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 Post subject: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:05 am 
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What in your opinion is the baseball record least likely to be broken?<p>There are several records that are severely unlikely to be broken, including Cy Young's 511 wins and Nolan Ryan's 5,714 strikeouts.<p>But I say the most untouchable is Johnny Vander Meer's two consecutive no-hitters. Fans talk about nobody having come close to DiMaggio's 56-game streak since he did it in '41, and that's true. It's an amazing record that will probably never be broken, given how long it has stood. (I do think someone will eventually hit .400 again, even though that record has stood as long as DiMaggio's and has been seriously challenged only once, I believe, by George Brett in 1980. Bonds could probably do it if he wanted to.)<p>But Vander Meer set his record in '38, and it has been the more untouchable. I cannot envision anyone throwing three consecutive no-hitters.<p>[ April 22, 2004: Message edited by: wordygurdy ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:49 am 
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Cy Young's 316 losses also is unlikely to be broken. Ryan came closest in the modern era, with 287, but few pitch as long as he did. Also, since pitchers rarely pitch a complete game these days, they often don't figure in the decision. So Young's record of 749 complete games is untouchable. The closest in the recent past is Gaylord Perry's 303.<p>Another record never to be broken is Old Hoss Radbourne's 60 wins (or 59, it's in dispute) in a season (1884) If you don't count the 1800s, then Jack Chesbro holds the record of 41 wins in a season (1904).


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:57 am 
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With Van der Meer's "record" it's just a matter of someone getting lucky like that again. It could easily happen next week. Or never happen.<p>My candidate for the record most likely never to be broken: A major league ballplayer going an entire season making roughly the same amount of money I do in a year.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:41 am 
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Yeah, you're right, ADK, 749 complete games is ridiculous, as is 316 losses. Forgot about Old Hoss, but you're also right about him and Chesbro (who was a spitballer).<p>JJ, I can't envision any major leaguer ever doing what you suggested either.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:06 pm 
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From a pragmatic standpoint, Cy Young's wins record seems most unlikely to be broken simply because pitchers don't pitch that many games anymore.<p>From a mathematical standpoint, Joe DiMaggio's hit streak is the most unbreakable. For an excellent statistical analysis of why this is so, see the article reprinted in "Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Love of Baseball" by scientist Stephen Jay Gould, who explains that the Clipper's streak is the one thing in baseball history that simply should not have happened in any universe under the laws of probability.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:29 pm 
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What about Rickey Henderson's steals records? <p>There's only one guy a year - maybe - who swipes half of the 130 he stole in a season. And I don't know the number off the top of my head, but I know his career record is beyond reach withthe way the game is played today.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:49 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Biggdbo:
What about Rickey Henderson's steals records? <p>There's only one guy a year - maybe - who swipes half of the 130 he stole in a season. And I don't know the number off the top of my head, but I know his career record is beyond reach withthe way the game is played today.<hr></blockquote><p>10 years from now, "the way the game is played" could involve five or six guys commonly stealing 130 bases each year.<p>does that sound more absurd than the idea of hitting 73 home runs in a season sounded 20 years ago?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:30 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by jjmoney62:
<p>10 years from now, "the way the game is played" could involve five or six guys commonly stealing 130 bases each year.<p>does that sound more absurd than the idea of hitting 73 home runs in a season sounded 20 years ago?<hr></blockquote><p>Do steroids make you run faster?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:47 pm 
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I'm thinking speedy little robots.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:59 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
<p>Do steroids make you run faster?<hr></blockquote><p>Probably not, but I'm thinking ephedra might.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:57 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
<p>Do steroids make you run faster?<hr></blockquote><p>Yes, they can, in the same way that steroids can make you stronger: By allowing harder training. <p>I always suspected that Florence Griffiths Joyner (Flo Jo) dressed and groomed herself flamboyantly to cover up her odd, late-in-career muscularity. A shame that her career didn't last longer and that she died so young. But that's a thread we don't need to go into here.<p>Base-stealing records are set not only because of individuals' abilities but also because of teams' philosophies. In the 1950s, the emphasis was on power, so if you got on base you waited for a slugger to drive you in.<p>During the 1960s, bigger stadiums were built, artificial turf gained popularity and pitchers became more adept at throwing sliders and later split-finger pitches that made home runs tougher to come by. ERAs dropped tremendously. So, teams relied more on steals, hit-and-running and sacrifices to scratch out hits.<p>The pitching mound was lowered in the late 1960s. The fences were shallower in the next generation of stadiums. The ball was juiced and better bats were developed. Home runs made a comeback and stealing was de-emphasized.<p>As JJ suggests, that thinking could change again.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 12:02 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Wayne Countryman:
As JJ suggests, that thinking could change again.<hr></blockquote>This just occurred to me: If the "steroid scandal" turns out to be far-reaching, is it conceivable that fans could develop a disdain for homers, thereby pushing baseball into another offensive paradigm shift?<p>Or do I just need more coffee?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 12:06 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Oeditpus Rex:
This just occurred to me: If the "steroid scandal" turns out to be far-reaching, is it conceivable that fans could develop a disdain for homers, thereby pushing baseball into another offensive paradigm shift?<p>Or do I just need more coffee?<hr></blockquote><p>Drink up. It's not just chicks who dig the long ball. And for all the talk of small ball being more exciting, there's a reason why Bill Mazeroski and Joe Carter, and not Luis Gonzalez, are the envy of dreamers everywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:59 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew Grieco:
there's a reason why Bill Mazeroski and Joe Carter, and not Luis Gonzalez, are the envy of dreamers everywhere.<hr></blockquote>Yeah, nobody fantasizes about singling in the run that wins the Series (or getting the last out on a pop foul). But I still prefer small ball because the excitement is sustained and has elements of doubt.

