walnut creek baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Verify. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In as of late with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find issues that remind them of what makes the game so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in any case, when you've gotten the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of many qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. Much of that joy is tied in with browsing Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and fun names and fantastic accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has extra info obtainable than anyone has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for every player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level across 4 continents; for each possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to rejoice the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anywhere on the positioning. As befits this eighth wonder, we obtained weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a player leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s each bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s page, with sure classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the participant’s score at the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads speak about players with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest previous, 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 rest his soul, but he may completely rake. If you recognize anything about Hornsby, aside from his successful personality, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

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

The 1899 Spiders are the worst team in MLB history. They're additionally my favourite workforce in MLB historical past. (I am keen on them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend bought me a vintage Spiders T-shirt as a birthday present.) And their Baseball-Reference page reveals 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 gamers—together with Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the page. One of the solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing strange is the info itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of information. For instance, each crew web page features a fast visual representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, purple 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 pink.

Each page is stuffed with storytelling statistics. So it’s simple to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 document, and that the pitching employees as a complete completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature a single participant with a league-average mark or higher.

The Spiders additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t practically as precise as it's at this time. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness on 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 group, too, with a fun name and a hilarious participant photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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