Top 5 Most Unbreakable Baseball Records

Michael EmreyContributor IMay 8, 2008

All records are meant to be broken.  Or are they?  Here is a glimpse of what, in my opinion, are the most unbreakable baseball records.  I am not saying that they cannot be broken; these are simply the ten hardest to break. 

1.  Cal Ripken's 2632 consecutive games played streak.

Everyone said that Lou Gehrig's 2131 streak would never be broken.  Then came Cal Ripken Jr.  Some people try to downplay the streak saying that it is just him going to work everyday.  I disagree; To play 2632 consecutive baseball games is insanely demanding on a body, especially an aging body.  Miguel Tejada's streak of 1152 games ended in 2007, so do not look for anyone else to come close to touching Ripken or Gehrig. 

2.  Ty Cobb's .367 career batting average.

Cobb's record will be hard to touch because it would require a player to hit .367 for over 5 seasons considering that they would need a minimum of 3000 plate appearances.  To put Cobb's record into perspective, Albert Pujols is a career .332 hitter at 28, and so is Ichiro at 34.  The active leader, Todd Helton hits .337 lifetime--.30 points lower than Cobb.  Maybe someday a young player will step in the big leagues and only play 5-6 seasons while hitting .367. . .Highly unlikely. 

3.  Nolan Ryan's 5714 career strikeouts.

With today's pitchers only going 6-7 innings/game on average, it would take a player an extremely long time to reach 5714 k's.  Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson are the next two pitchers on the K list, but they are still both more than 1000 strikeouts away.  I do not see either throwing 5 more 200 K seasons. 

4.  Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hit streak.

Jimmy Rollins came fairly close when he hit safely in 38 strait games from 2005 to 2006.  Only 43 players have ever accumulated 30 or more consecutive games with a hit.  The hit streak requires a great deal of skill considering how difficult it is to hit a baseball, but it also requires a lot of luck.  All the factors have to be in place for a ball to drop in or get through: You have to get a hitable pitch, and hit it where they ain't for 56 games--not an easy task. 

5.  Babe Ruth's single season OPS of 1.546.

That would mean a slugger would have to have a 1.000 slugging %, and a .547 on base %.  Barry Bonds is the most recent person to get on base close to 50 % of the time for a season.  He also hit for power, and his OPS was 1.378, and 1.421, still more than 100 points behind Ruth.  Maybe Pujols, or A-Rod will get close in years to come, but I see this record as pretty untouchable. 

Close Calls:

Ricky Henderson's 130 stolen bases.

-Players today definitely have the speed and ability to break the record, but stealing bases has declined in popularity in the last two decades.  I think Henderson's record is more breakable than all of the top 5 considering a player would only have to put up the numbers in a single season.

Barry Bonds - 73 homeruns

-Besides Bonds, no one has hit more than 66 since two guys named Mark and Sammy did it in 1998, but I think a slugger will be able to surpass Bonds.  Like Henderson's SB record, this is only a single season task, therefore, more likely to be broken.

Orel Hershiser's 59 consecutive scoreless innings.

-This record is amazing, but could be broken by a reliever, I think.  A closer, or set-up man would have the best chances since they would only be pitching an inning or so at a time. 

Pete Rose's 4256 career hits.

Alex Rodriguez has a very outside chance to reach Rose's record.  He has not gotten more than 200 hits since 2001, but if he averaged 200 a year from now until he is 42 (ten years), he would have around 4200.  he averages 191 hits per 162 games.  It is doable, we will just have to wait a decade to see. 

Barry Bonds' 762 career homeruns and maybe still counting. 

If Albert Pujols averages 40 homers for 12 more years he will be 40, and have 768 bombs, so that could be viable.  A-Rod is at 522 career homeruns, and will have to average exactly 35 homers a year for 6 seasons.  I believe A-Rod will top the all-time homerun list within the next 8 years. 

Cy Young's 511 wins.

This record is obviously not going to be broken, but I had to include my reasons to keep it off the list.  It's simple: Modern pitchers just don't throw as often as Young did. 

Please comment on this piece.  Let me know what you agree and disagree with.  I know it is only the top 5, so I had to leave a lot of great records out.