10 Baseball Records That Will Never Be Broken

No pitcher will ever equal the 511 wins chalked up by legendary hurler Cy Young.

They say that records are made to be broken. But there are exceptions to every rule.

These 10 baseball records (and some related ones) will never be broken.

1. Most wins, lifetime, Cy Young, 511

Young’s record spanned the 1890s and baseball’s modern era. To break this record, a pitcher would need to win 25 games for 20 years…and even then, he comes up a dozen short. Next closest is Walter Johnson with 417 wins.

Some other pitching longevity records that seem certain to withstand the test of time: Jack Chesbro’s 41 wins for the New York Highlanders in 1904, Ed Walsh’s 464 innings pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 1908; Walter Johnson’s 110 shutouts and Nolan Ryan’s 5714 career strikeouts.

2. Most triples, lifetime, Sam Crawford, 309

The current leader in the majors, Johnny Damon, has 94 career triples…and is 35 years old. In fact, since Stan Musial retired in 1963 with 177 three-baggers, nobody has had more than Willie Wilson’s 147. The record for triples in a single season, Chief Wilson’s 36 for the Pirates in 1912, appears safe as well.

3. Highest batting average, lifetime, Ty Cobb, 366

Nobody has come within 25 points of Cobb, shown right, since Ted Williams retired in 1960 with a .344 average. Among all active players, Albert Pujols is the leader at .334.

4. Most consecutive games played, Cal Ripken, 2632 games

They said Lou Gehrig’s record of 2130 games played would last for all time…that is until Cal Ripken came along. Don’t see any more Ripkens on the horizon.

5. Highest batting average, season, Rogers Hornsby, .424 in 1924

The Rajah’s record stands secure; the last player to hit. 400 in a season was Ted Williams in 1941.

6. Longest hitting streak, Joe DiMaggio, 56 games in 1941

Pete Rose came closest  with his National League record 44-game streak in 1978.

7. Most grand slams, one inning, Fernando Tatis, 2 in 1999

Tatis is the only man in history to hit two salamis in the same inning. Add in the fact that he did it against the same pitcher, Chan Ho Park, and you’re got a record that will never be broken.

8. Most home runs, World Series, Mickey Mantle 18

This legendary leader list, topped by Mantle, shown left, includes Babe Ruth with 15, Yogi Berra with 12, Duke Snider with 11 and Lou Gehrig with 10. No active player is even close. Speaking of World Series records, Whitey Ford’s 10 wins and Yogi Berra’s 71 hits and 10 championships will be tough to match.

9. Most consecutive no-hitters, Johnny Vander Meer, 2 in 1938

One no-hitter is an extreme rarity, but only Vander Meer, a Cincinnati left-hander, ever threw two in a row. He beat the Braves at Cincy’s Crosley Field on June 11, 1938, and four days later no-hit the Dodgers in the first night game ever played at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Another record that should stand for all-time is Nolan Ryan’s career 7 no-hitters.

10. Toughest batter to strike out, Joe Sewell, 114 strikeouts in 7132 at-bats

A perennial .300 hitter over 14 seasons with the Yankees and Indians, Sewell’s career rate of one strikeout for nearly every 63 at-bats is by far the best in history. He struck out three times in 1932 — in 503 at-bats over the course of the entire season. Today’s players routinely strike out three times in a game and 114 times or more in a single season.

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77 Comments on “10 Baseball Records That Will Never Be Broken”

  1. Deb Crowley says:

    Hey Rick,
    I have no idea why this popped in to my head but do you remember the 1962 movie with Mantle and Maris, Safe at Home? I didn’t tell you but I was a Yankee fan at first and seeing that movie was a highlight back then.

  2. Michael Schmer says:

    Wins in a season Happy Jack Chesbro-41….pitchers only start max 35 games in a season

    • sportslifer says:

      You’re right, Chesbro’s record will stand the test of time.

      • Rob W says:

        It would take an ambidextrous pitcher to break Jack Chesbro’s 41 wins in one season, or Cy Young’s career wins of 511. Unless a great ambidextrous pitcher comes along, there recores look safe.

      • SportsLifer says:

        Bob, thanks for the comments. You make some great points about Chesbro, Cy Young, Ty Cobb et al. I’m going on record as saying we’ll never see three grand slammers in an inning, or three no-hitters in a row.

  3. Jay says:

    How safe do you see Nolan Ryan’s all-time strikeout record being?

  4. jj says:

    In 1930, Hack Wilson drove in 191 runs. Babe Ruth said that is a record that will never be broken. So far, the Babe has been right

  5. Ron says:

    Here is another record that should stand forever; Walter Johnson’s 110 career shutouts.

  6. Deborah H. says:

    I would add to this, longest home run hit in cominsky park. Dave Nicholson, my cousin, played for the white sox in the 1960’s. It remains a record because the park no longer exist.

