50 Most Unbeatable Records In Sports

Bryan Healey@Bryan_HealeyCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2010

50 Most Unbeatable Records In Sports

0 of 51

    Barry Bonds? Really?
    Barry Bonds? Really?Dave Martin/Getty Images

    There are some records in professional sports that, once achieved, seem so impressive, so spectacular, so reverent, that it is difficult to imagine them ever being beaten again. The record stands strong and firm in the books, passing from generation to generation, a beacon of comfort and familiarity that no Snuggie can ever offer, like Roger Maris' 61 home runs, Ty Cobb's 4,189 hits, Lou Gehrig's 2,130 consecutive games played, or Hank Aaron's 755 home runs.


    Anyway, here is my list of the current 50 most unbeatable records in professional sports, at least 27 of which are sure to be beaten by the end of next year. And we will start with...

50. Baseball: Pete Rose / Career Hits / 4,256

1 of 51

    I wonder if he'd be willing to wager whether this one will be able to stand forever...

49. Baseball: Chicago Cubs / World Series Drought / 102 Years

2 of 51

    CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 24: Interim manager Mike Quade #8 of the Chicago Cubs watches as his team takes on the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on September 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The CArdinals defeated the Cubs 7-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Gett
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Sorry, Chicago... I couldn't help myself.

48. Football: George Blanda / Most Seasons Played / 26

3 of 51

    This man was collecting Social Security long before he was finished with football. I believe he may have played with his grandchildren.

47. Hockey: Wayne Gretzky / Career Goals / 894

4 of 51

    This man has scored almost 892 more goals than I ever have, even if I include the unsanctioned games from my neighborhood...

46. Tennis: Martina Navratilova / Career Singles Wins / 167

5 of 51

    I didn't even know it was possible to play that many games in a career, much less win them all.

45. NASCAR: Richard Petty / Wins In a Season / 27

6 of 51

    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 03:  Team owner Richard Petty attends the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series awards banquet at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel on December 3, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for NASCAR)
    David Becker/Getty Images

    I know almost nothing about NASCAR, but this sound like it would be really hard to do! Also, I want that hat...

44. Baseball: Barry Bonds / Home Runs After Forty / 79

7 of 51

    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 27:  Barry Bonds gestures attends Game One of the 2010 MLB World Series at AT&T Park on October 27, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    With the advent of special new "supplements," Barry played near All-Star caliber until long past his technical death!

43. Basketball: 1995 Chicago Bulls / Best Record / 72-10

8 of 51

    Unless we can manage to convince Michael Jordan to come out of retirement and magically become 25-years-old again, I don't think this will be touched for quite a while.

42. Olympics: Michael Phelps / Gold Medals In a Year / 8

9 of 51

    BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  American swimmer Michael Phelps smiles as he watches the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter of the game at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Geoff Burke
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    It's a good thing he was completely stoned the entire time, or he might have actually have won 20...

41. Baseball: Nolan Ryan / Career Walks / 2,795

10 of 51

    For a guy who threw really, really, really hard, he also missed a lot. Which is probably part of what made him terrifying.

40. Baseball: Ricky Henderson / Career Stolen Bases / 1,406

11 of 51

    OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Former member of the Oakland Athletics Rickey Henderson looks on against the Texas Rangers during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 24, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    With today's over dependence on the special five-run home run, this one is unlikely to be matched anytime soon.

39. Baseball: Ron Hunt / Hit By Pitch In a Season / 50

12 of 51

    Many players don't walk 50 times in a full season, much less get hit. He must have kept the local ice supplier in business single-handedly.

38. Hockey: Martin Brodeur / Career Wins / 606

13 of 51

    BOSTON - NOVEMBER 15:  Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils clears the puck in the first period against the Boston Bruins on November 15, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    He is over 50 career wins ahead of the guy sitting at No. 2 and over 120 wins ahead of No. 3...

