wii sports baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who may have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double test. In nowadays with out MLB, our workers 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 great.

Baseball-Reference is the eighth marvel 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 have got the participant web page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence 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 browsing 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 treat, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively much more central for fans: Solely the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the only new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already present pages.

The site has extra info out there than anybody has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for every participant, team, and season; for leagues ranging in skill stage across four continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to celebrate the breadth of the site’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from wherever on the positioning. As befits this eighth marvel, we bought weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just waiting for the primary actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Probably the most distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Each time 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 page, with certain classes weighted to emphasise their importance, and publishes the player’s rating on the bottom of his web page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with quite a lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favourite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was an actual asshole, God rest his soul, but he might absolutely rake. If you realize something about Hornsby, aside from his winning personality, it’s that his profession 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 considerably.

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+) every single 12 months. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes thrice mixed, while Hornsby did it six years in a row. As a lot as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, generally you just desire a stats website to play the hits. Actually, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst crew in MLB historical past. They are also my favourite staff 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 current.) And their Baseball-Reference web page reveals why.

The backstory 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—together with Cy Young and two other future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to attempt to type a superteam. However that context isn’t instantly apparent on the page. One of many solely indications of something strange comes at the high of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season however not their subsequent. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing strange is the data itself; B-Ref is, firstly, a treasure trove of data. For example, every group page includes a fast visible representation of the game-by-game outcomes. Green 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 crimson.

Each 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 report, and that the pitching employees as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t feature 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's in the present day. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness at the plate. And so they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this staff, too, with a enjoyable title and a hilarious player photograph—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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