womens black baseball cap Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Examine. A participant who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double check. In nowadays with out MLB, our staff writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to find issues that remind them of what makes the sport so great.

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

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. Much of that pleasure is tied in with searching Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and improbable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round deal with, however in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was originally slated for Thursday—it turns into counterintuitively even more central for fans: Only the strangeness can slake our baseball thirst; the one new discoveries can come from mining the depths of already existing pages.

The location has more information out there than anyone has time to read, social distancing or not. There are pages for each participant, staff, and season; for leagues ranging in skill degree across four continents; for every possible statistical search a baseball fan would hope to reply. So to celebrate the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, picking our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, chosen from anyplace on the site. As befits this eighth surprise, we received bizarre—and in so doing, discovered room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds just ready for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

Some of the distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical category, the number 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 certain categories weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the player’s rating at the bottom of his page as a quick and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Corridor of Fame.

When most statheads discuss players with a whole lot of black ink, they go to favorites from the latest 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 rest his soul, but he may absolutely rake. If you recognize something about Hornsby, aside from his profitable persona, it’s that his career batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second only to Ty Cobb total. That undersells his offensive prowess somewhat.

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

The 1899 Spiders are the worst workforce in MLB history. They are additionally my favourite crew in MLB historical past. (I adore 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 web page shows why.

The backstory here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally bought the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good players—including Cy Young and two other future Corridor of Famers—to St. Louis to try to kind a superteam. But that context isn’t immediately obvious on the web page. One of many only indications of something unusual comes on the high of the page, when B-Ref provides an option to see the Spiders’ earlier season however not their next. That’s because the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The other indication of one thing unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, at the beginning, a treasure trove of knowledge. For example, every workforce web page features a quick visual illustration 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 pink.

Every web page is crammed with storytelling statistics. So it’s straightforward to see that, say, Jim Hughey was the Spiders’ ace however completed the season with a 4-30 record, and that the pitching staff as a complete 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 is in the present day. Six gamers have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are uncertain of their handedness on the plate. And they highlight the wonders of old-timey baseball names, with players like Sport McAllister, Ossee Schrecongost, and Highball Wilson. Harry Colliflower was on this team, too, with a enjoyable name and a hilarious participant photo—another delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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