37. Football: Brett Favre / Career Completions / 6,295

14 of 51

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 05:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings leaves the field after defeating the Buffalo Bills at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Nick Laha
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    That is over 314 completions per year for 20 seasons or almost 20 per game! And he's still going... sort of...

36. Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Consecutive Losses / 26

15 of 51

    This is almost two full seasons of losing. Ouch!

35. Football: Emmitt Smith / Career Rushing Yards / 18,355

16 of 51

    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 21:  Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith as Smith prepares to receive his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony at Cowboys Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    You would need to rush for over 60 yards every game of your career for 20 full seasons without injury to approach this impressive record.

34. Basketball: John Stockton / Career Steals / 3,265

17 of 51

    Assuming a 20-year career, which is a long span for a professional basketball player, you would need over 163 steals every season to best this mark!

33. Baseball: Barry Bonds / Walks In a Season / 120

18 of 51

    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 27:  Barry Bonds gestures from his seat during Game One of the 2010 MLB World Series at AT&T Park on October 27, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Pitchers were more afraid of Barry that magical year than any serious threat of nuclear war.

32. Football: Jerry Rice / Career Touchdowns / 208

19 of 51

    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Retired Hall of Fame National Football League player Jerry Rice arrives at the third annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2010 at the Palms Casino Resort December 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    You would need to play for 20 years and score over 10 touchdowns in every season to be able to beat this mark, which would be a Pro Bowl-caliber season every year of your career!

31. Cycling: Lance Armstrong / Consecutive Tour De France Wins / 7

20 of 51

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Lance Armstrong, cyclist and founder and chairman of LIVESTRONG, looks on during the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) September 22, 2010 in New York City. The sixth annual meeting of the CGI gathers prominent individuals in
    Mario Tama/Getty Images

    And he did it all with only one testicle...

30. Basketball: Wilt Chamberlain / Career Rebounds / 23,924

21 of 51

    You will see a lot of Wilt on this list. Perusing the record books could lead someone without adequate knowledge to believe that no one else ever played the game of basketball.

29. Baseball: Gus Weyhing / Career Hits Batsmen / 277

22 of 51

    You may never have heard of this man, but I'm sure the 277 people who spent the evening icing their various appendages will remember him forever.

28. Baseball: Hack Wilson / RBIs In a Season / 191

23 of 51

    There are only three guys in the history of professional baseball to ever get over 180 and one of them is the amazing Lou Gehrig.

27. Golf: Byron Nelson / Consecutive PGA Victories / 11

24 of 51

    Tiger Woods, arguably one of the greatest golfers and philanderers ever to have lived, is second on this list with only seven!

26. Baseball: Sam Crawford / Career Triples / 309

25 of 51

    A total of 309 career doubles would be considered a spectacular finish to a professional run.

25. Football: Norm Van Brocklin / Passing Yards In a Game / 554

26 of 51

    Ignoring the fact that 554 yards passing is is something most modern professionals couldn't accomplish in a high school reunion game, he really should have found a better fitting helmet... Just sayin'.

24. Baseball: Ty Cobb / Career Batting Average / .366

27 of 51

    Most All-Stars today are likely to finish their careers without a single season that approaches, much less exceeds, .366.

23. Baseball: Nolan Ryan / Career Strikeouts / 5,714

28 of 51

    He is almost a thousand strikeouts ahead of the next guy, and no one active is even close to the pace needed to break this record. Clemens couldn't top this mark even with the aid of chemicals usually reserved for race horses.

22. Hockey: George Hainsworth / Shutouts In a Season / 22

29 of 51

    For perspective, consider that the Boston Bruins, in all of 2009, didn't win 22 games at home, and I can assure you that not all of the wins they did get were shutouts.

21. Basketball: Wilt Chamberlain / Rebounds In a Game / 55

30 of 51

    It's exceedingly rare for a player today to score anywhere near 55 points!

20. Football: Jerry Rice / Career Receiving Yards / 22,895

31 of 51

    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Former member of the San Francisco 49ers Jerry Rice has his number retired at halftime against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    This equates to over 1,100 yards per year, and at least 72 per game, for an entire 20 years!

