shoreline community college baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you might have the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home 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 looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes 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 present pages.

The site has more info out there than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree throughout four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we received weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary actual 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 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 web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, other than his winning persona, it’s that his career batting common, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just desire a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They're also my favorite crew in MLB history. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage 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’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—together with Cy Younger and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of the only indications of one thing unusual comes on the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of data. For example, every crew page features a quick visual illustration 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. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

Every page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching staff as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it is today. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And so they spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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