Baseball Records

What are the toughest baseball records to be broken? Will anyone outlast Cal Ripken’s “ironman” streak? Will some slugger launch 80 homers in a season? What do you think the hardest record will be to break?

I ask this because I was remembering a book I read (as a kid) about sports records, and I think there is one that may never be broken: Johnny Vander Meer’s back to back no hitters. No hitters are pretty rare as it is, and the advent of the relief pitcher would make the record almost impossible to beat.

Don’t have any hard data at hand, but I’d say Dimaggio’s hitting streak (56?) Nobody’s come close. Pete Rose, I think, got something like 42. Statistical analysis of streaks is pretty basic, and I did read (in one of Stephen Jay Gould’s books) that this kind of streak is very difficult to maintain.

As for the “no hitter” thing, I don’t think that Relief Pitchers would have much to do with this. You’d be hard pressed, I think, to find a game where a pitcher in the middle of a No hitter was relieved. They always leave a hot pitcher in until he starts to make mistakes (i.e., walks and hits) and even if he walks a couple of guys, they’d leave him in until he gives up a hit.

Ripken’s is a very good one - most don’t have nearly the stamina, and playing careers ain’t what they used to be…

I’d also suggest DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. VERY tough to do…

Also Cy Young’s 511 wins. Ain’t happening nowadays, is it? Tough enough to get 300 wins, let alone 500. Hell, tough enough to get 200…

It’s extremely obscure, but amazing to think about, and definitely unbreakable: Walter Johnson’s .433 batting average in 1925, the highest single-season mark for a pitcher (100 plate appearances). No one is ever going to touch that, especially with the DH.

Pete Rose’s hitting streak was 44 games.

I don’t think his 4256 hits will ever be topped.

No one is ever gonna get with even 100 games of Cy Young’s record ever again.

I doubt seriously that Hank AArons HR mark will ever be topped.

Mark McGwire needs (IIRC) 203 HR to reach him. Also IIRC, he’s played 14 years (1987-2000) for 552 HR, an average of just under 40 per season (and, of course, he was injured a few years, too). If he hit his average for 5 years, he’d make it. I know, it’s not a certainty, but he’s got a shot.

So does Griffey, who’s a lot younger and has over 400 HR, too.

Don’t you think McGwire has a shot, especially if he stays healthy?

Knighted Vorpal Sword:

And, of course, to break his record would require three consecutive no-hitters.


Well, DiMaggio himself did 63 in the minors…

Mac’s knee’s are not what they used to be, and he is getting older. Yes, he has a shot. If anyone can do it, it’s him. But he also says that if there’s a work stoppage at the end of this season, he’s done.

Griffey Jr., IMHO, will not want stick around the league long enough to break that record. He’s getting a little testy about the media circus that follows him. His comment that he could leave the game at anytime and not look back, on ESPN, is true(although, when he said it, he was particulary miffed with a certain sportswriters column).

Both players certainly have the talent to hit that many, but I don’t think either one will. I would be happy to be proven wrong about it, though.

BTW, both players will be hurt by the ‘high strike’ calls, IMHO.

You can’t say this is a true comment; it’s an opinion, not a fact. And he can change his opinion later, like when he gets $40 million a year or something.

Athletes do this from time to time - they take that “I don’t need this game” attitude. Of course they need the game. That’s why so many of them hang on long after they’re done being incredibly great ballplayers. They love to play, and it’s all they are (for the most part). Most athletes today - and many in the past - find it very, very difficult to leave their sport, and Griff Jr. is not an exception to this.

I don’t think Ripken’s mark is that unreachable. A guy blessed with good health who’s a good player could get it at any time (though no one is remotely close at the moment). Look at Ripken: he had some unspectacular years, but he stayed healthy, consistent, and steady. This takes a lot of breaks to go your way, but it’s possible.

If Rose can reach 44, Dimaggio’s 56 is attainable. Twelve games away is a lot, but not unthinkable.

