what is the fastest baseball pitch Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In these days without MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to search out issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel 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'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 internet is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. 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 treat, however in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes 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 present pages.

The positioning has extra info obtainable than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in talent stage throughout 4 continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our 5 favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth wonder, we got weird—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the primary real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his 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 participant’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the backside of his web page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current previous, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God relaxation his soul, however he may absolutely rake. If anything about Hornsby, apart from his profitable character, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb overall. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, 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 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 simply need a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB historical past. They're also my favourite staff in MLB history. (I adore 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 right here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Younger and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly obvious on the page. One of the only indications of something unusual comes on the top of the web page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of one thing unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, in the beginning, a treasure trove of data. For instance, every staff web page includes a fast visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Inexperienced means a win, crimson means a loss, and the height of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Right here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 inexperienced bars and 134 purple.

Each web page is filled with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 report, and that the pitching workers as a complete finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic a single participant 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 at present. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And 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 player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—in addition.

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