We all know the old saying that “records are meant to be broken,” but in these 10 cases we tend to disagree. With a nod to the Rangers former CEO, present our top 10 records that will stand the test of time:
10. Cy Young’s 511 wins
Yes the era was different in the late 1800s and into the early part of the 20th century. Yes statistics were inflated in that era. But even still, Denton True “Cy” Young’s record of 511 wins over a course of 20 seasons in the Majors will never be eclipsed. In fact, when Randy Johnson became the most recent pitcher to reach 300 wins in 2009, many were predicting the Big Unit would be the last to join that elusive club. Imagine having to win 211 more (roughly what Curt Schilling accumulated over his career).
9. Roger Federer’s 23 straight Grand Slam semifinals
Imagine the Duke Blue Devils going to 23 straight Final Fours. That is essentially what Roger Federer did from 2004 to 2010. During those five and a half years, Fed Ex dominated the sport in ways that no tennis player has ever done –recording 14 of his all-time best 16 Grand Slam championships. But it is his 23 straight Final Four appearances in the Slams that will never be reached. Need further proof? The 2nd most consecutive semis appearances: Ivan Lendl and Rod Laver tie with only 10.
8. Jerry Rice’s 22,895 career receiving yards
He is roundly considered the greatest wide receiver in the history of the National Football League. In fact, some consider him as the greatest football player, period. In his 20-years in the NFL, Jerry Rice was a 3-time Super Bowl champion, named to the Pro Bowl 13 times, recorded an NFL record 208 touchdowns, and caught 1,549 passes (also an NFL record). But his 22,895 receiving yards is what stands out. Considering Tim Brown ranks second in career receiving yards with nearly 8,000 less than Rice – or eight Pro Bowl seasons – this record will never be reached.
7. Johnny Vander Meer’s Back-to-Back No Hitters
In a regular baseball game, a no hitter is the pinnacle for every pitcher. Getting one in a career is hard enough. Getting two, and you are one of the elite. But what about two in a row? Impossible, right? That is precisely what Johnny Vander Meer did in the Summer of 1938. On June 11th, Vander Meer, who holds a lifetime 119-121 record, he held the Boston Braves hitless. Then, four days later, the Cincinnati Reds’ left-hander no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the only Major League pitcher to throw back-to-back no hit ballgames. Just think about it, tying the record would be tough enough; but to break it, someone would have to throw three no-hitters in a row. Good luck!
6. Kentucky Wildcats’ 129 game home win streak
Whether it is on a football field, baseball diamond, basketball court, or even the hockey rink, playing at home is a definite advantage. For 12 seasons in the Blue Grass State, it was a guarantee. From 1943 to 1955, Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats dominated the opposition in Lexington to a tune of 129 straight wins. Even more amazingly, on the 130th game on their home floor, the Wildcats fell to Georgia Tech by a single point. No other collegiate basketball squad is in the triple digits for consecutive home court wins. With the exorbitant amount of money offered in professional sports and an NCAA system that promotes the concept known as “one and done,” this mark will never be duplicated.
5. Wayne Gretzky’s 1,963 career assists
He is known as “The Great One.” Going by the numerous records he has accumulated over a span of 20 years in the NHL, it’s hard to argue that moniker. 92 goals in 1981-82. 215 points in 1985-86. 894 career goals. 2,857 points. None of these feats will ever be reached. But none of his many accolades are as impressive as his career 1,963 assists. In fact, he has more assists in his career than any other player has points. Enough said.
4. Wilt Chamberlain’s 55 rebound night
Known as arguably the most dominant basketball player in the history of the sport, Wilt Chamberlain boasts several NBA records which will surely never be broken; including a 100-point game, averaging 50+ points for an entire season, and even becoming the only player to record a double triple-double (20 points, 20 rebounds, 20 assists). But none of his many records is as impressive as the one he set in 1960 where he grabbed 55 rebounds against the not-so diminutive Hall of Fame center Bill Russell and his Boston Celtics. Last month, Minnesota’s Kevin Love made headlines by recording the first 30-30 game in the last 28 years when he recorded 31 points and 31 rebounds against the New York Knicks. Chamberlain grabbed that many boards in the first half.
3. Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak
Upon his death in 1999, the New York Times called it “perhaps the most enduring record in sports.” It’s hard to argue with that assessment. For 2 straight months in the Summer of 1941, Joe DiMaggio did what no other player in the history of the game able to accomplish…hit safely in 50 consecutive games. No player in the history of the sport had been able to reach the 50-hit mark. When his streak finally did come to an end after an astonishing 56 straight games, the Yankee Clipper began a new hit streak of 16 games, essentially coming within a single game from hitting safely in 73 consecutive Major League games. In fact, with the exception of Pete Rose in 1978, since World War II, no player has been able to hit safely in 40 straight games. Try getting to 56.
It has been called the greatest year in professional golf of all time. In 1945, North Texas’ own John Byron Nelson won an incredible 18 PGA tournaments out of the 35 in which he had entered. That alone is still a record that holds to this day. But what will never be broken is that out of those titles, 11 were in a row. Even more incredible, Nelson finished second in seven of the remaining 17 tournaments entered that year. Many professional golfers can be satisfied with only one tournament victory in their career; for “Lord” Byron Nelson in 1945, it was routine.
1. Nolan Ryan’s 5,714 strikeouts
When he retired in 1993, Lynn Nolan Ryan held 53 Major League pitching records; including an unprecedented seven no-hitters, three more than Sandy Koufax. But the Ryan Express’ record 5,714 strikeouts is the pinnacle of baseball dominance over the span of his 27 years. While no player has ever reached the 5,000 strikeout mark (Randy Johnson finished with 4,875), Ryan crushed it. When his legendary durability finally gave out on him with a torn ligament in his Hall of Fame right arm, Big Tex was still able to throw a 98 mph fastball for a strike. With the emphasis of the pitch count and the rise of late inning specialists that relieve the starters, Nolan Ryan’s strikeout record will most definitely live forever.