9 Of The Most Unbreakable Records In MLB History

Overview

Baseball is one of the oldest sports in America. The game has always been a sport that’s been about tradition and culture as much as anything else – even if you don’t like the game, you can’t deny that there’s something special about watching a game at the ballpark with family and friends.

It is also the most challenging thing in all sports to hit a baseball. You have a fraction of a second to decide whether you will swing. That already sounds difficult enough, but there have been players in baseball’s long and storied history that have gone on to unbelievable feats in this great sport.

Most of these outstanding feats will never be broken, especially in this era of the strikeout, walk, and home run baseball. Here are some of the records that will never be broken. *In no particular order*

9. Cal Ripken’s 2,632 Consecutive Games Played Streak

This record is untouchable in the modern era of baseball. How impressive is that string of games? 2,632 games in a row equate to 16.25 seasons without missing a game. This record is untouchable, given how science & health play a significant role in today’s game. Routinely you see managers giving players days off to rest and prevent fatigue.

This record will never be broken, given that you must remain healthy for nearly two decades without missing a single game. In this era of baseball predicated on preserving your body, this record will never be topped and is the hardest record in the MLB to break.

8. Ty Cobb’s Career Batting Average of .367

This record is doubtful to be broken in any era of Major League Baseball. Many factors contribute to this achievement being nearly untouchable. The first reason is the batter’s mindset at the plate and today’s hitting philosophy.

Hitters are swinging more for the fences now than ever, and everything is conducive to the “launch angle.” Players swinging for the fences will naturally lead to more strikeouts and fewer base hits, leading to a lower batting average.

The second reason is the pitchers in today’s era. With every year that passes, pitchers are throwing harder and are becoming more challenging to hit. This doesn’t bode well for the batters, which will naturally lead to lower batting averages across the league.

A hitter would have to hit above this average for approximately five years or over 3,000 at-bats. This is a pretty untouchable record.

7. Pete Rose’s 4,256 Career Hits

This record is close to being untouchable, given how long you would need to play and maintain that level of production over an extended period. Let’s say a player gets 200 hits a year. They would need to do that for 21.28 season, given they never get injured and get called up to the majors at a relatively young age.

This is a nearly untouchable record because most players don’t reach the majors until their mid-20s and don’t have the same approach that Pete Rose, Tony Gwynn, or Ichiro Suzuki had to get hits and get on base. Is this record untouchable? Maybe not, but it would take a special player to have a couple of decades of sustainable excellence to achieve this feat.

You’d need to be still playing exceptionally well into your 40s to break this record. In this era of baseball, it is unbelievably challenging to get over 3,000 hits, let alone break Rose’s record of 4,256 hits.

6. Joe Dimaggio’s 56-game Hit Streak

Joe DiMaggio’s 56 games hit streak is one of the most impressive feats in sports history. It is not only a testament to his skill but also to the era in which he played. Many factors contributed to and led to his success, such as the quality of pitching, the caliber of the opponent, and even DiMaggio’s trademark style of hitting.

I find it hard to believe this will ever be broken, given the increase in the number of strikeouts in today’s game. Not to mention a hitter sometimes doesn’t see a starter more than 2-3 times a single game.

The bullpen is an intricate part of the 21st-century game, and you routinely see guys throwing 100+ mph. You don’t see players such as Joe D., Stan Musial, Carl Yastrzemski, and Pete Rose, among others, who routinely put the ball in play anymore.

5. Ricky Henderson’s 130 Stolen Bases

I don’t ever see this record being broken for many reasons, but like many on this list, it has to do with the game’s evolution. Gone are the days of players stealing 60, 70, and 80+ bases in a single season; hey, even 30 or 40 is impressive today.

The philosophy in baseball has moved from small ball to long ball and waiting for the three-run home run. The analytical teams don’t believe that stealing a base gives you a statistical advantage in wins-or-loses, so a player who runs without a steal sign could face consequences from management.

So unless the game changes back to more of a small ball and fundamentals approach, I don’t see this record even being topped. Also, Imagine telling Ricky Henderson he wasn’t allowed to steal second?

4. Barry Bond’s 232 walks in 2004

When you look at Barry Bonds’s baseball-reference page, his 2004 season stands out like a sore thumb. You think to yourself, “How can a player possibly get intentionally walked 120 times in a season?” For this record to be broken, you would have to find a hitter that strikes fear in the opponent like Bonds, which I don’t see happening for a long time. 

3. Ichiro’s 262 hits in 2004

Similar to Joe Dimaggio and Pete Rose’s records, the game’s evolution leads to this never to be broken. You can’t get a hit if you don’t put the ball in play. What is most impressive about Ichiro’s 2004 season is the consistency he showed through over 700 at-bats. Which by itself has only been done a handful of times in baseball history. It is hard to believe this will ever be surpassed in today’s modern game.

2. Chief Wilson’s 36 triples in 1912

All you need to do is look at the triples leaders over the past few seasons to understand the difficulty of this record. Since 2015 the highest amount of triples in a season was 14 by Charlie Blackmon in 2017, and last year the league lead was eight by Shohei Ohtani. We see more reliance on power than speed in the 21st-century version of baseball, which makes this record almost impossible to break.

1. Cy Young’s 511 Career Wins

This record will never be broken. Never ever. No debate whatsoever. Why won’t it be broken? The game has evolved to the point that this record is untouchable, given how often pitchers pitch in baseball’s modern era. A pitcher typically pitchers around 25-30 starts a year. You’d need to never lose a start for 17 years to come close to breaking this record. That won’t happen.

Back in the day, players like Cy Young would pitch 40-50 starts a year on average and sometimes more than that. A player like Clayton Kershaw won’t even get to the 300-win total, which is why this record is out of reach.

Unless baseball goes back to letting pitchers pitch games as they did in the late 1800s and early 1900s, this record will never be broken in baseball’s modern era.

Conclusion

Can any of these records be broken? With the game of baseball constantly evolving, it’s hard to say. But one thing is for sure, the players who currently hold these records worked extremely hard to get where they are.

So whether or not you’re a baseball fan, the next time you catch a game on TV, take a minute to appreciate how difficult it is for anyone – even the greats -to make history.