shockers baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out things that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've the participant 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 weird stats and fun names and fantastic 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 even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The site has more information obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across four continents; for every 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, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth surprise, 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 primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, 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 relaxation his soul, but he could completely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, apart from his successful personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. 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, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just need a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes at the top of the page, when B-Ref provides 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 one thing unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of data. For instance, every group web page features a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

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

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as exact as it is immediately. Six players have a “?” subsequent 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 team, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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