rickey henderson baseball card value Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In today without 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 sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even 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 information obtainable than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in skill level throughout four continents; for every doable 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, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we got bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s rating on the bottom of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he may completely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning 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 common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, while 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 site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They're also my favourite workforce in MLB historical past. (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 web page shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately apparent on the web page. One of many solely indications of something unusual comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, before everything, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every crew page features a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, red 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 crimson.

Each page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching workers as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it's right this moment. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. They usually spotlight 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 enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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