of one thing strange comes on the high of the web page, when B-Ref provides 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 information itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of data. For instance, every group web page includes a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

Every page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching staff as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it is as we speak. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this workforce, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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