It’s difficult to say that there are any records in professional sports that can’t be broken, because for every Michael Jordan and Brett Favre that retires, there’s a LeBron James and Aaron Rodgers right around the corner. But records in any sport are celebrated nonetheless because they’re rare and incredible reminders of just how special and talented some of our favorite athletes are, and they’re goals for every kid who laces up a pair of shoes and dreams of being the next huge star.
While there are so many records that can be heralded and recognized as untamed moments that carved out legacies for some of our favorite athletes, we chose some of our favorites to share, and we encourage you to showcase your favorite records as well.
Cy Young’s 511 Career Wins
There may never be another 300-game winner in Major League Baseball again, so Cy Young’s career wins total is probably the unicorn of professional sports records. Of course, baseball was a different game back in his day, so Young’s talent and mastery of pitches might not go as far today, and he certainly has the advantage with today’s pitchers taking five games off between starts. But in order for a pitcher to match this number, he’d not only have to win 20 games a year over a 20-year career, but he’d also have to make 111 relief appearances in that span as well. Good luck with that, rookies.
Tiger’s 12-Stroke Win At The Masters
The thing about Tiger Woods’s amazing win at the 1997 Masters tournament is that there’s always a strong chance that another golfer is going to win a tournament by 12 strokes. But the Masters? Please. There are just too many awesome, talented golfers out there today and that creates a nearly impossible chance that someone could dominate golf’s greatest tournament like that again. Twelve strokes at the Masters will never, ever be touched.
Joe DiMaggio’s Hitting Streak
Every baseball season, there’s always one player who has a significant hitting streak that makes people think that Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game record is in jeopardy, but it never happens. And it seems like such a simple record, too, until you remember that in order to break it, a player would have to get a hit in consecutive games for more than one-third of the season. With better and nastier pitchers being called up every day, DiMaggio’s record is going to be safe for a long, long time.
Cal Ripken’s Consecutive Games
Sixteen seasons. That’s just about how long a baseball player would have to stay healthy and play in 100% of his games for if he wants to break Cal Ripken’s record of 2,632 games. Granted, the MLB rule only requires a player to play in one-half of an inning on defense or have one at-bat for it to count as a game played, so maybe there’s a young guy out there right now with a clean bill of health and greater ambition, but considering the next closest active player only has 505 games, Ripken has nothing to worry about.
Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 Points
There are still people who believe that this record never actually happened, and there are people who think that it’s a lot easier to accomplish than it sounds. If that’s the case, why haven’t more NBA players scored 100 points in a game before? Kobe Bryant had 81 in his prime, and no matter how good LeBron James is, even he needs to hit the bench for a breather every now and then. Chamberlain’s stat line had him hitting 36 of his 63 shots and 28 of his 32 free throw attempts. With all due respect to the NBA’s current stars, there’s not a guy in the league great enough to pull that off again.
Richard Petty’s 27 Wins
Like Tiger Woods’s Masters record, Richard Petty’s record of 27 races won in 1967 is safe because there are just too many good drivers out there today for one guy to so clearly dominate his competition. Add to that the fact that Petty even won 10 races in a row that year, and there’s a better chance that a NASCAR driver is going to break his record of seven Daytona 500 wins first. Just kidding, that one will never be broken either.
1972 Miami Dolphins Perfect Season
You’re probably sick of hearing about the ’72 Dolphins popping champagne every season when the last undefeated NFL team finally loses a game, but there’s a reason that this record is celebrated so much – because it’s never going to be broken. Teams are too good and loaded with tons of talented players today, and with the NFL looking to actually expand the season schedule again, there’s just no way that a team is ever going to win every game, from Week 1 to the Super Bowl, again. Keep the bubbly chilled, fellas.
Dave Williams’s 4,421 Penalty Minutes
There will always be NHL goons and enforcers willing to take on some penalty minutes for the sake of defending teammates or sending a message to opponents, but Dave “Tiger” Williams is an icon like no other. Williams holds the NHL’s career record for penalty minutes in the regular season and playoffs with an insanely absurd 4,421. To put that into perspective, while he was spending all of that time in the penalty box, he could have watched the movie Goon 48 times.
Margaret Court’s 62 Grand Slam Titles
Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles victories could be broken by Serena Williams within the next few years, as she’s currently sitting at 17. But Court’s 62 combined Grand Slam titles, including singles, doubles and mixed? Forget about it. Williams is the next closest active tennis player to that record, but the wins she’d need to break it? 31. Never going to happen.
Brett Favre’s 336 Interceptions
Not all records are great, but this one says as much about Brett Favre as his NFL record for consecutive games played does. Most QBs won’t ever have the chance to break this record, because if they keep throwing picks, they’re going to find themselves on the bench. So Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder can go ahead and scratch this one off their To-Do lists. Favre was just too good, though, and for every 2005 season with 29 INTs, you had 10 seasons of a team with 10+ wins.