This is always a fun conversation amongst baseball fans, and since we have a bunch, let's do it here on AoG. Baseball fans have a much stronger connection to the history of the game than any other sports fans. Part of that is just baseball's legacy, but a lot of it is just the different mentality that baseball fans have. Baseball fans tend to be more patient and cerebral, so they care more about these kinds of questions. In contrast, few football fans really care if the single season rushing record is broken again.
For the purposes of this conversation, baseball records that cannot possibly be broken are verboten. Wait, did I just contradict myself? How are we supposed to have a conversation about unbreakable records when I first say you can't mention the unbreakable ones? Well, there's a lot of pitching records out there especially that just cannot be beaten just because pitchers used to be men. Men who pitched in 2 or 3 man rotations. For a long time, even a four man rotation was more of a three man with a spot starter. Here's two quick examples:
- SINGLE SEASON WINS RECORD: 59 (Charles Radbourn, Providence Grays, 1884) Seriously, if you don't know about "old hoss", it's an awesome story. He was literally the Grays only SP for half the season. The 59 wins is even more crazy when you consider the season was only 112 games in 1884. Obviously this record can never be broken under the current 4-5 man rotations of MLB.
- PRETTY MUCH ANY RECORD CY YOUNG HOLDS: For basically the reasons I described above, Cy's records stand partly because he played in a time where there were only 3 man rotations (or a fourth spot starter). Cy's complete game record of 749 is the most insane, if you ask me.
Another one I'm throwing out as completely unbreakable is Cal Ripken's 2,632 games played streak. Before you argue that Gehrig's previous record (2,130) was considered unbreakable even while Cal was playing, keep in mind how things have changed in regard to sports medicine. Managers all but *require* time off, and if they don't, GMs and owners will demand it of players as it's a liability to them. No one will even come close. Yeah I know Tejada got up there (1,152) back in '07, but it simply won't be allowed. It's not so much on the players as it is on all the people worried about getting the player hurt.
That's my only real restrictions here. I'm going to start with my first one, and will add more in if there's enough comments.
LONGEST HITTING STREAK: 56 (Joe DiMaggio)
This is an oft-cited "unbreakable" baseball streak, and in the realm of baseball records that *could* be broken, I'm putting it up there as the least likely to fall. Nolan Ryan fans are probably pissed off I'm not going with the strikeout record (which is also up there), but the hit streak is something in of itself. Why? Because no one has come close. Not even CLOSE. Pete Rose was the closest challenger at 44; and make no mistake, the closer you get to it, the harder it gets. Even at 44, that's 12 games off from tying the record, or just over two weeks worth of games.
So there you have it a record that could very well be broken, I submit it to be the most "unbreakable" of the "breakable" records. What's yours? Discuss!