tulsa drillers baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In these days with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you've the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime home run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The positioning has extra data obtainable than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree throughout 4 continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, 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 first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a player’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating on the bottom of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he may completely rake. If you know anything about Hornsby, apart from his successful character, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice combined, while 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 want a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favorite staff in MLB historical past. (I like 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 exhibits why.

The backstory 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—including Cy Younger and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly obvious on the web page. One of many only indications of something strange comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however 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 the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, every workforce page includes a quick visual illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green 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 red.

Every page is crammed 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 document, and that the pitching employees as a whole completed 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 exact as it is at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure 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 fun title and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—as well.

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