Most Insane Sports Records

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIJune 27, 2013

Most Insane Sports Records

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    Some records are dubbed "unbeatable." But wait a generation or two and won't another Michael Jordan, another Wayne Gretzky, another Joe Montana come along? Won't there always be a longer streak, a hotter hand, and a higher-scoring game out there on the horizon?

    The answer is no. Some records are so off the charts, so insanely out of reach that even with the planets aligned and Lady Luck sashaying through the stadium, the figures still perch confidently in superlative positions.

    Click on to see 14 jaw-dropping sports records that may remain for the ages.

Most Consecutive Weeks as the World's No. 1 Tennis Player

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    Jimmy Connors held the WTA No. 1 ranking for 160 consectuive weeks. Steffi Graf held the woman's No. 1 spot for 186 consecutive weeks. And then way, way, way ahead of the pack is Roger Federer with his nearly unfathomable record of 237 consecutive weeks as the top player. 237 weeks!

    Kids entering their first week of high school 2004 would not see a new man in the top spot until they were graduated and heading off to college.

The Highest Pop Fly Ever Recorded

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    In 1941, Red Sox superstar Ted Williams hit a pop fly that soared up to an estimated 172 meters (565 feet) in height.

    Stack seven of the iconic Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castles on top of each other and we would be getting somewhere near that height.

Most Money Ever Paid for a Baseball Card

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    Known as the Holy Grail of baseball cards, a Honus Wagner card of any grade fetches more money than most of us would earn in a couple of decades. But a near mint-condition one?

    Well, Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick paid a record $2.8 million to add such a card to his collection.

    For those not into sports memorabilia, you can spend your spare $2.8 million on this Caribbean estate on 4.2 acres of beachfront property.

Most Red Cards in 1 Game

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    In March 2011, referee Damian Rubino shattered the previous record of red cards issued in a single game (20 from a match played in Paraguay in 1993) by flashing the "ol' scarlet Visa" a whopping 36 times during a fifth-tier Argentinean soccer match between rival teams Claypole and Victoriano Arenas.

    After an all-out brawl, he ejected all the remaining players (two had already been dismissed), all the subs, and all the coaches.

Hottest MLB Game on Record

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    On August 26, 1988, the Toronto Blue Jays baked with the Texas Rangers at Arlington Stadium in Texas. The temperatures reached 109 F (42.8 C).

    The Rangers—benefiting from the home heat advantage—won the game 5-1.

Most Olympic Medals Won

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    Larisa Latynina held the record as the most decorated Olympic athlete (at 18 medals strong) from 1964 to 2012, until Michael Phelps swam his way to 22.

    When the IOC decides to allow people with cybernetic enhancements to compete (guessing somewhere around the year 2400), the record might be toppled.

Highest Cricket Batting Average

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    Sir Donald Bradman's Test average of 99.94 is so far off the charts that it's barely worth mentioning in one of those which-sports-records-will-never-be-broken chats you have with your pals. 

    No other cricket batsman in history has ever averaged in the 90s.

    Or 80s.

    Or 70s. 

    In a far, far distant second place is Cheteshwar Pujara with a current average of 65.55.

Longest Boxing Match in History

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    On April 6, 1893, a crowd gathered at the Olympic Club in New Orleans to see a bout between Andy "Iron Man" Bowen and "Texas" Jack Burke. 

    Whatever spectators paid for their tickets, it was a bargain. The match went on for a savage 110 rounds (7 hours and nineteen minutes) "with no letting up" before the ref ruled the match "no contest."

    Burke stepped away from the fight with two broken wrists and two broken hands.

Most Points Scored in an NBA Game

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    On March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Wilt Chamberlain scored a bewildering 100 points in a single game for the Philadelphia Warriors.

    According to Wilt, after a while the opposing team, the New York Knicks, gave up trying to win and just set out to stop Wilt from hitting the magic number.

    Kobe Bryant holds the distant second spot with 81 points (still a supernatural figure itself).

Longest Tennis Match Ever

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    The scoreboard says it all. The Isner-Mahut 2010 Wimbledon match obliterated previous records for both time (11 hours, 5 minutes) and number of games played (183).

    The fifth set alone "lasted longer than the previous record holder for longest match in tennis history," according to Doug Sibor of Complex.

    American John Isner defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the final set. 

Longest Losing Streak in NCAA Basketball

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    Look at the slide title and make your guess. You're thinking in the range of 50, right? Well quadruple that and tack on another 7 games.

    Yes, the Caltech Beavers basketball squad lost 207 games in a row. The team broke the streak in 2007 with a victory over Bard College of New York.

Most Times Reaching the Summit of Everest

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    Everest has defeated many. To come to stand upon her majestic crown requires smarts, courage and skill. To do it more than once would seem to require supernatural powers.

    Meet Apa Sherpa, world record holder for summits of Everest. Apa has been to the roof of the world an astounding 21 times.

    So what does a guy with such an amazing record, a guy known as the Michael Jordan of mountaineering, go on to do after retiring from his sport? He works as a cleaner in a plastics factory. Sadly, not all sports pay NBA wages.

Longest Winning Streak in Professional Sports

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    The world was recently mesmerized when the Miami Heat went on a 27-game win streak. How does that measure up to the longest winning streak in professional sports? It's just under five percent of the way to surpassing it.

    Meet Pakistani squash sensation Jahangir Khan. He won 555 consecutive professional squash matches, absolutely dominating the sport from 1981-86.

Longest Banzai Skydive

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    What is banzai skydiving? The recipe calls for one part sport and one part suicide attempt. It goes like this: Soar up to your chosen altitude in an airplane. Open the jump door. Chuck your packed chute out and watch it careen down through the clouds. Wait as long as you dare. Then jump after it.

    Japanese skydiver/whackjob Yasuhiro Kubo holds the record for the deadly sport. He waited an excruciating 50 seconds before leaving the hatch to retrieve his chute and making it to the ground in human—not pancake—form.

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