The King of Never-to-be-Broken Sports Records

Kurt LiedtkeContributor IJune 7, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 07:  Ben Zobrist #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays at bat  against the New York Yankees during their game on June 7, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Any time a major statistical feat is reached in sports, it is placed on a pedestal with the typical context of "enjoy it folks, because you'll never see that again."
...Then the record gets broken again within a couple years...

Even the grandest of records that nobody thought would ever be broken have been shattered. Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak is now Cal Ripken's game streak, homeruns in a season has now been broken multiple times thanks to the wonders of illegal performance enhancers, passing yards, touchdowns, etc. Records in many ways are made to be broken.

But there are a few that stand the test of time, and realistically it can be said that those will never be broken.

I got into a conversation about this a couple days ago, and while a few interesting different sports records were brought up in various sports, my mind went to baseball and one guy who stands above the rest.

He is the king of records-that-will-never-be-broken-for-as-long-as-we-live...
Cy Young.

We can argue about the most impressive records in sports history forever, but when it comes to possessing the most impressive records that completely overshadow all the other competition, I don't think anybody comes close to Cy Young.

During Cy Young's 22-year career he racked up:
511 career wins
316 career losses
749 complete games pitched
7,354 innings pitched
30,058 batters faced

...and he also had over 3,000 at-bats hitting a career .210, respectable for a pitcher.

749 complete games pitched.
These days it is impressive if a starting pitcher gets 5 CGs a season.

511 career wins.
They just threw a massive party and celebrated the fact that Randy Johnson, now in his mid-40s, just picked up his 300th career win which will easily place him in the hall of fame. 211 more wins Randy and you can tie Cy, good luck on achieving that.

5 times he had seasons with 30+ wins.
The last time somebody had 30 wins in one year was Denny McLain in 1968. These days it is only the best of the best that even sniff 20-wins in a single year.

Cy Young holds the major league baseball record in wins, losses, most career games started, most complete games, most innings pitched, most career 30+ win seasons (and had 15 seasons of 20+ wins), and is fourth in MLB in career shutouts and is also credited with pitching the first "perfect game."

Beat that, Nolan Ryan.
Beat that, Randy Johnson.
Beat that, Roger Clemens, even with roids you don't even come close.

Sandy Koufax, Bob Giibson, Dave Stewart, Orel Hershiser, Steve Carlton, or any other memorable dominating pitcher in MLB history. Any record you may have set doesn't come close to matching the sheer volume of absolutely insane records that Cy Young holds.

I mean seriously, 511 wins?

749 career complete games?

We can talk all we want about records that we think are untouchable...Gretzky's goals record, Rickey Henderson's stolen bases, Brett Favre's consecutive starts at QB streak, Wilt Chamberlain's single-game scoring mark...

Whatever. You can argue those, but they are at least feasible.
But nobody, I mean NOBODY, will sniff even 100 complete games in the 4/5 rotation era of baseball, much less come anywhere close to 749 complete games.



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