Aaron’s record will doubtless be broken. The number of players with 40, 45, and 50 HRs has risen dramatically in the past decade because of (insert your favorite theory here: juiced ball, bad picthing small strike zone, chemical improvement, increased weight training…I go for the strike zone theory). The recent few years’ changes in baseball point to the breaking of Aaron’s record within 20 years. No doubt.

This brings me to my answer to the original question. IF the structure of the game remains the same (and there’s no reason to doubt that it will), the “complete games pitched” record will never be touched. I’m referring to picthers who did 40 complete games in a season, or 400 in a career. With the high salary of relievers, you can’t just not use them. Now that I’ve opened my big mouth, you’ve noticed that I didn’t name the record-holder. Alas, I am at work and away from my baseball almanac. :frowning: A little help, please? Can someone find the name and exact number for the complete games record?

Well, in that case, we should start seeing less home runs this year as the umpires start calling the “true” strike zone, not the miniscule one of past years.

When you consider a) Players miss games more often now than they did in the past, due to their own actions or those of their manager and b) The pressure to win has never been greater, especially with more teams with which to compete (the wild card notwithstanding), meaning that managers are more likely to change up a lineup simply to change things, I think it’s very unlikely the record will be broken in the lifetime of anyone who’s alive today.

In Ripken’s favor: few injuries, immense likeability, talent

If he were not such an icon in Baltimore, he would have been sat down during at least one slump, no matter how minor. That’s what made him unique - there aren’t any players now who command that kind of respect, and of course as his streak continued, it became harder to bench him.

Rose came close, but 12 games actually isn’t a small number (21% of DiMaggio’s, in fact). And it was tough enough getting there. It could happen, though. But it’s been very rare that anyone’s even passed 30 or 35, let alone 56.

Absent a complete revolution in the way the game is played (like, say, if they raise the mound again and keep it there), I don’t think there’s any doubt that Aaron’s record will be broken. By the same token, virtually all of the dead-ball era pitching records are completely unattainable in this time of five-man rotations and middle relievers.

If you look at what happened to DiMaggio after the streak ended, the record is even more remarkable: He went one game (#57 - against my Cleveland Indians as it happens) without getting a hit. Then he put together ANOTHER hitting streak - I believe it was 21 games. So, all in all, he went 78 games, getting a hit in all but one of them. While that’s not an official record, it’s still pretty remarkable. IMO, nobody’s going to make 56 - at least, not in my lifetime. Only Rose has gotten within a dozen - and that’s over the course of almost sixty years. Only a handful of modern players have even strung together a streak of thirty. Once the media circus starts and the pressure increases, it gets harder and harder to produce.

Then again, when you get right down to it, what would you rather have? A guy who gets one hit a game for fifty-seven games, or a guy who gets two or three hits pretty regularly but not always? (Yes, I know that batting averages usually increase during streaks, but that’s not always the case. Some players’ actually go down.)

For what it’s worth, I think it will be very tough for anyone to break Nolan Ryan’s strikeout and no-hitter records.
Plus, Nolan whupped up on that punk Robin Ventura. Damn, I wish I was that cool.

Another two that won’t be touched are Rickey Henderson’s season and career (esp. the career) stolen base records.
Season record is 130 and his career record is over 1200 and counting. Last year’s leaders were around 50.
Course, this is another one that is affected by a change in the way the game is played. Now rather than stealing, guys just wait for someone to jack a HR.

I doubt anyone will ever top Babe Ruth’s 1920 slugging average. Jeff Bagwell came closest in '94, .750 to .847. Compare these to McGwire, .730 in '96.

And here I was thinking…

“Take Me Out To The Ball Game”
and that one by Meatloaf (“Heaven by the Dashboard Light”?)

oh well …

Somewhat on point - D. Strawberry, most “2nd chances”

The career record is held by Cy Young, with 750 complete games. To give some scope of how incredible this is, even compared to his own time, the next two on the list are Pud Galvin (639 complete games) and Tim Keefe (557 complete games). The single season record is 50, which Amos Rusie did in 1893.