st edward s baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In today with out MLB, our workers 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 wonder of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you have got the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that joy is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has extra data available than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout 4 continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth surprise, we acquired weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time 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 emphasize their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he might completely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, other than 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 overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB history. They are additionally my favourite crew in MLB history. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners also bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref provides 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 opposite indication of something unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of data. For instance, every team web page includes a quick visual representation 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 crimson.

Every web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but finished the season with a 4-30 file, and that the pitching workers as a complete 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 practically as exact as it's immediately. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on the plate. And 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 name and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.