toddler baseball jersey Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In nowadays with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've got the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has more data available than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree throughout four continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to celebrate the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought 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.

One of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player 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 both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with certain categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the participant’s score at the bottom of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the recent previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, however he could completely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, apart from his winning persona, it’s that his career batting common, .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 proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They are also my favourite team in MLB history. (I adore them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of information. For instance, every team web page includes a quick visual representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 pink.

Every web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however finished the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching staff as a whole finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as precise as it's right this moment. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a enjoyable identify and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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