wsbl baseball Hank Aaron, 1,000-home-run hitter? Test. A player who might have emerged from the Atlantic Ocean? Double verify. In as of late with out MLB, our workers writers went on a deep dive of baseball’s most complete database to seek 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 some of the better-known seven, too. Who wants the Colossus of Rhodes, after all, when you may have the player page for Tuffy Rhodes, onetime residence run king of Japan?

One of the qualities that defines baseball’s corner of the web is the quirkiness inherent in appreciating its history. A lot of that pleasure is tied in with shopping Baseball-Reference pages, which expose bizarre stats and fun names and unbelievable accomplishments and all of these quirky histories. Baseball-Reference is already a year-round treat, but in a time absent of actual games—Opening Day was initially slated for Thursday—it becomes counterintuitively even more central for fans: Solely 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 data available than anybody has time to learn, social distancing or not. There are pages for each player, crew, and season; for leagues ranging in ability level throughout 4 continents; for each potential statistical search a baseball fan would hope to answer. So to celebrate the breadth of the positioning’s riches, we held a miniature draft, choosing our five favorite B-Ref pages apiece, selected from anywhere on the site. As befits this eighth marvel, we obtained weird—and in so doing, found room for some baseball smiles even when the parks are closed, the mounds simply ready for the first actual pitch of spring. —Zach Kram.

One of the vital distinctive bits of Baseball-Reference branding is “black ink.” Whenever a player leads his league in a statistical class, the quantity on his page is displayed in bold. If he leads all of Main League Baseball, it’s both bolded and italicized. B-Ref even tracks black ink on a participant’s web page, with sure classes weighted to emphasize their significance, and publishes the participant’s score on the bottom of his page as a fast and dirty estimation of his worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

When most statheads talk about gamers with a number of black ink, they go to favorites from the current past, like Barry Bonds or Pedro Martínez. However my personal favorite smattering of black ink belongs to Rogers Hornsby. The Rajah was a real asshole, God rest his soul, however he may completely rake. If you already know anything about Hornsby, apart from his profitable personality, it’s that his profession batting average, .358, is the highest ever for a right-handed hitter and second solely to Ty Cobb general. That undersells his offensive prowess considerably.

That’s proper, from 1920 to 1925, Hornsby led the National League in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage (and by extension OPS and OPS+) every single yr. Bonds and Ruth swept the triple-slash classes three times combined, whereas Hornsby did it six years in a row. As much as I love the nooks and crannies of Baseball-Reference, typically you just need a stats site to play the hits. Literally, in Hornsby’s case.

The 1899 Spiders are the worst group in MLB history. They're additionally my favourite staff in MLB history. (I adore 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 exhibits why.

The backstory right here is that before the season, the Spiders’ owners additionally purchased the St. Louis Perfectos (later the Cardinals) and traded all their good gamers—including Cy Younger and two different future Hall of Famers—to St. Louis to try to type a superteam. But that context isn’t instantly obvious on the web page. One of many only indications of something strange comes on the top of the web page, when B-Ref offers an option to see the Spiders’ previous season but not their subsequent. That’s as a result of the Spiders franchise folded after 1899.

The opposite indication of something unusual is the info itself; B-Ref is, before everything, a treasure trove of information. As an illustration, each staff web page features a quick visual 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. Here is the Spiders’ graph of 20 green bars and 134 red.

Every web page is full of 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 staff as a whole completed with a 6.37 ERA and didn’t function a single player 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 at this time. Six players have a “?” subsequent to their names, which signifies that baseball historians are not sure of their handedness at the plate. And so 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 title and a hilarious player picture—one other delight of early-years Baseball-Reference—besides.

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