unbreakable sports records

Now that Dimaggio’s 56 game hitting streak is safe again (and not even in real jeopardy after the Phillies Chase Utley’s streak ended last night at 35 games), I started wondering what records are truly unbreakable.

My apologies in advance if I get some of the totals wrong, but I’m tired and not interested in googling. This shoots my credibility if I get something wrong, but I’m posting in the right forum, so I’m sort of covered… after all, it’s my *opinion * :smiley: )


  1. Cy Young’s 511 wins
  2. Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hitting streak
  3. Cal Ripken’s 2,632 straight games.
  4. Hack Wilson’s 190 RBI’s in a season. Now that’s just an amazing number.


  1. Miami Dolphins undefeated season (this could happen, but there are so many reasons not to pursue it - like the Colts last year resting players for their Super Bowl run), that I just don’t see it. Although I’d love to see this fall, just so I don’t have to see that damn champagne popping every year.

  2. Pittsburgh Steelers 4 Super Bowls in 6 years. With free agency, injuries, longer seasons, and the money structure of the game changed, this will be tough to maintain a team over a course of a 6 year stretch. Although I believe the Patriots have a chance to match it this year, I don’t see it happening. And I’m not taking into consideration the pre-super bowl era. This one is the only one on my list that has a chance of going down, but if the Pats don’t do it this year, it will never happen.


  1. Mario Lemieux scoring 5 different ways in a game. Full strength, power play, short handed, penalty shot, empty net. I think he’s the only one to ever do it, and it can only be tied.

  2. Just about everything Wayne Gretzky did. Of note,
    a. Most goals: 894 in 1,487 games
    b. Most goals, one season: 92
    Horse Racing

  3. I think Secretariat set all kinds of records, including distance winning margins and time records at a couple of tracks.

College Basketball

  1. UCLA - from 1964 to 1975, they won 10 NCAA tourneys, including 7 in a row.

Pro Basketball

  1. Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 pts. in a game.


  1. Lance Armstrong’s 7 in a row.
    Anyone else care to share their thoughts as to any records that will never be broken? Any sports are welcome


Donald Bradman’s test average of 99.94. The mark of a great record is how far it is beyond the second place. In second place is C. S. Dempster with 65.72

Baseball: Owen WIlson’s 36 triples in a season. Who hits triples anymore?

Ronnie O’ Sullivan, holding the FIVE fastest 147 breaks ever. He’s also the youngest to score 147 in a tournament AFAIR, and he’s ambidextrous, at times getting critisized for playing with his left hand in important games. Can’t top that.

There are quite a few cycling records that will never be broken. Most of them held by Eddy Merckx.

1969: Won the yellow, green and polka dot jersy in the Tour de France.

445 career victories

11 grand tour victories

34 stage wins in the Tour de France

Squash: Heather McKay (Australia) – note that during her reign, the British Open was the de facto World Championship:

Real Tennis: Pierre Etchebaster (Basque):

Rob Fahey (Australia) is a phenomenon in his own right, but he’s got a long way to go before he passes 26 years as World Champion in the oldest sport for which there is a World Champion. He’s an incredible player who has to face many more challengers than Etchebaster ever did, but “26 years as World Champion” is a tough goal to aim for.

S.F. Barnes took 189 Test wickets, which has been many times overpassed: but he took them in only 27 matches. No-one else has had a strike rate of 7 wickets per Test. Good as Warne is, if he’d been striking at Barnes’s rate he’d be closing in on 1000 dismissals now, not 700. (Muralitharan, though, rolls them over at nearly 6. But no-one ever thought Barnes threw.)

In reference to this discussion of cricket, it has been said that English speakers are people separated by a common language. Half of the posts to this thread have been incomprehensible to me and most of the people who are reading this.

Can we get some sort of explanation, either here or in another thread (which would probably be better to limit this hijack), otherwise you might as well be telling me that the crayon is purple for all the sense it’s making to me.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Agree with the above that a true test of how great a record is should be determined by how close someone comes to breaking it. Therfore I also agree
with the above that the baseball record of 36 triples is most impressive. If someone gets HALF the total in a season, 18, it is a really impressive feat. I am surpised, though, that the record for doubles, 72, has lasted so long. You would think someone could get a double every other game or so, but they never do.

