The One Record In Sports That Will Never Be Broken
Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak? Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played? Wilt’s 100 points scored in a game?
Impressive records, yes – but those don’t come close to the one record in sports that will never be broken.
Former Major League Baseball pitcher Cy Young won 511 games. Yes, that’s right. One guy won 511 games in his career. That record won’t even be touched – ever! Young won at least 30 games in a season five times and had more than 20 wins a year 10 other times.
Let’s put the 511 wins in perspective. A pitcher would need to win 25 games for 20 years. Heck, that’s only 500 wins. Then they’d need another 12 for the record. I don’t even think anyone gets close to Walter Johnson’s 417 wins.
The last guy to win more than 25 games in a season was Bob Welch – who won 27 games with the Oakland A’s back in 1990. Denny McLain won 31 in 1968. Randy Johnson had 24 wins in 2002; Curt Schilling had 23 wins in 2002; Barry Zito had 23 in 2002. Those were the highest totals of their careers.
Pitchers don’t have long enough careers to ever catch Cy Young.
Back in Cy Young’s days, pitchers took the mound every other day or when they were needed. Now they get a minimum of 5 days rest (4 days in the post-season). Not only that, but injuries eventually take their toll on nearly every pitcher!
The babying of pitchers these days will prevent this from ever happening. Today, there are pitch counts, innings limits and mandatory days off. These are all things that will prevent a pitcher from getting to 500.
Today’s pitchers are too specialized. There’s a middle reliever, a long reliever, a lefty specialist, a set-up man and a closer. There’s even 7th inning guys now. Pitchers don’t need to even go more than 6 innings. More often than not, games don’t get decided until the late innings. Sometimes these pitchers don’t even make it 5 innings to factor in a decision.
I don’t even know if any modern-era pitcher will get to 300 wins.
Here’s where some current pitchers are on career wins list.
Jamie Moyer has got 267 wins and technically active. He’s old enough to be my dad. And I’m 40! Tim Wakefield has 199 wins but he’s 45 years old. Roy Halladay with 184 wins but he’s 34 years old. He’d have to average 12 wins for another 10 years to get to 300. Or he’d have to win 15 games a year for 8 years (by that time, he’d be 42). Congrats Roy – you’re at 300 wins; only 211 away from Cy Young!
Tim Hudson stands at 177 wins but he’s 36 years old. Again, it’s the Roy Halladay theory. He’s very unlikely to get there. He’s just over halfway to 300 and he’s been in the league for 12 years.
Livan Hernandez & CC Sabathia both have 173 wins. Livan Hernandez is allegedly 36-years old and he’s got no shot at 300. CC is just 31-years old. He needs 127 more victories. That would be an average of 13 wins for 10 more years. Or 18 wins over the next 7.
Some other current pitchers have no shot. Derek Lowe with 164 wins. Bartolo Colon at 161. Kevin Millwood & Javier Vazquez both have 159. Mark Buehrle sits at 158 and Roy Oswalt has got 155.
Even a durable pitchers like Mike Mussina only got to 270 wins and Pedro Martinez (the best pitcher in baseball for a half a decade) won just 219.
511 wins isn’t happening. Cy Young’s record is safe!