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They say records were made to be broken, but some of MLB's records have been set to withstand the test of time. A few may last due to changes in game play and rules, however, many of the most outstanding accomplishments can only be credited to players' pure athletic skill and strength of character.
The records which have been deemed "unbreakable" are perhaps the most intriguing of all. They leave you in awe of the exceptional talent of the players who set them. Some of these accomplishments cover entire careers, others took place in a single season and some of the most fascinating ones occurred during a single game. Do any spring to mind? Check out the quiz and see if they're in there!
Ty Cobb and Cy Young are two of the names which stand out. Every baseball fan knows all the others: Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, for instance. Each has made his mark on the game, writing his name in the record books while intriguing fans and inspiring future players along the way. Do you know which records each of these baseball giants holds? Put your knowledge of baseball stats to the ultimate test - come take the quiz!
So, are you ready to step up to the plate and take a swing at this quiz? Any real baseball fan should be able to hit each of these answers right out of the ballpark! Show us what you've got - start the quiz!
As a baseball player, Pete Rose has had an epic fall from grace brought on by betting on the game. Although he is now on a lifetime ban from baseball, Rose still holds the MLB all-time career records for at-bats, singles, hits, outs and games played.
This Baseball Hall of Fame inductee is considered by many to be the G.O.A.T. when it comes to base runners and leadoff hitters. In fact, apart from stolen bases, Henderson also holds the records for runs, leadoff home runs and unintentional walks.
Up to April 23, 1999, there were 13 players with 2 grand slams in the same game. On that day, while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Fernando Tatis did what no one even considered to be possible: hit 2 grand slams in the same inning.That feat remains unmatched to this day!
Doubles, triples and home runs a-plenty helped Babe Ruth amass 119 extra base hits in the 1921 season. Fellow Yankee player Lou Gehrig comes in at a very close second with 117 extra-base hits in 1927.
Lou Gehrig set the previous record for most consecutive games played at 2,130 between 1925 and 1939. That record seemed unbeatable, then along came Cal Ripken Jr. and it was shattered! His streak began on May 30, 1982 and he broke Gehrig’s record on September 6, 1995. Ripken’s streak ended on Sept. 19, 1998 with the new “unbreakable” record standing at 2,632.
In 1959 and 1962, there were two All-Star Games held each season. Whether you count it by seasons or game appearances, however, Hall of Famer Hank Aaron still holds the All-Star lead: 21 seasons and 25 game appearances.
Three-baggers may be few and far between these days, but back in the early 1900s 6-foot tall, 190-pound Sam Crawford churned them out almost on cue. His career triples record of 309 is now considered one of those which will stand the test of time!
A no-hitter is a prized accomplishment for any pitcher – and Nolan Ryan (a.k.a. The Ryan Express) has 7 of them! Interestingly, although Ryan’s career lasted four decades, his first 2 no-hitters were just 2 months apart: May 15 and July 15, 1973.
Ty Cobb spent his career (1905 – 1928) playing for the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Athletics, becoming one of the legends of baseball in the process. Nicknamed “The Georgia Peach,” Cobb was among the very first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Walter Johnson’s nickname, The Big Train, did not come about because of his size – he earned it out of respect for his lightning fast pitches. Fellow baseball great Ty Cobb is quoted as saying Johnson’s fastballs “hissed with danger” and made him “flinch.”
Anyone who is impressed by Old Hoss Radbourn’s record of most wins in season could be blown out of the water when they take a look at the full picture! In that season (1884), Old Hoss actually got the Triple Crown, leading all other pitchers with his 59 wins, an incredible 441 outs and an earned run average of just 1.38.
When it comes to pitchers, it is pretty safe to say Cy Young stands out as a giant among them. He has been a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1937, and after his death in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created to recognize the best pitcher of the season in the MLB. Since 1967, the decision was taken to award two winners annually – one from each of the leagues: NL and AL.
No pitcher before Johnny Vander Meer earned consecutive no-hitters – none has since either! It helps to put his amazing feat into perspective when you realize that we are only able to use the term “consecutive no-hitters” because of him.
Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid, is considered by many baseball experts to be the best all-round player the game has ever seen. Apart from his 24 All-Star Game appearances, Mays also earned 12 Gold Glove awards for his work as an outfielder.
Pete Rose played professional baseball from 1963 to 1986. During that time, he was a player for the Cincinnati Reds (1963 – 1978 and 1984 – 1986), Philadelphia Phillies (1979 – 1983) and Montreal Expos (1984).
Owen “Chief” Wilson was 6’2” tall and weighed 185 lbs., and his stature was the reason behind his nickname (not him being Native American, which he wasn’t). According to the Society for American Baseball Research, Wilson was first given the nickname “Chief” by one of his managers, who thought he looked like “Chief of the Texas Rangers.”
Although Orel Hershiser’s record for the most consecutive scoreless innings pitched is referred to as a career record, it was (amazingly) achieved in a single season – 1988). There was a hint of something big coming from Hershiser from as early as his rookie season (1984) when he had a 33 2/3 innings scoreless streak.
