uf baseball roster Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In today 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 sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have got the participant page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and incredible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even 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 information obtainable than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent degree across four continents; for every potential 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 5 favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we bought bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Main 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 significance, and publishes the player’s score at the backside of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with plenty of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he may completely rake. If you already know something about Hornsby, aside from his profitable character, it’s that his career batting common, .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 average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, 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 need a stats web 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 team in MLB history. (I am keen on them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page shows why.

The backstory right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately apparent on the page. One of the only indications of one thing strange comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref provides an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an illustration, each workforce page includes a quick visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, crimson means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 pink.

Every page is full of storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed 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 almost as precise as it is at the moment. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at 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 crew, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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