I love a well-timed home run (god bless Kirk Gibson), but a homer is a dead ball and therefore anti-climactic. Gimme a bases-loaded double or triple anytime.<p>(For the record, I was raised on mid-'60s Dodger Ball. Definition of a rally: Wills beats out a bunt, steals second, Gilliam sacrifices him to third and Willie Davis scores him with a fly ball.)


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 8:31 am 
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It ain't baseball, but Byron Nelson's 11 straight tournament wins (and 19 overall) in 1945 probably won't be broken either.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 11:05 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
It ain't baseball, but <hr></blockquote>A lot of Wilt's NBA records will probably stand, but ain't nobody ever gonna average a triple-double as Oscar Robertson did in 1961-62.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:33 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Oeditpus Rex:
A lot of Wilt's NBA records will probably stand, but ain't nobody ever gonna average a triple-double as Oscar Robertson did in 1961-62.<hr></blockquote><p>I don't follow basketball much. What is a triple-double?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 2:57 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by ADKbrown:
What is a triple-double?<hr></blockquote>Double figures for a game in the three categories that are the hallmark of an all-around player: Scoring, rebounds and assists. (The last is a pass to a teammate that allows him to score.)<p>It's pretty rare anymore for a player to do this in a game. At least, when it does happen it warrants mention in a deck or in the lede. In the 1961-62 season, Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. By today's standards, especially, that's mind-boggling.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:41 pm 
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Thanks. Is it rare nowadays because the centers grab all the rebounds, because players shoot rather than pass or what?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:32 pm 
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Wilt averaged a triple-double numerous years. It just wasn't on the court.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:43 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by jjmoney62:
Wilt averaged a triple-double numerous years. It just wasn't on the court.<hr></blockquote><p>Stop it! You're killing me!<p>[ April 29, 2004: Message edited by: blanp ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:53 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by jjmoney62:
Wilt averaged a triple-double numerous years. It just wasn't on the court.<hr></blockquote><p>Liked that one, JJ! Thanks for the laugh of the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:26 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Oeditpus Rex:
Double figures for a game in the three categories that are the hallmark of an all-around player: Scoring, rebounds and assists. (The last is a pass to a teammate that allows him to score.)<p>It's pretty rare anymore for a player to do this in a game. At least, when it does happen it warrants mention in a deck or in the lede. In the 1961-62 season, Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. By today's standards, especially, that's mind-boggling.<hr></blockquote><p>A rarer form of triple-double would include 10 or more blocked shots. <p>I've never heard of an NBA player recording a quadruple-double, but I haven't looked that up.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:23 pm 
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We have a copy editor who failed to get 3,446 consecutive heds through slot. Does that count?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2004 3:33 pm 
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From NBA.com:
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>A quadruple double is to have double digit number totals in four of the five categories. This is an extremely rare occurrence, having happened only four times in NBA history, the last time being by David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs on February 17, 1994. In a 115-96 win over the Detroit Pistons, Robinson had a monstrous game, with 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks.<hr></blockquote>
10 or more steals can also be part of a triple-double, although they're about as rare as 10 or more blocks, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2004 3:37 pm 
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Also, a link to all 4 NBA quadruple-doubles and a little history on them: here.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 8:04 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by wordygurdy:
Fans talk about nobody having come close to DiMaggio's 56-game streak since he did it in '41, and that's true. It's an amazing record that will probably never be broken, given how long it has stood. <p><hr></blockquote><p>Again, as JJMoney said, I don't think a record like this is untouchable at all. It is an amazing record, but it is possible that someone could get lucky and break it.<p>No one will ever break the complete games record simply because the game will never revert back to the style of play in which complete games are the expected norm. Even if for some reason that strategy came back into vogue, modern pitchers wouldn't stand for it. Plus, their arms wouldn't take it. Bill James, analyzing film clips of dominating early 20th century right-hander Walter Johnson, commented that if he threw a 94 mph heater with that motion his arm would fly off.<p>Back then, great pitchers could throw 70 mph and then reach back for a real heater when they absolutely needed to. Today, unless you are a knuckleballer, if you are not throwing in the 90s you are not going to make any level of pro ball.<p>Therefore, the old guys had an advantage when it comes to complete games. That is the record that will never, ever be broken.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 12:33 pm 
