After posting a sensational 72-10 record at the end of the 1995/96 NBA season, it was said that no team would ever top the Chicago Bulls’ dominant record. However, 20 years later, Steve Kerr (who played on that Chicago squad) guided his Golden State Warriors team to an incredible 73-9 record with some breathtaking basketball. The Warriors have proven people wrong by besting this record, but there are many other sport records out there which are unlikely to ever be toppled. Records are meant to be broken, but it is hard to see anyone shattering these 10 any time soon.
10. Byron Nelson – 11 PGA Tour Wins in a Row
In today’s golf game, competition is fierce. That makes winning two or three tournaments consecutively some feat. We have witnessed many astonishing golfers over the years dominate the game for extended periods of time, but none quite like Byron Nelson. While he may not be as famous as Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, Nelson is one of the all-time greats and sixth on the PGA tour wins list with 52. Nelson is best remembered for an utterly astonishing year in 1945 (retiring a year later), where he won a total of 18 tournaments — 11 of them in a row, which is utterly astonishing and one record that will never be beaten. Tiger Woods follows with seven, which is still incredible. Woods would call Nelson’s brilliant year “one of the greatest years in the history of sport.”
9. Pete Rose – 4,256 career hits
With 24 years under his belt, Pete Rose holds the record for the most MLB records. One of these which is hard to see being topped is his number of career hits, which is a staggering 4,256. He leads the 3,000 hit club by some margin, which is saying something, considering the illustrious group of batters. Ty Cobb follows with 4,191, but the closest to him is Hank Aaron with 3,771. Currently, Alex Rodriguez is the only active member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,082. Quite simply, the longevity and consistency of a Pete Rose is no longer found in baseball, and it would require a batter to record 200 hits each season over 21 campaigns to even trouble Rose’s amazing record. A few of his other records include career games played, career winning games played, career at bats, career singles, career outs, runs by a switch hitter and many, many more.
8. Jerry Rice – 1,549 Career Receptions
They don’t make receivers more prolific than Jerry Rice, who is the all-time leader in dozens of categories. One of his records which seems very unlikely to be eclipsed is career receptions, which is an eye popping 1,549. Over the course of a very successful 20 season career, Rice proved himself to be an unstoppable force and continued to rack up the receptions even in the later stages of his career. Way out ahead of the pack, Rice amassed 1,549 total receptions along with 22,895 total receiving yards and 197 touchdown passes. Tony Gonzalez chalked up 1,325 in second place, while the closest active player is 34-year old Andre Johnson with 1,053. This is just one of many NFL records that Jerry Rice holds, and it is hard to see anyone challenging this particular record (or any of his others).
7. Boston Celtics – Eight Consecutive NBA Titles
The word “dynasty” gets thrown around too much in sports. A team is certainly not a dynasty if they win two or three consecutive titles. The 1960’s Boston Celtics, however, were the definition of a dynasty and completely dominated the NBA. With legendary coach Red Auerbach at the helm and the likes of Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and K.C. Jones all donning the famous green, the Celtics won eight consecutive NBA titles between 1959 and 1966. They also won in 1957, 1968 and 1969, at which time Bill Russell retired, ending a dynasty that had lasted over a decade. To compare, the closest any team has come since is three consecutive titles. This was achieved twice by the Bulls in the 90s, and once by the Lakers between 2000-2002. With competition so even (and the adoption of a salary cap), it is hard to see one team being as dominant for so long ever again.
6. Joe DiMaggio – 56 Game Hit Streak
He may not be the greatest player of all-time, but his incredible record is likely to stand the test of time. Back in 1941, the New York Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio made history by getting at least one base hit in 56 consecutive games. Over this period, which lasted from May 15 to July 17, DiMaggio hit .408. The record has rarely been troubled, with Pete Rose since coming closest with 44 consecutive games in 1978. Since the millennium, nobody has come even close to toppling DiMaggio’s record and the closest has been Jimmy Rollins in 2005/06 with 38. Seventy-five years on, this amazing record remains unapproachable and it is one that is very likely to last forever. In order for this record to be toppled, a player has no room for error and will need to be at the top of their game at every ballgame for around two months.
