vols baseball today Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player 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 full database to seek out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to among the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you may have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many 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 browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively much more central for followers: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The site has extra data obtainable than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage throughout four continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received weird—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.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical category, the number 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 player’s web page, with certain categories weighted to emphasize their importance, and publishes the player’s score at the bottom of his page as a fast and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you recognize something about Hornsby, other than his winning persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash categories thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply want a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB history. They are additionally my favorite crew 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 present.) And their Baseball-Reference page shows why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to form a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many only indications of one thing unusual comes at the top of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of data. As an illustration, each staff web page includes a fast visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, pink means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green 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 but finished the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching staff as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player 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 as we speak. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. They usually highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this crew, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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