There was a great thread last week about which baseball records will never be broken. I took some of the top suggestions and put them into graph form.
Many of the graphs present the top five leaders and active leader. This can give the appearance that many of them are within closer grasp than they sound at first, but keep in mind that there are roughly 20,000 other guys who did not even make the chart in the first place.
It would seem there are many that will indeed stand forever. One I wasn’t aware of prior to reading the thread is the one that takes the cake:
The use of pitcher has clearly changed over the years. A guy today hits 100 pitches and he is done. That obviously influenced the above chart as it does this one:
A reduction in the innings also means a reduction in strikeouts. CC Sabathia has already played for 13 seasons, is 33 years old, and is not even halfway to Nolan Ryan’s strikeout record:
With the increasing bullpen emphasis, pitcher wins also matter much less in today’s game. When guys were throwing a complete game in 95% of their starts though, they got a lot more decisions:
It also meant that they got many more losses, which is why Cy Young’s loss record will probably never be broken either. Ironically, to lose this many games means not that the pitcher has to be bad, but has to be good enough to hang around so long he can build up the loss tally:
Of course if Young’s loss record is broken, he will no doubt hold on to his wins record much longer:
Another change in pitchers has been the increase of the number of runs scored. It is unlikely we will ever see another pitcher with a sub-1 ERA over a whole season. Current pitchers are not necessarily less dominant, though, if we look at ERA+, which compares each ERA to the league average of the year many recent pitchers are in line with the historic seasons of Keefe and Leonard.
Perhaps it’s not a real record category, but Johnny Vander Meer’s feat of throwing two consecutive no-hitters will be tough to beat. Unlike most of the other records, some which take decades to accomplish, this one only takes 18 innings. So I could potentially see someone tying this at some point, but three in a row? Good luck.
On to offense, we find Dimaggio’s famed 56-game hit streak. Unlike the pitchers, there has not been a drastic change in how offensive players are used. So it may take a long time, but this one isn’t insurmountable.
Ichiro arrived in the US at age 27 and stole a career-high 56 bags during his rookie year. Had he started in MLB at age 21 and stole 56 every season until he turned 27, that would bring his current total to one more than Tim Raines for fourth all-time.
Derek Jeter has played at least 145 games in 15 of his 19 seasons. If he continued to hit his career mark of .312 and didn’t miss another game, he would need five more years to break Rose’s record. It’s a safe bet this one will stand for a while.
Another one that would take about five years under optimal conditions to break would be Hank Aaron’s career record for most total bases. A-Rod is doubtful to reach that. Jeter won’t make it either. Albert Pujols, at 34, is about seven great years away.
One you don’t hear every day is Chief Wilson’s record of 36 triples in a season, which he did in 1912. Only Granderson and Lance Johnson have more than 20 triples in the past 20 seasons.
It would be stretch for Pujols to play that long, but not so much for Cal Ripken, Jr. who as you know played every game for 16 seasons. Another cool fact someone mentioned: Japanese player Tomoaki Kanemoto did not miss an at-bat or an inning on defense for ten years.
Finally, we’ve got the Cubs’ drought of 105 years without a World Series. If Epsein can’t pull it off, it may take 200 years.