  7. Joseph Witt says:

    Any safe baseball record list should include the one for most consecutive games without being shutout. New York Yankees 308 games.

    • sportslifer says:

      Amazing record, that’s almost the equivalent of two full seasons…..actually it was two full season when you consider they played 154 games a year when the Yankees set the record.

    • eddie says:

      there will be some team that every hitter is a power threat or someone who gets 200 hits a year it will be a while before its broken

  8. Bill says:

    There are easy ones like most wins in a season. They just don’t play like that anymore. That is safe. Things like Ryan’s strike out record is reachable, but not likely to be broken. And really for the same reason. Pitchers don’t get 250+ innings hardly ever anymore. Someone could come along and do something freaky like hit in 56+ games, pitch 3 no hitters in a row (don’t let me lie. No one will ever do this)…Who am I trying to kid. This is a great list, and these records won’t be broken. Great list.

  9. IRA KATZ says:

    HOW ABOUT THIS ONE. THE MOST HOME RUNS HIT IN A NINE INN GAME. THE RECORD STANDS AT 4. I T WAS DONE BY 12 DIFFERENT PLAYERS

  10. The record for most complete games in a season was set by William H. White of Cincinnati in 1879. White pitched 74 complete games on his way to setting the record for most innings pitched in a season with 683!

    That is one player with TWO records that will never be broken set during the same season!

    Another record that will never be broken (now that managers over manage with pitchers pitching to ONE batter) is who pitched the most consecutive innings before being relieved? The answer is John W. Taylor who pitched 1,727 consecutive innings before being relieved. His streak went for all of 4 seasons and parts of two and ran from the second game on June 20, 1901 to August 9, 1906. During his streak, Taylor had 188 complete games and 15 games he finished for another pitcher.

  11. Bill says:

    Rickey Henderson stole 132 bases in a year. I doubt we will ever see anyone ever steal 100 a year again. I think that record is pretty safe

    • sportslifer says:

      Bill thanks. Rickey actually had 130 steals in 1982, including 84 by the All-Star break. Don’t forget at one time people thought Ty Cobb’s single season mark (96 in 1915) would stand forever, but in 1962 Maury Wills stole 104 bases and then in 1974 Lou Brock swiped 118. So it can happen again.

    • eddie says:

      there will be someone who runs absolutely every time he gets on base so maybe

  12. P.W. Nalbandian says:

    Here’s a record that was expected to be broken almost as soon as it was set and was disparaged even as it was being set. Earl Webb’s single season record of 67 doubles in 1931. At the time Fenway Park had odd dimensions with lots of foul ground in left, as the left field stands had burned down a few years before. Nevertheless the record stands today.

    I think it’s safe to say that the day will come when somebody hits 5 hr’s in a game. Someday someone will outdo DiMaggio’s streak..

    • sportslifer says:

      Thanks for your interest. Amazingly, Earl Webb’s doubles record has stood for 79 years. Jayson Werth of the Phillies already has 22 doubles this year, and is on pace to at least threaten Webb’s mark. Five home runs could happen. Not sure if anyone will ever break DiMaggio’s record, nobody has come close yet.

  13. Thomas Brokl says:

    Jamie Moyer broke Robin Roberts record for home runs allowed in a career today by giving up his 506th. Roberts record stood for over 43 years (last hr allowed: Willie Stargell, 9-3-1966)

    • sportslifer says:

      Moyer’s record should stand for some time, esp with starting pitchers being limited to pitch counts in today’s game.

  14. Eszy Deezy says:

    Ricky Henderson 130 stolen bases in one season, 1406 stolen bases all time

    • sportslifer says:

      Henderson’s marks are impressive, but some speedster will come along and break Henderson’s record at some point. That’s my prediction.

  15. balabusta says:

    Excuse me, but every one of those “can’t-be-broken” records can, mathematically, be surpassed, not that I expect any of them will. But here’s a record that can’t even be broken: a perfect game. Even someone doing it twice is only tying the record.

    • sportslifer says:

      True, mathematically they could be broken. Heck theoretically you could have a game where everyone gets a hit or everyone makes an out that could go on forever. But show me the pitcher who’s going to win 512 games.

  16. Richard says:

    It took 95 years for a team to win 116 games in a season and then only a .716 winning percentage. The 1906 Cubs were 116-36 with a .763 winning percentage, maybe the greatest team ever if they had won the WS. The 1927 Yankees .714 winning % are always considered the greatest because they won the WS. So .763, hard to beat, as of 2010, 104 years and still standing.

    • sportslifer says:

      The Cubs were a good team in 1906, but couldn’t win the World Series despite 116 wins. Of course the Mariners couldn’t do it either.

