pittsburgh baseball stadium Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In lately with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you've got the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house 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 looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has extra information out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across four continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, we received bizarre—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 distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number on his 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 player’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating at the backside of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, apart from his successful persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB history. They're also my favourite group in MLB historical past. (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 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 different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of many only indications of something strange comes on the high of the web page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of information. For instance, every group web page includes a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, purple means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

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

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as exact as it is right this moment. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And they spotlight 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 title and a hilarious player picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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