Sports have changed a lot in the U.S. since its initial beginnings, such as preserving players and reducing their game time to protect the millions invested in them. That is one of the reasons why most of these records on our list are unlikely to be broken.
All these records were achieved after Major League Baseball (MLB) was founded in 1903 when the first World Series was held between the winners of the American and National Leagues. With that said, we present the 25 MLB records that are impossible to be broken.
25. Bob Shaw: 5 Balks In One Game
Balks are one of the most uncommon things you’ll see on a baseball game. As a matter of fact, there have been only around 150 balks per season since 2000, considering that a full season has 2,430 games.
However, Bob Shaw once managed to do the unthinkable. He balked five times when he was pitching for the Braves in a game vs the Chicago Cubs in 1963. Most people don’t even know exactly what a balk is anymore, given how much the rules have changed.
24. Connie Mack: 3,948 Losses As Manager
Ownerships, investors groups, executives, and fans just don’t seem to have the slightest patience when it comes to losing. If the team isn’t winning, you better start trading players, signing stars, firing managers, or doing whatever you need to do to turn the franchise around.
So, that’s why no manager is ever going to come close to Connie Mack’s infamous record of 3,948 career losses as a manager. To put this number into context, the second on that list is John McGraw with 1,948 losses. Still, he does hold the record for most wins (3,731) as well, but that’s something that happens when you manage for 49 straight seasons.
23. Hack Wilson: 191 RBIs In One Season
Hack Wilson was the ultimate slugger during his prime. He held the record for most home runs in one season (56) in the National League, a milestone that stood for over 68 years. However, that wasn’t even his most impressive stat.
Notably, he only led the league in RBI’s twice in his career despite being a terrific hitter, but his 191 RBIs in 1930 is going to keep him in the history books for a long time.
22. Barry Bonds: 73 Home Runs In One Season
Most people are reluctant to give any credit to Barry Bonds because of the controversies that often surrounded him. Obviously, die-hard fans don’t take steroid use lightly and for good reason, as players were basically cheating in the sport.
However, steroids or not, Bond’s 73 home runs in one season are still official and won’t be taken out of the record books unless someone tops them.
21. Sammy Sosa: 3 Seasons Of 60+ Home Runs
Obviously, all the great things Sammy Sosa did during his MLB career have an asterisk next to it due to the reasons we all know by now. But still, Sosa dominated among those sluggers who weren’t up to no good.
Sosa led the league in home runs twice, but his most impressive milestone has to be the 3 times he sent over 60 balls outside of the park (66 in 1998, 63 in 1999 and 64 in 2001). MLB could never prove Sosa was on PED’s, but he was found guilty of using corked bats during one of the biggest slumps of his career.
20. Joe Sewell: 115 Games Without A Strikeout
Sewell was a master at making contact. If you thought Ichiro Suzuki or Jose Altuve were hitting machines, well Joe Sewell was the first among this type of batters, as he still holds the lowest strikeout ratio in MLB history.
Joe struck out every 62.5 at-bats, and he once went 115 straight games without striking out. He struck out just 114 times throughout his 14-year career.
19. Ichiro Suzuki: 262 hits In A Single Season
Since his arrival to the MLB in 2001, the Japanese outfielder has set numerous records, among them getting 262 single-season hits in 2004. He broke George Sisler's previous record of 257, which he achieved in 1920.
Ichiro also got more than 200 hits for 10 consecutive seasons, something no other player has been able to do in MLB history.
18. Barry Bonds: 2,558 Walks
During his 22-year career, Bonds broke several records that still stand today. Opposing pitchers were terrified of him and his ability to make contact. Additionally, he is the only player in MLB history to win seven MVP awards.
Although the previously mentioned records are already unlikely to be broken, the one that probably no one will even get close to is his 2,558 walks in his career, 688 of which were intentional.
17. Ed Reulbach: 2 Shutouts In The Same Day
Ed Reulbach’s best season came in 1908 when he won 24 games in the National League and the World Series with the Chicago Cubs, which would be the team's last championship until 2016. That season, he also did something that we will probably never see in the current era.
On September 26th, the Cubs played a doubleheader against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Reulbach was not just the opening pitcher for both games, he would become the first player in MLB history to throw two shutouts on the same day. Something no other player has even gotten close to achieving.
16. Orel Hershiser: 59 Innings Without Conceding A Run
Hershiser played 18 MLB seasons for five different teams, but 1988 would be his best season while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. That season, he would achieve a historic record of 59 innings without conceding a run.
Along with that, he would win that season's National League MVP and was named the World Series MVP after winning the championship with the Dodgers. He also won the National League Cy Young award and the Gold Glove.
15. Rickey Henderson: 1,406 Stolen Bases
Henderson holds two hitting records, but his stolen bases stand out the most in his career. He stole a total of 1,406 bases, the most in MLB history and far ahead of the previous holder, Lou Brock, who stole 938.
His best season came in 1982 when he stole 130 bases. That would be the second-highest number recorded in a single season behind Hugh Nicol's 138 in 1887. If that was not enough, Henderson also holds the record for most runs scored with 2,295.
14. Tris Speaker: 792 Career Doubles
Without a doubt, Speaker was one of the greatest batters of all time. Tristram Speaker managed to get 792 doubles in his 22-year career, during which he played for the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, and Philadelphia Athletics.