  17. n leska says:

    cy young
    751 complete games

  18. LEW says:

    How about Nolan Ryan’s 7 no hitters? No pitcher today has even 2 no hitters
    and Sandy Koufax only (only) had 3. Never to be broken Nolan Ryan record
    which may be a greater feat than his lifetime strikeout record.

    • SportsLifer says:

      Lew, you’re probably right. One of the many records (more than 10) that will never be broken. BTW, Koufax had four no-hitters.

    • DAVE BANKSTON says:

      agree also Nolan had (19) 1 HITTERS.EVERY TIME HE TOOK THE MOUND A NO HITTER WAS POSSIBLE,,,,,

  19. jason says:

    Take this into consideration. We say these records can’t b broken. Well, these players were capable of putting up these numbers. So to say it can’t b done isn’t quit right. Before nolan Ryan u wouldn’t of thought he would ever put those numbers up and yet he did. Sum can’t b broke due to the change of the game over the years. Jus remember these players put up the numbers so many can b done. Theirs always freaks of nature in all sports that come along.

  20. raoul7370 says:

    To me, the 56 game streak is going to go at some point. Someone else will hit 2 slams in an inning (a freak event, but freak events repeat), and 5 homers can happen (as can Stennet’s 7-7 night). The ones that will not go are the career records – pitching records are safe as houses because pitching has changed. Ripken? All you need is a player to decide they want it, make it a contract condition that they always play at least an inning…

    • SportsLifer says:

      Good points, but remember nobody has really come close (within 12 games) of Joe D’s record in 70 years. Suppose two slams could happen — how about two slams against the same pitcher in one inning. And 5 homers — wow, that would be something. Agree that a lot of cumulative pitching records will stand the test of time. Ripken’s record will not be broken in our lifetimes.

      • Thats right Ripkens record is a record that should make everybody proud and show kids how attendance is so important at work or in school. Thats the greatest record of all time..

      • SportsLifer says:

        An amazing record — Ripken beat Gehrig’s streak, and broke the record they said couldn’t be broken.

      • Rob W says:

        Career records and even seasons records, once tied are likely to be broken. But two record mentioned here, though they may be tied, will probably never be broken. Two grand slams in one inning is freakish. A third grand slam in the same inning – you can bet your life that’s not going to happen. Back to back no hitters is an incredible pitching feat. Three consecutive no hitters? Maybe with a 110 mph knuckleball.

  21. Scamp says:

    Tom McCreery (October 19, 1874 – July 3, 1941)

    On July 12,1897 he hit three inside-the-park home runs, becoming the first and only player in major league history to hit three inside-homers in a single game.

  22. s.e.m. says:

    what about pete rose’s record of 4,256 hits.that record won’t be broken because the athletes of today are spoiled ,lazy & overpaid

    • SportsLifer says:

      Pete Rose’s hit record may be broken someday.

      • Jon says:

        If Ichiro came into the major at 21 or 22… he would be the one to do it.

      • SportsLifer says:

        Good point Jon, Ichiro might have challenged Pete Rose’s all-time hit record of 4256 if he had started his MLB career earlier. It would have been interesting to see. Ichiro does hold the record for most hits in a single season with 262 in 2004.

  23. Hydro says:

    I dont think this one was mentioned,
    59 Consecutive Shutout Innings Pitched By Orel Hershiser.

  24. I think the greatest record of all time is Cal Ripkens game streak. Its a record that even kids can learn from go into work everyday no matter what. If your hurting sick he still played that record makes me so proud of him. For one thing attendance is everything in school. Thats the most important thing in any situation. I think thats the greatest record of all time.

  25. tim man says:

    A lot of these records will never be broken because they were strong records when they were set, and since then the game has changed too much. 60 or 70 years ago players would come out of HS, go to 1yr of the minors, then get called up when they were 18 or 19 so if they played until they were 40 they has 22 or 23 seasons to put up stats. Hank Aaron is a great example. If a player starts really early and has stamina they can beat a lot of these records. Plus pitching id different now since players are on a 4-5 game rotation. Back 100 years ago some pitchers threw both ends of a double header.

    Seems like Cal Ripkens is the easiest to beat, all you need to do is show up every day.

    I would think Ty Cobs record of stealing home 54 times is one of the hardest to beat. All of baseball only sees 1 or 2 every year.

  26. What about one player Pete Rose has several unlikely to be broken.
    Most Lifetime hits 4200+
    Most Plate appearances
    Most singles
    !st Team Allstar at 5 different positions

    • SportsLifer says:

      You’re right Jerry, that hit record by Rose may stand for all time. A few years ago thought Jeter might have a shot, but that’s not going to happen.

  27. Sean says:

    I got one for you, Rickey Henderson stole 1,406 bases in his career, almost 500 more that 2nd place Lou Brock at 980 or so +/-. 986 I think.


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