university of portland baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In lately with out MLB, our employees writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you have the player 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. A lot of that joy is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has extra info available than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, team, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across 4 continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have fun the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” At any time when a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s score at the bottom of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with loads of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite 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 realize anything about Hornsby, other than his successful character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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+) each single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories three times mixed, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you simply want a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB history. They're additionally my favorite group in MLB historical past. (I like 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 here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners also bought 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 attempt to form a superteam. However that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of the only indications of one thing strange comes on the prime of the page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something unusual is the information itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of data. For example, each workforce web page features a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, red 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 red.

Every web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy 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 completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it's at the moment. Six gamers have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are unsure of their handedness at 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 name and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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