salem university baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In today without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've gotten the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with searching 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, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 location has extra data available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage throughout 4 continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his 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 player’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on the bottom of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he may completely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, apart from his successful personality, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

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 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They are additionally my favorite workforce in MLB history. (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 web page reveals why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref gives an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, first and foremost, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, each workforce web page includes a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink 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.

Every page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however 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 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 is at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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