psa baseball cards Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In these days without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out issues 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 player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and improbable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only 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, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage across 4 continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply 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 player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his 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 participant’s page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s score on the backside of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite 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 realize anything about Hornsby, other than his profitable personality, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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 three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire a stats web site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They're also my favourite workforce in MLB history. (I adore 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 bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, each staff web page features a fast visible 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 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

Each page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching employees 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 at present. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at 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 staff, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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