who plays baseball today Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A player who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In lately with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most full database to seek out things that remind them of what makes the game so nice.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth surprise of the world, and admittedly, it’s superior to a number of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you may have the player web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime house run king of Japan?

One of many 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 shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and enjoyable names and incredible accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, but in a time absent of precise video games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even 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 info accessible than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, workforce, and season; for leagues ranging in ability degree throughout 4 continents; for every potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to rejoice the breadth of the location’s riches, we held a miniature draft, selecting our five favourite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anyplace on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, we acquired bizarre—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the first real pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the crucial distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time a participant leads his league in a statistical class, the number on his web page is displayed in daring. If he leads all of Major League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure categories weighted to emphasise their significance, and publishes the player’s score at the bottom of his page as a quick and soiled estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads speak about gamers with lots of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest past, 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, but he may absolutely rake. If something about Hornsby, aside from his successful personality, it’s that his profession batting common, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s right, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the Nationwide League in batting average, OBP, and slugging proportion (and by extension OPS and OPS+) each single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, sometimes you simply want a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB historical past. They're also my favorite staff 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference page reveals why.

The backstory here is that earlier than the season, the Spiders’ house owners additionally bought 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 try to form a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of the only indications of one thing unusual comes at the prime of the web page, when B-Ref offers an choice to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their next. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of something strange is the information itself; B-Ref is, at the start, a treasure trove of data. For example, every workforce page features a fast visual 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. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 purple.

Every page is filled 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 report, and that the pitching employees as an entire finished with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t characteristic 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 exact as it is right now. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. They usually spotlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with gamers like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a fun name and a hilarious player photograph—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—to boot.

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