uis baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A participant who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In these days with out MLB, our workers 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 wonder of the world, and frankly, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you have the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house 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 weird stats and fun 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 turns into counterintuitively even more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already current pages.

The location has extra information obtainable than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, group, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage throughout four continents; for each attainable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a player leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s rating on the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my private favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he might completely rake. If you understand something about Hornsby, other than his successful persona, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They are additionally my favorite workforce in MLB history. (I like them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a classic Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page exhibits why.

The backstory 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 players—including Cy Young and two different future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to form a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many solely indications of something unusual comes on the top of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, at first, a treasure trove of knowledge. As an example, each staff page features a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching employees as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant 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 as we speak. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at 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 staff, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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