In celebration of the inane hogwashery that is today's Hall of Fame voting at the jittery hands of the BBWAA, Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index is free for everyone this week, registered user or nay. Of course, as a loyal paying customer I expect that my 2% refund for this free week will be arriving in my mailbox any day now.
The possibilities of the Play Index are virtually limitless, with its applications ranging from rudimentary to esoteric. For example, you can get a list of the most homeruns in a season for a Met:
Or, the most times on base in a season:
Is it any wonder that Olerud is my favorite all-time Met? The guy was simply an on-base machine. His 125 walks in 1999 are a Met record by a mile:
Those are easy ones. What if we wanted to know all of the Mets who have accrued 30 homeruns, doubles and steals in a season. Well, PI can tell us:
David Wright joined some pretty Elite (for the Mets) company last year, as it turns out. I guess we kind of already knew that, but now we have more evidence to that point.
In addition to its seasonal tools, PI also lets you search for individual games given specific criteria. Let's say you wanted to know how many Mets have ever clocked three homeruns in a game:
Only seven Mets have ever accomplished the feat, the most recent being Jose Reyes at CBP two years ago. Interestingly, none of the seven games were played at Shea, and (not so surprisingly) the Mets won six of the seven.
We can also use PI to find batting streaks, such as the most consecutive games safely reaching base:
Jose Vizcaino is the only surprising name here, and it's no shock to see Olerud's name atop this list as well.
This is just a small sample of the things you can do with PI. There are similar tools for pitchers, which I will dive into later on.