CheatSheet.com’s ten most unbreakable records in MLB history. Like most blogs on the internet, Cheatsheet thinks recent history is better than past history. You’d think a record broken 50 or 100 years ago would be more unbreakable than one just recently set or broken, but you can’t tell youngsters anything these days. Or perhaps they think more readers want to read about Marino Rivera than Old Hoss Radbourn. They might be right, but that doesn’t make the record more unbreakable. A more likely theory is the website numbered the list backwards. But was it on purpose or a mistake?
1. Most Career Saves: 652 by Marino Rivera. Yet by the time he was 25 Craig Kimbrel recorded 186 saves in 4 years. It would only take Kimbrel ten years to break the record. Kimbrel would be 35 years old. Rivera’s last save came when he was 43. Doesn’t sound like the number one unbreakable record to me.
2. Most Career No-Hitters: 7 by Nolan Ryan.
3. Most Career Strikeouts: 5714 by Nolan Ryan. With the strikeouts per game numbers going up every year, down the road this number could be in jeopardy as well. But not by 26 year-old Stephen Strasburg, who would have to average 200 strikeouts over the next 24 years just to sniff the record.
4. Most Career Hits: 4256 by Pete Rose. Ichiro is only 102 hits behind Rose with plans to play next season. Doesn’t sound like the third most unbreakable record to me.
5. Most Consecutive Games Played: 2632 by Cal Ripken Jr. Cheatsheet says “this may be the most impressive and unbreakable record in all of professional sports.” Then why didn’t they rank it number one? Ripken’s record “equates to just over 16 seasons without missing a game.” Not mentioned was Brett Farve’s comparable streak of consecutive games started by a NFL quarterback, which stretched over 19 seasons – three more seasons than Cal.
6. Longest Hitting Streak: 56 by Joe DiMaggio. Since World War II only three players have come within 21 games of Joltin’ Joe’s record. These days the increased travel across time zones, a majority of night games, and the expanded role of relief pitching makes such a hitting streak all the more unlikely.
7. Most Wins in a Season: 59 by Old Hoss Radbourn in 1884. His 83.1% winning percentage and 1.38 ERA weren’t too shabby either. He finished all 73 of his starts that year – and all 49 of his starts the next season. But that’s not even the two year record…
8. Most Complete Games in a Season: 75 by Will White in 1879. White completed every game he started in both 1878 (52) and 1879.
9. Most Career Stolen Bases: 1406 by Rickey Henderson – almost 500 more than Lou Brock’s second place total.
10. Most Career Wins by a Pitcher: 511 by Cy Young. In today’s five man rotations a pitcher would have to not miss a start for 23 years, win 22 games per year (2/3 of his starts) to reach 506 wins. Not gonna happen.