southwest baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In today with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to search out issues 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 wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you could have the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and implausible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 information obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, team, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage throughout four continents; for every attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we got weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just 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 category, 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 classes weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s score on the bottom of his 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 recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If you know something about Hornsby, apart from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging share (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply need a stats site to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They're additionally my favorite group in MLB history. (I am keen on 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 page reveals why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought 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 type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of one thing unusual comes at the prime 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 opposite indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, every workforce page includes a quick visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced 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 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

Each page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching staff as an entire completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function 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 uncertain of their handedness at 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 workforce, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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