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4 Unbreakable MLB Records

Updated on January 19, 2017

Major League Baseball has been around for over 140 years. During that time many players have come and gone and many records have been set and broken. What is allowed or viewed acceptable can change due to either rule changes or philosophies of the front offices. Baseball is a game of numbers these are some of the many that I think will never be surpassed.

Cy Young's Career Wins

The first record I believe it's Unbreakable is Cy young's 511 career wins. If a pitcher was to come into the league at 20 years old he would have to average 20 wins a season until he was 46 years old in order to break Young's record. Second on the all-time wins list is Walter Johnson at 417, 94 Wins behind Young. Since baseball allowed integration Warren Spahn finished his career the closest to Young's record at 363 wins. Spahn played until he was 44 but in order to pass Young, he would have had to have his career season average of 17 wins for 9 more seasons. The pitchers who came the closest in the last 30 years, Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens played well into their 40's but were over 150 wins behind the 511 wins mark. Cy Young's win record was a product of longevity and opportunity that the modern day pitcher just isn't afforded. Cy Young pitched in a total of 906 games in his career a current starting pitcher with a 20 plus years career would pitch in 600-700 games.

Cy Young's Complete Game Record

Another record I think is even more unbreakable is Cy Young's career complete game total of 749. A complete game is given to a starting pitcher who finishes the entire game. So that eliminates all relief pitchers, the only pitchers who would appear in enough games to have a chance at it. The modern era leader is Warren Spahn with 382 complete games but he only started in a total of 665 games in his career. Even if he had completed every game he started in his 21-year career he would have still been 84 games short. The active leader in complete games is CC Sabathia with 38 who at the age of 35 has only completed 7% of his 482 career starts, Cy Young's complete game rate was 92% of his 815 career starts. During Cy Young's era pitchers were expected to complete games. They threw fewer pitches because they pitched more to contact and not for strikeouts. Pitchers during that era also pitched from a higher mound which was less stressful on their arms and tougher on the batters. The reason this record is unbreakable is because of modern-day pitch counts & 5 man rotations, a pitcher won't be able to appear in enough games to even think of challenging the record. Starting pitchers pitch in a maximum of 34-35 games so a player would have to make all his starts and complete them for 21 seasons to break the record. That seems unlikely seeing as how any given year only 2-3% of all starts are completed. Also, with $100 million pitchers the amount of money invested in players these days makes an organization more careful with protecting their arms.

Cal Ripken's Consecutive Games Streak

Another unbreakable record is Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive games-played streak of 2,632. Even though it's expected that you show up for your job the fact that he was able to do it for over 16 seasons at one of the most difficult positions is even more impressive. The closest player this streak since Ripken set it was Miguel Tejada at 1,152 games which ended in 2007 less that half way to Cal's record. No one else has even made it to 600 games or a little under 4 seasons since. With rest days becoming part of the game, a healthy player may only play in 150-155 games a season for precautionary reasons. This record is a testament to Ripken's toughness and durability. You have to have those qualities and be a little lucky to achieved this record.

Nolan Ryan's Career Strike Outs

The next unbreakable record is Nolan Ryan's career strikeouts record of 5,714. I believe this record to be unbreakable because Nolan Ryan played in an era in which there was 4 man pitching rotations as opposed to today's 5 men rotations giving him a few extra starts per season. Also because of Ryan's incredible longevity and durability he was able to pitch for 27 seasons to the age of 46. Randy Johnson who is second in strikeouts all-time played it until the age of 45 still retired with over 800 fewer strikeouts than Ryan. Johnson would have had to have averaged 225 strikeouts per year until the age of 49 which would have been difficult considering his last four seasons his highest strikeout total was 175 and he only had 86 his last season. The current player with the best chance of getting in the vicinity is Clayton Kershaw who at 28 has 1,918 strikeouts through 8 seasons. He will have to continue his current pace for the next 16 Seasons or until the age of 44 to break the record. So far in his career, Kershaw accumulated over 250 strikeouts only once Ryan did it 8 Times. So averaging over 285 strikeouts a season for 20 years which is what would be necessary for any pitcher entering Major League Baseball to break the record seems unlikely.


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    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 

      19 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

      I agree but what about Hack Wilson's single season record of Runs Batted In and while it is not a record will we ever see a hitter hit 400 again?


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