The only player who has ever come close to reaching his record was Pete Rose, who got 746 doubles in his 24-year career.
13. Sam Crawford: 309 Career Triples
Although he retired in 1917, he still holds the record for most career triples with 309. In his 19-year career, he played four of them for the Cincinnati Reds and 15 for the Detroit Tigers, where he became a legend.
Additionally, he has 12 inside-the-park home runs and was the first player to lead the American and National League in home runs.
12. Joe DiMaggio: 56 Consecutive Games with a hit
His streak started on May 15th, 1941, in a game against the Chicago White Sox, which would last until July 17th in Cleveland. In that run, he would go 56 straight games with at least one hit, surpassing George Sisler's 41 and Willie Keeler's 44 consecutive games.
In the years since, the only player who has come close to breaking that record was Pete Rose, who went 44 straight games with a hit in 1978.
11. Hank Aaron: 6,856 Total Bases
Hank Aaron was one of the most dominant batters in MLB history. In fact, he held the record for more career home runs (755) for 33 years until Barry Bonds broke that record. Still, he’s the all-time leader in total bases with 6,856; something unlikely to be matched.
If that wasn’t enough, Aaron also holds the record for the most RBIs (2,297), extra-base hits (1,477), and most straight seasons with 150+ hits (17).
10. Cal Ripken Jr.: 2,632 Consecutive Games Played
He was one of the best and most respected players of his era. He played his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles and would take part in 19 All-Star games, but his biggest achievement was breaking the record for most consecutive games played.
Ripken Jr. achieved that historic record by playing in every game from May 30th, 1982 to September 19th, 1998. He did not miss a single game for 17 seasons and would go on to play a total of 2,632 consecutive games, surpassing the previous record set by Lou Gehrig with 2,130 games played.
9. Ty Cobb: .366 Batting Average
The first Hall of Fame inductee at a certain point held 90 individual records. Since retiring in 1928, many of those records have been broken, but one of them still stands and is virtually impossible to break.
During his 23-year career, he had a batting average of .366, something he achieved by surpassing .300 for 22 straight seasons.
8. Nolan Ryan: 5,714 Strikeouts
Considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time, "The Express" was well known for his polarizing fastball. In his 27-year MLB career, he would go down as the pitcher with the most strikeouts with 5,714. The only player who comes close to this record is Randy Johnson with 4,875.
If that wasn’t enough, Ryan also holds the record for most No-Hitters, achieving a total of seven throughout his career. The second player with the most No-Hitters is Sandy Koufax with four.
7. Walter Johnson: 110 Shutouts
The historic Washington Senators pitcher, considered by many the greatest right-handed pitcher of all time, played in the Majors for 21 seasons. In that time, he set a record that is almost impossible for any current player to break: 110 shutout games.
Johnson was one of the first five players to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. Those five players were known as "The Immortals" and include greats such as Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth y Honus Wagner.
6. Pete Rose: 4,256 Career Hits
In 1985, Rose entered the MLB record books by surpassing Ty Cobb's previous record of 4,192 career hits and going on to get a total of 4,256 career hits. They are the only players in history to get more than 4,000 hits.
In addition to the hitting record, Pete Rose led the league in hits for seven seasons, which was one shy of Cobb's record. Six of those seasons were with the Cincinnati Reds, and one for the Philadelphia Phillies. He also had a brief stint with the Montreal Expos.
5. Fernando Tatis: Two Grand Slams In One Inning
There is a point of debate whether this is a record or just an achievement. Regardless, we wanted to include this on our list as it is one of the most remarkable things we have seen in baseball.
It occurred on Abril 23rd, 1999 in a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Playing at the time for the Cardinals, Tatis made history by becoming the first player to hit two Grand Slams in the same inning. Both home runs came off the same pitchers, Chan Ho Park. Those eight runs he scored also set another record for the most RBIs in a single inning.
4. Cy Young: 749 Complete Games
There’s a reason why the Cy Young award is called that way. Cy Young was one of the most dominant pitchers in the history of this beautiful sport, but his most impressive feature was his durability.
Young loved to go the distance every time he was out there, often completing games regardless of the outcome. With the way pitchers take care of their bodies right now, no one’s going to come close to his 749 complete games.
3. Charles Radbourn: 59 Wins
Charles ‘Old Hoss’ Radbourn was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball’s early days. Obviously, he didn’t face the kind of professional opposition most dart-throwers have to deal with nowadays, but his stats are still quite impressive.
As a matter of fact, Radbourn had 59 wins and 13 losses in 1884. Needless to say, no pitcher is going to pitch 72 games in one season.
2. Johnny Vander Meer’s Two Straight No-Hitters
Johnny Vander Meer enjoyed quite a successful 14-year career in the MLB. He made it to 4 All-Star Games, led the National League in strikeouts three times, and even won 1 World Series with the Cincinnati Reds.
However, none of that comes close to his most significant milestone: throwing two straight No-Hitters, which is something people don’t talk enough about nowadays.
1. Cy Young: 511 Career Wins
There have been many great pitchers over the years, but no one has ever come close to reaching Cy Young's career win total of 511. He remarkably managed to win an average of 23 games a season during his 22-year career.
There is a reason why the award given to the best pitcher each season is named after him. He also holds the records for most innings pitched (7,356). All records that are impossible to break in today's game as all teams limit their pitchers' workload.