Re-Writing the Record Book

Has any significant sports record been re-written to take away a record from a team or an individual on basically a whim?

I am not talking about something for a presumably good reason like game fixing (the Black Sox Scandal) or drug use (Lance Armstrong) or NCAA violations.

Tiger Woods has 79 PGATour wins and Sam Snead holds the record at 82 wins. It looks like Tiger’s competitive career might be over, there are several golf writers and golf bloggers/historians lobbying to take away some wins from Snead.

These wins include several team events (both players got credited with wins) and event where it was Tied and a shortened event. I really don’t want to get into the minutiae of Snead’s wins, only to say I can see why those wins might be stricken from the record book. But I also can see why they might stay, and if all of Snead’s resume was examined, his win total might actually increase. Some “unofficial” wins on his resume might be deemed to be bona-fide official wins.

The Pro-Tiger lobby biggest argument is that those wins don’t fit the modern definition of PGATours wins

The PGA-Tour win record is probably the 2nd most sacrosanct record in golf, behind Jack Nicklaus’ 18 Professional Major Championships.

FTR, the PGA-Tour just announced that there will be team championship in 2017 (New Orleans tournament) and presumably the winners of that event will each be a credited with a win. Which puts a huge dent in the Pro-Tiger platform.

As the opening paragraph asks, has there ever been anything comparable to this Woods/Snead win debate.

And for a dated reference on the debate, here is an article written before Woods 79thwin back in 2013.

Does finding errors by poring through play-by-play accounts, box scores, and game logs count?

Baseball re-wrote the rules on no-hitters and applied them retroactively.

i can see removing no-hitters of less than nine innings but I think removing no-hitters lost in extra innings was wrong.

There can be a fine line between “whim” and “good idea.”

For example, there was a time when the international federation in charge of weightlifting suddenly decided to change the weight limits on all of its weight classes, for no other reason than to erase all existing world records because it was not known how many of them were by weightlifters using performance-enhancing drugs.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the thread was when both Babe Ruth and Roger Maris were credited with the “home runs in a season” record (Ruth for 154 games; Maris for 162), but later Ruth’s share of the record was taken away.

Yup, Maris’s “asterisked” record is what I thought of, as well.

I never expected to see anyone but Rogers Hornsby own the single-season batting average record. He’s the Pluto of baseball.