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It comes down to different kinds of improbability.<p>Matching the complete games record is improbable not because of the laws of probability but because, as Bumf says, the game has changed. If the game changed back, it would be feasible. In other words, if things were different, they wouldn't be the same.<p>Matching DiMaggio's record is improbable in any era, because statistically speaking it should never have happened at all. The only thing that would make it probable would be if pitchers started throwing every pitch right over the heart of the plate.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 1:11 pm 
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Others have had long hit streaks. I believe Rose had one that lasted 44 games or so. It doesn't strike me as wildly improbable that the streak could have lasted another 12 games. With luck, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 9:06 pm 
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My point precisely Phil. If this game is played for another 100 years, there is a possibility some lucky guy will break DiMag's record.<p>There is NO possibility...none whatsoever...that a pitcher will ever pitch as many complete games as did Cy Young.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 10:08 am 
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The point is that as you get to a certain point, the hit streaks get exponentially more unlikely. In Gould's book, he describes how much more improbable DiMaggio's streak was than Rose's, among other things. I repeat my commendation of the book to your attention.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 10:16 pm 
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I appreciate that, Matt, and I agree that it becomes exponentially more unlikely that anyone will break DiMag's record.<p>However, that being said...exponentially more unlikely...I am saying that Cy Young's record cannot possibly be broken. Given the choice between the two, I'd say "exponentially more unlikely" is more likely to happen than "cannot possibly."<p>Cheers, Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 10:18 pm 
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Oh, and Phil...<p>Believe it or not, I used to really study baseball history, and I seem to remember Young's total as 750. Was his record downsized, much as, if I am not mistaken, Walter Johnson's win total was upgraded to 416 from 414 after a careful review of the boxscores from someone who is more patient than I am and has better eyesight than I have?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 10:35 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bumfketeer:
Oh, and Phil...<p>Believe it or not, I used to really study baseball history, and I seem to remember Young's total as 750. Was his record downsized, much as, if I am not mistaken, Walter Johnson's win total was upgraded to 416 from 414 after a careful review of the boxscores from someone who is more patient than I am and has better eyesight than I have?<hr></blockquote><p>I took the number from Total Baseball, tome of stat-heads who spend their lives poring over old records. It very well may have been downsized based on recent research.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 12:20 am 
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Come on, folks -- DiMaggio's record will be broken. Rose had 44, Keeler was in the 40s, and others have had 30-plus streaks. Joe D. himself hit in 72 straight in the minors. <p>As for Cyrus Raymond, it's pretty darn unlikely that anyone will surpass his career marks, but it could happen if baseball goes through enough (r)evolutions. Vandermeer's record would be tough to beat, but he doesn't hold the mark for consecutive no-hit innings -- Young does, with 22, if memory serves. <p>There are lots of astounding records in ball -- Ryan's seven no-hitters, for instance -- but I would ask what literally unbreakable records anyone knows of, and others that are simply extremely unlikely to be surpassed. For the former, I would submit the Houston Astros' single-game attendance record of zero (1993 or so), the official total after Drayton McLane gave away all the tickets to one game in his initial season as owner. In the latter category, I'm thinking of things like two home runs in an inning by a hitter, four strikeouts in an inning by a pitcher, seven double plays turned in a nine-inning game by the 1969 Houston Astros (can you tell where I grew up?). Any takers?


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:31 am 
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DiMaggio's record will not be broken. The exponential difference between the probability of hitting in 44 and 56 is bigger than you think.<p>It happened once, and that is once more than it should have been able to happen.<p>The only way it will be broken is if the leagues expand by another half-dozen teams and the pitching gets even more diluted than it already is, and even then it would be unlikely.<p>This deathless thread has a difficult premise, because there are some records that cannot be broken because the game has changed (see Cy Young) and others that cannot be broken because they are immense statistical aberrations in any era (see the Clipper). These should really be two separate discussions.


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 Post subject: Re: Baseball's Record Least Likely to Be Broken
PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 4:38 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew Grieco:
DiMaggio's record will not be broken. The exponential difference between the probability of hitting in 44 and 56 is bigger than you think.<p>It happened once, and that is once more than it should have been able to happen.<p><hr></blockquote><p>Then how do you account for the fact that the same guy also hit in 72 straight games? Granted that streak was in the minors, wouldn't the odds be unthinkable if what you say is correct?


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