From baseball:

  1. Fernando Tatis’ record of most grand slams off the same pitcher in a single inning (2).

  2. Johnny Vander Meer’s record of most consecutive no-hitters (also 2).

  3. Jack Chesboro record of most wins in a season (41, because what pitcher even starts 41 games in a season anymore.)

I would be very surprised if this record would ever be broken. But remember that Gehrig’s record was once though unbreakable as well.

All you need to know is that the bowler’s Holding, the batsmen’s Willy :eek:

Ok, then - what’s a “triple”?


A triple is a three-base hit in baseball. You hit the ball and run the bases in baseball. A one-base hit is a single, a two-base hit is a double, a three-base hit is a triple, and a four-base hit (as there are only four bases) is a home run.

Football (Soccer) - Arsenal’s 49 unbeaten games run, including an entire season going undefeated. Could be beaten at some point, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Over his career, Donald Bradman of Australia averaged 99.94 runs in 52 Test matches (the highest level of international cricket). Scoring 100 runs in a match is a major feat - they stop the game briefly while the crowd gives a special ovation. To average this over a career is phenomenal - roughly like a quarterback averaging 5 touchdown passes per game.

Baseball is absolutely loaded with pitching records that can never be broken, because pitchers don’t pitch nearly as often as they used to: games started, games won, innings pitched, shutouts, complete games–in a season, and over a career. In order for any of these to be broken, we’d need to see a reversal of a trend (lighter pitching workloads) which has persisted for 150 years.

Hitting and general service records are more interesting. Note that Hack Wilson’s RBI record has been bumped to 191; somebody discovered an error on the 1930 tally sheets.

Of the three listed in the OP (DiMaggio, Ripken, Wilson), none are impossible to break due to changes in game conditions. Given enough rolls of the dice, all will fall eventually.

But damn, a break of any of them would be an awfully low-probability event. I think Wilson’s will fall first, probably in my lifetime (I’m 46), during one of the high-scoring cycles which periodically recur.

Here’s a record which won’t fall: fewest home runs by a team in a season, 3, by the White Sox in 1908.

Unless the NFL decides to make the field longer, Tony Dorsett’s 99 yard rush from scrimmage will never be broken.


I recently read a biographical piece about Sydney Francis Barnes and couldn’t believe what I read. He was, at the time, the best bowler in the world but, as he had to earn a quid, was playing league cricket when selected for England.

This is the equivalent of being selected for the basketball Dream Team while playing schoolyard pickup games.

Joe Nuxhall was the youngest player to ever play in a major league game at 15. There will never be another 15 year old player in major league baseball.

I agree with the first two and vehemently disagree with the second two.

I’m particularly amazed anyone would think Ripken’s record is unbreakable; I mean, surely you remember that just 20, 25 years ago, everyone said Lou Gehrig’s record was unbreakable? There’s nothing about 2,632 straight games that strikes me as being unbreakable. If a player gets an early start to their career, is a star, and plays every game for 3 or 4 years, their consecutive-games streak will become a matter of pride and they’ll stay in every day. If they’re lucky enough not to get hurt, why can’t that record fall?

Similarly, I don’t see 190 RBI as necessarily unbreakable. Wilson set the record mainly because he played a season where the league on base percentage was .360, plus there were more errors back then. If it comes to pass again that on base percentages surge up - and it likely will, sooner or later - someone could drive in more. They’d need the right team - a team with a very high OBP but not a lot of other sluggers - but it’s doable.

I would think that a LOT of baseball records are unbreakable unless the conditions of the game change far, far more than they probably ever will. Basically every single season counting pitching record except strikeouts and saves is out of reach; 41 wins, 434 innings, 16 shutouts, etc. etc.

I also believe the single seaso nrecord for triples, 36 by Chief Wilson, likely cannot be broken under modern conditions. It was even a fluke back then, actually.