19. Baseball: Nolan Ryan / Career No-Hitters / 7

32 of 51

    Ryan is a full three no-hitters ahead of No. 2, the late-great Sandy Koufax. He also holds the world record for bloody-faced pictures while pitching.

18. Baseball: Joe DiMaggio / Hitting Streak / 56 Games

33 of 51

    It says something that most broadcasters get excited to the point of forced bathroom events when modern guys make it to anything over 30.

17. Baseball: Al Spalding / Wins In a Season / 54

34 of 51

    This would be an excellent, All-Star caliber, three-year win total, with at least one Cy Young, for most modern pitchers.

16. Football: Jerry Rice / Receptions / 1,549

35 of 51

    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Former member of the San Francisco 49ers Jerry Rice looks on against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    This is an impressive enough feat by itself, but consider that, along with his total yards record, he averaged 14.78 yards per reception!

15. Baseball: Cy Young / Career Complete Games / 749

36 of 51

    This man, with an arm apparently molded out of putty, has thrown more complete games than Roger Clemens has total games!

14. Baseball: Babe Ruth / Career Slugging Percentage / .690

37 of 51

    What would a records list be with the Babe? A sham, that's what! And so here he is, looking smug as always...

13. Tennis: Margaret Court / Grand Slams / 62

38 of 51

    Anytime you see a record-holder's picture in black-and-white and a little grainy, you know it's a tough record to beat. 

12. Baseball: Cal Ripken, Jr. / Consecutive Games Played / 2,632

39 of 51

    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07:  Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. watches on the sideline prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Flori
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    He not only holds the MLB record, but also the world record, and by hundreds of games!

11. Basketball: Wilt Chamberlain / Points In a Game / 100

40 of 51

    This is just outrageous and makes me feel wholly inadequate in so many ways.

10. Baseball: Ty Cobb / Career Steals of Home / 54

41 of 51

    This is just lunacy! A lot of players, good players, don't have 54 steals of anything in their career.

9. Baseball: Bob Gibson / Lowest ERA In a Season / 1.12

42 of 51

    When Pedro Martinez threw a 1.74 ERA in 2000, it was so far below the league average that it was considered a god-like achievement. And that is 0.62 above this Gibson mark.

8. Baseball: Walter Johnson / Career Shutouts / 110

43 of 51

    Many pitchers finish very successful careers without reaching 110 wins! Plus, Johnson looked downright scary...

7. NCAA Football: Oklahoma Sooners / Consecutive Wins / 47

44 of 51

    Most coaches would be happy winning 47 games in an entire stint with a team. This is almost going undefeated for four consecutive seasons!

6. Baseball: Cy Young / Career Innings Pitched / 7,356

45 of 51

    At the typical modern average of 200 innings per year, a pitcher would have to play for 37 years, something only Clemens has come close to (23 years) with the aid of powerful pharmaceuticals.

5. Basketball: Wilt Chamberlain / Points Per Game Average / 50.4

46 of 51

    You almost never see a guy score over 50 points in a single game, much less average 50 for an entire season! I think this man may never have actually existed.

4. Basketball: 1953 Bullets / Worst Record In Playoffs / 16-54

47 of 51

    How does a team that is 38 games under .500 make the playoffs? Wizardry, I assume.

3. Basketball: Boston Celtics / Consecutive Championships / 8

48 of 51

    Most professional teams in most sports don't have eight championships altogether, and with free agency and the economic climate of today, it's unlikely to ever see anyone top two consecutive championships.

2. Baseball: Cy Young / Career Wins / 511

49 of 51

    Cy Young has more wins than Pedro Martinez has total games pitched. He is the ultimate iron man and could probably muster the energy to still pitch today, despite being technically dead.

1. Boxing: Rocky Marciano / Consecutive Wins / 49

50 of 51

    A boxer would have to win two fights per year for 25 years, a measure of longevity that almost none ever do, to pass this mark. A truly remarkable feat!

51 of 51