Tris “Grey Eagle” Speaker holds two MLB records. Apart from most career doubles (1907 – 1928), the Grey Eagle also has the most career outfield assists, at 449. Speaker became a Hall of Famer in 1937.
“Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio has what is considered to be one of the MLB’s unbreakable records: 56 consecutive games with a hit. Also known as the Yankee Clipper, DiMaggio spent his entire career of 13 years with the New York Yankees, leading them to 9 World Series Championships in the process.
Cy Young holds the untouchable career record for wins with a 94-win lead ahead of second-place pitcher, Walter Johnson. While amassing his 511 wins, Young emerged leader of the league in wins on 5 occasions – the 1892, 1895, 1901, 1902 and 1903 seasons.
James “Pud” Galvin’s career playing in the Major Leagues lasted from 1875 to 1892. During that time, he racked up 639 complete games and goes down in history as the first pitcher with 300 career wins and the first to throw a perfect game. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965.
Whether it is for his overall career or efforts in a single season, Barry Bonds’ name appears multiple times in the MLB list of records. His achievements have been marred, however, by his involvement in the MLB steroids scandal.
When Matt Kilroy made his debut in the Major Leagues in 1886, he did it in fine style. He pitched at least one no-hitter and set the record for strikeouts in a single season at 513. By the end of the season, he had been given the nickname the Phenomenal Kid, which seems to sum up the 19-year-old’s accomplishments.
Ty Cobb spent 24 years playing professional baseball. Most of that time, he played for the Detroit Tigers (1905 – 1926), where he made the vast majority of his stellar accomplishments. Cobb signed with the Philadelphia Athletics for the final leg of his career (1927 – 1928), then went back to the Detroit Tigers as manager (1921 – 1926).
Rickey Henderson’s name may be the one in the record books for most runs scored, but the humble and honored leadoff hitter sees it as a team effort. In a 2001 L.A. Times article published the day after he broke the record, Henderson is quoted as saying, “It’s a record that you’ve got to have your teammates help you out and in the 23 years I have had some great teammates.”
Grover Cleveland Alexander joined the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938. He played professionally from 1911 to 1930 and holds the distinction of being named after a US president and having a future president (Ronald Reagan) portray him in a film about his life, 1952’s The Winning Team.
Mariano Rivera is one of a handful of players who have accumulated over 400 saves throughout their careers. He set the record at 652, 51 saves ahead of second-place player Trevor Hoffman.
Both the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox have included Wes Ferrell in their prestigious Halls of Fame. Ferrell not only holds the lead for career home runs by a pitcher, he also has the record for most by any pitcher in a single season.
As a true baseball legend, Lou Gehrig holds the distinction of having played on 8 World Championship teams. Gehrig voluntarily left baseball after developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease which would later claim his life and be named after him.
Barry Bonds holds the MLB career records for most walks (2,558) and most intentional walks (688). It seems opposing teams felt safe from his hitting prowess by simply allowing him on base!
Bartolo Colón began his professional baseball career in 1997, and since then he has played for a long list of teams. He holds several MLB “oldest” records apart from being the oldest player to hit his first home run. Currently, Colón is the oldest player in the Major Leagues.
While no one disputes the fact that “Sliding Billy” Hamilton scored the most is a single season, there is an issue as to what the exact number is. Three figures have been recorded: 192, 196 and 198. What is sure, however, is that he leads the pack, with Babe Ruth at second with 177 runs in the 1921 season.
After Tommy Brown set the record for being the youngest MLB player to hit a home run (17 years, 257 days old), he took things one step further. Just five days later, he hit another homer, becoming the second-youngest MLB player to hit a home run!
The Society for American Baseball Research underscores Cy Young’s phenomenal achievements in the game by pointing out the 5 philosophies he played by. These include, “be moderate in all things” and “don’t abuse yourself.”
“The Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat” were two of the other nicknames assigned to “Babe” Ruth, who distinguished himself first as a pitcher and then as a slugging outfielder. During his 22-season career, Babe Ruth played for the Boston Red Sox (1914 – 1919), the New York Yankees (1920 – 1934) and the Boston Braves (1935).
Jimmy “J-Roll” Rollins placed his name in the record books at the end of the 2007 season. The shortstop was playing for his first team, the Philadelphia Phillies, when he amassed 716 at-bats, 11 more than second-place player Willie Wilson.
Ichiro Suzuki spent 12 seasons playing Major League baseball with the Seattle Mariners. His MLB records include 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons (2001 – 2010), during which he made another record: 262 hits in a single season (2004).
With no active players anywhere in sight, Lou Brock sits securely at second place on the career stolen base records. His accomplishment of 938 stolen bases in his 19-year MLB career is over 450 away, however, from top-placed Rickey Henderson.
Over the 27-year span of his MLB career, Nolan Ryan played for the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, 3 of which have retired his number. Fellow Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson once commented that Ryan’s fastballs were the only thing that ever made him “consider wearing a helmet with an ear flap.”
Cy Young may be the holder of this negative record, but he has plenty of positive ones to make up for it. For example, he has pitched 3 no-hitters and an extremely rare perfect game (May 5, 1904 against the Philadelphia Athletics). Young also won the Triple Crown of pitching in 1901.