5. Cal Ripken Jr. – 2,632 Consecutive Games Played
There is a lot to be said for scoring records and consecutive titles, but consecutive games played is a category that should not be overlooked. These record holders are complete ironmen who do not let anything stop them from performing. The MLB’s greatest ironman is Cal Ripken Jr., who played in a jaw dropping 2,632 consecutive games. This was spread out over 16 years (1982 to 1998). If you were watching the Orioles that you would be sure to see Ripken. 2,362 games is a good amount for a player to play over his entire career, let alone consecutively. These days, players sit out for all kinds of reasons, but Ripken would suit up every game regardless of any small injuries or any other reason. In second place is Lou Gehrig who played 502 less, while Everett Scott is in third with just 1,307.
4. Brett Favre – 297 Consecutive Games Played
Another complete ironman is Brett Favre, who played in a staggering 297 consecutive NFL games (321 including playoffs). This amazing feat occurred between 1992 and 2010, and this is particularly impressive considering the physicality of the sport and the regularity that injuries occur. Many players sit games out and exercise caution over even minor injuries, but not Favre. Favre even played the night after his father died, and famously finished with 399 passing yards, contributing to a 154.9 passer rating (a career high). Peyton Manning follows in second with 208 regular season starts, whilst active players Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers follow with 183 and 160 respectively. There are only eight QB’s to reach streaks of at least 100, with just two of these reaching 200 games. Tom Brady is the only QB to have two separate streaks of 100, but Favre tops this with consecutive starts spanning 19 seasons.
3. Wayne Gretzky – 2,857 Career Points
NHL and sport legend Wayne Gretzky is hailed as “The Great One,” which is a fine title but also one which is completely accurate. His glittering career is one of the best in all of sports, and this is evident with a flick through the NHL record books (he held 61 records upon retiring in 1999). One of his records which will never be toppled is his career points, which is a breathtaking 2,857. A complete outlier. In second place you have a retired Mark Messier with 1887, which is nearly 1,000 shy of Gretzky’s imposing total. An active player is in third place, Jaromir Jagr, who has tallied an impressive 1,868. No doubt one of the greats, Jagr is now 44-years-old and remains well over 1,000 points behind The Great One. If any player is to beat Gretzky, they will need to average 140 points over 20 seasons.
2. Wilt Chamberlain – 100 Points in a Single Game
Wilt Chamberlain holds a few NBA records which are unbreakable, and this is a testament to his astonishing dominance during his era. The most notable record, though, is scoring a jaw dropping 100 points in a single game (before the 3 point line was introduced). The closest anyone else has come to reaching this mark is Kobe Bryant, with an incredible 81 point performance. That was still an entire 19 points shy of Wilt (keep in mind, 19 PPG is a respectable average). Kobe Bryant is, unquestionably, one of the great scorers of all-time, but even this mammoth effort was well short (Kobe is one of just two players to attempt 50 shots in a game). A handful of players drop 50 points every season, and occasionally the 60 points (Jordan managed this six times). But they are not even close to Wilt the Stilt, who averaged over 50 PPG one season.
1. Cy Young – 749 complete games and 511 wins
This remarkable record is one which will never be toppled, and it is largely due to changes in the sport. Cy Young pitched in an era where pitchers would pitch every other day and throw entire games regularly. This resulted in an absolutely incredible record where he completed 749 games and won an enormous 511. Over the course of his 22 season career (1890 – 1911), Cy Young set many other records which include most career innings pitched, most career games started, and also the most losses in MLB history, which just goes to show how often he played compared to today’s pitchers. Pitchers now throw every fifth day and have the entire bullpen to share the load. Pitchers today get nowhere close to Young, and there is a very good reason that the best ace every season gets the Cy Young Award.