what channel is baseball on Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Check. A player who could have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In nowadays without MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and albeit, it’s superior to some of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you've gotten the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime dwelling run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s nook of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its historical past. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and fantastic accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of precise games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into 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 existing pages.

The positioning has more information accessible than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree across 4 continents; for each doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we received bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical category, the quantity on his web 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 player’s page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s score at the backside of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads discuss gamers with numerous black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. But my private favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he might absolutely rake. If you understand anything about Hornsby, apart from his successful persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the very best ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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 year. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you simply desire a stats website to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB history. They're also my favourite group in MLB historical past. (I adore 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 web page exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ homeowners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—together with Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to kind a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of many solely indications of one thing unusual comes on the prime of the web page, when B-Ref gives an choice to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, before everything, a treasure trove of data. As an example, each group web page includes a quick visible representation of the game-by-game results. Green means a win, red means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

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 document, and that the pitching employees as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single participant with a league-average mark or better.

The Spiders also exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t nearly as exact as it is right now. Six gamers 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 identify and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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