sb baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In nowadays without MLB, our employees 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 great.

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

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with shopping 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 treat, but in a time absent of actual 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 site has more information available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout four continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained weird—and in so doing, found 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 vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical category, 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 page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his web page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the current 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 may absolutely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, other than his winning personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times combined, 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 site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They are also my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of one thing unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every team web page includes a fast visual illustration 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 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

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

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it is immediately. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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