where can i sell my baseball cards Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In nowadays 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 game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth wonder of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a few of the better-known seven, too. Who needs the Colossus of Rhodes, in spite of everything, when you might have the player 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 pleasure is tied in with looking Baseball-Reference pages, which expose weird stats and enjoyable names and implausible accomplishments and all of those quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for followers: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The positioning has extra information available than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in ability stage throughout four continents; for every doable statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to have a good time the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the first actual 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 web 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 player’s web page, with certain classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating at the bottom of his web page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with a 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 rest his soul, but he could absolutely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, other than his profitable personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .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 National League in batting common, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes 3 times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I really like the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just want a stats web site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They are additionally my favourite crew in MLB historical past. (I am keen on them so fervently that early on in my relationship, my girlfriend purchased me a vintage 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’ owners also purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly apparent on the web page. One of the only indications of one thing strange comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of knowledge. For instance, each team web page includes a quick visible illustration of the game-by-game outcomes. Green means a win, pink means a loss, and the peak of the bar signifies the margin of victory. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Each page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s easy to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace but completed the season with a 4-30 file, 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 additionally exemplify the uncertainty of early baseball record-keeping, which wasn’t almost as precise as it is at this time. Six players have a “?” next to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And so they spotlight 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 enjoyable title and a hilarious participant photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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