ucla bruins baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double examine. In these days without MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to among 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 nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with looking 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 actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has more information accessible than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in talent level across four continents; for each potential 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, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from wherever on the location. As befits this eighth marvel, we got bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever 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 player’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on the backside of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with a variety of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If you recognize something about Hornsby, apart from his successful personality, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories 3 times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB historical past. They're additionally my favourite workforce in MLB history. (I am keen on them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of the solely indications of something unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing unusual is the data itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, every crew web page features a fast visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, red 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 crimson.

Each web page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy 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 finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single player with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it is at the moment. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness on the plate. And so they highlight 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 fun title and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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