Baseball is a magical game. It is also a game of numbers and records that transcend statistics and become part of our culture. 714. 61*. 4192. Each spring, a renewed hope and optimism takes place. This is the year. Someone will do the impossible. Sometimes they do. Changes in stadiums, equipment, and strategy make some records simply unobtainable. Here are ten unbreakable baseball records (in no certain order).
Cy Young's 511 Career Wins
This is definitely one of the most unbreakable. In a four to five man rotation, most pitchers won't even see this many starts in a career, let alone manage this lofty total. In the current climate even a 300 game winner will soon be a rarity. Fortunately, this also will spare a pitcher the ability to accumulate Cy's 316 losses-another unbreakable feat.
Johnny Vander Meer's Back-to-Back No Hitters
The Red's hurler during the 1938 season delivered an act virtually impossible to match, let alone break. It is rare enough for a pitcher to deliver a single no-hitter. Two in a career is even rarer. But two back-to-back. Forget about it!
Nolan Ryan's 5714 K's
It took so many things for this to occur-a fireballer with a nearly indestructible arm pitching for over two dozen years in an era when hurler were allowed to go the distance. The great Randy Johnson gave it a good effort, but injuries and age caught him, too. He still finished over 800 behind!! We will never see the likes of Ryan's total again.
Nolan Ryan's 7 No-Hitters
See above. Unbelievable.
It has been over 40 years since baseball has seen even a 30 game winner. Again, with fewer starts available and a more competitive field this record will stand for the ages. Now if only he hadn't thrown that infamous wild pitchâ¦
Walter Johnson's 110 Career Shutouts
Unbelievable talent and career while playing for truly terrible teams. From the workhorse years of baseball when a pitcher was allowed (and expected) to go the distance every time out. Some say Johnson's fastball has never been equaled. Our greatest pitchers from the last fifty years have managed to eke out career totals only in the low 60s. With Randy Johnson and Glavine retiring, the current leader is Pedro Martinez. With 17 career shutouts. At 37 years of age. Rest easy WaJo! You are secure!
Now, the guys that have to face the likes of the above also hold some impressive and monumental records. Some great batting feats will also never be topped.
Sam Crawford and his 309 Career Triples
Smaller ballparks and an emphasis on the longball make this record absolutely beyond reach. The most exciting play in baseball is still safe at third on a hard line down the line. Sam thrilled to this over 300 times. Our current speedsters of Jimmy Rollins and Carl Crawford will end up with nice totals, but currently haven't even hit a 100 yet. Chief Wilson's single season mark of 36 Triples is also carved in stone.
Rickey Henderson's Two-for-One Special on Stolen Bases: 1406 Career and 130 Season
What can you say about a career total in ANY category that ranks 50% higher than the closest competitor! 50%. Smashing the former record of Lou Brock, Henderson ran his way to immortality. Teams are no longer willing to send star athletes crashing around the paths and risk injury. Fans clamor for the longball. Rickey's career and single season marks will endure.
How can one man be so great for so long? Modern hitters will do well to bat this high in a single season just once. For a career? Not likely. Today's game has fewer players who slap the ball and more who look to drive it. Goodbye Boggs and Gwynn and bless you Ichiro for keeping this style of ball alive.
Barry Bonds and 7 MVP Awards
Bonds was a great athlete who is forever tainted by the steroids scandal. How many MVPs could he have won without them? New drug testing and penalties will hopefully stem the use of performance enhancing drugs, but will also stop superhuman feats, too. This record deserves to be in the hands of a better role model. Albert Pujols it is not too late for you.
There are many other records that could make this list: Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak, Babe Ruth's career slugging percentage, Cal Ripken's consecutive game streak and Hugh Duffy's .440 average. These, too, are probably safe. But most thought Gehrig's was safe, too.
The pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training. The baseball cards are on the shelves. Another season begins. Play Ball! Let the arguments begin!