All this talk surrounding the home run record being "broken" by Bonds has got me thinking about baseball records. At one time, Ruth's 714 was considered untouchable. Now, Bonds's record seems likely to be broken in about 5-10 years by A-Rod. Baseball has several "unbreakable" records, but I was wondering which one is the most unbreakable. Let's examine some of them...
Joe DiMaggio - 56-Game Hitting Streak
2nd Place: Willie Keeler with a 45-Game Streak
This is largely considered one of the most unbreakable records in baseball. However, when I look at the list, I don't see it as a front-runner. The fact is that while no one else has a 50 game streak, 5 other players have a 40-game streak or longer. No one has been within 10 of DiMaggio, but several are within 15. As recently as last season, Jimmy Rollins had a 38-game streak. [NOTE: Luis Castillo is tied for 11th with a 35-game streak he had in 2002 with the Marlins]. This certainly is a very tough record to ever break, but in my opinion, it's not the toughest.
Nolan Ryan - 5714 Career Strikeouts
2nd Place: Roger Clemens with 4653
Well, this one's a doozy. Roger Clemens has had a long, dominating career, and he's still more then 1000 K's short. Randy Johnson might still pass Clemens, and both might close to within 1000 before it's all said and done, but in the era of 5-man pitching staffs, this record is very safe.
Pete Rose - 4256 Career Hits
2nd Place: Ty Cobb with 4191
Here we have a mountain of a record. 4,000 hits is a ridicules mark to reach. Only 2 players have achieved it. This record stands as potentially unbreakable because of the amount of longevity needed to accomplish it. Still, the fact that Rose is only 65 hits above Cobb lends one to believe that someone else will come along that will reach the 4000 hit plateau. -And with the advancements in sports medicine that we have today, that next person just might break the record. IMO, this record is one of the weaker ones on the list. [NOTE: Hank Aaron is 3rd on the all-time hits list with 3771. To put that into perspective, Bonds has only 2915 hits. Anyone who calls Bonds the best hitter ever is an idiot. Hammerin' Hank is very under-appreciated.]
Cy Young - 517 Career Wins
2nd Place: Walter Johnson with 411
This one gets my vote. Absolutely untouchable. Cy leads this category by 106 wins! When we're talking about the possibility of no pitcher ever reaching 300 again because of the 5-man rotation, 500 seems downright silly.
Henry Aaron - 2297 Career RBI
2nd Place: Babe Ruth with 2213
At first glance, this seems rock solid. However, after thinking about it more and looking at the list, it feels weaker. Only 2 players in the modern era have eclipsed 2000 RBI, and Aaron has almost 2300. Bonds will be the third to reach 2000, but I doubt that he'll come close to Aaron. However, this record also falls under the "Lookout for A-Rod" umbrella. Rodriguez will pass 1500 next season. In the end, it will likely fall, and this record is probably the flimsiest on my list.
Ricky Henderson - 1406 Stolen Bases
2nd Place: Lou Brock with 938
Well, here we have a strong sleeper. No one thinks about the stolen base record as "hallowed." At least not nearly as much as most of the other records on this list. Still, Ricky Henderson's record is astonishing. He leads in the category by 468. Here's a better way of putting it: He as 1.5 times as many stolen bases as the next player on the list. That's almost 50% more. The sheer gap between Henderson and everyone else should make this a very "unbreakable" record.
Well, let the discussion begin on which record is the least likely to be broken. Personally, I'd put Cy Young's 517 wins first, and Ricky Henderson's 1406 Stolen Bases second. Also, please let me know if I missed any untouchable records that should be included in the discussion.