sun devil baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In lately with out MLB, our staff 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 marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise 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 location has more data 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 ability stage across 4 continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we got bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the number 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 participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his web page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about players with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he could completely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, other than his profitable personality, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very 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 National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you just need a stats web 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 staff in MLB historical past. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of the only indications of something strange comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, every staff web page features a fast visual representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, pink 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 purple.

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 staff as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic 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 exact as it's right this moment. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this group, too, with a fun title and a hilarious player photo—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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