When Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in the same inning on April 23, 1999, which was unheard of, the historical fact reminded us of the Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer, who in June 11 and 15, 1938, pitched two straight hitless and scoreless games. No one has been able to match that feat. Tatis’s prowess is equal and will become very difficult to overcome, if not impossible. Tatis, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, gave those two home runs with the bases loaded to the same pitcher, South Korean Chan Ho Park of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Everything happened in a third inning in baseball history, Tatis not only set a record in MLB never before seen in those two grand slams, but his eight RBIs also set a new record for an inning. In the end, St. Louis beat Los Angeles 13-5.
They said the record of 61 home runs by Roger Maris would never be beaten. However, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa succeeded, then Barry Bonds surpassed those two. Of course, now we all know why they could break those records: “the juice.” Yes, that helped to eclipse that mark.
On the other hand, it was once believed that no one would play in as many consecutive games as Lou Gehrig, but Carl Ripken Jr. appeared proving otherwise. The mark of 257 hits in a season by George Sisler was also not supposed to be beaten until the dynamic Japanese Ichiro Suzuki, who shattered the record by reaching base 262 times.
These are some of the most difficult records to break in the great American pastime:
511 victories, Cy Young – There was a time when pitchers just had 32 starts per year. To eclipse Cy Young’s mark, a pitcher would need to average 20 wins for 26 years.
5,714 strikeouts, Nolan Ryan – The Alvin Express career spanned from 1966 to 1993. If a pitcher wants to beat him, they would have to average 286 strikeouts over 20 years. Ryan played 27 years. Seven no-hitters and 2,795 walks are out of reach.
110 shutouts, Walter Johnson – Current pitchers rarely complete games, so it’s very difficult to launch nine zeros in a game. This record has no form or way of being equaled, much less surpassed. The specialized pitching is another aspect that works against breaking the record.
191 RBIs, Hack Wilson – Since 1940, the only batter who has surpassed 160 RBIs in a season is Manny Ramirez, who finished with 165 in 1999.
.367 Average, Ty Cobb – Between 1909 and 1919, the Georgia Peach had a batting average of .369, while the league was .254. Ted Williams, a .344 hitter lifetime would have to exceed .400 in six or seven times to approach him.
4,256 hits, Pete Rose – It’s becoming increasingly scarce for batters to reach 200 hits per season. To overcome this, they must figure to have at least that many hits for 22 years.
1,406 steals, Rickey Henderson – Speed and peppery controversial player allowed him to overcome a difficult position. To beat this record, a player would have to average more than 100 steals a season for 14 seasons.
2,632 consecutive games played, Cal Ripken Jr. – This is one of the most difficult records to break because of a number of factors to achieve this. What made Ripken great was something tremendous, considering that the earlier Mark Taposeía or the legendary Lou Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive games. In fact, it was thought that no one would go near it.
212 games by connecting to pinch hit, Lenny Harris – This is another record that is very difficult to break. To give you an idea of its magnitude, we cite Manny Mota in 1980, established the new record with 150 games, breaking Smoky Burgess’s record of 145. At that time it was thought that would last forever. However, Lenny Harris surpassed the mark by 62 games.
262 hits, Ichiro Suzuki -It’s becoming increasingly scarce for batters to reach 200 hits per season, but Ichiro Suzuki did it in 10 consecutive years since he debuted in the MLB in 2001. In 2004, the Japanese player broke a record many thought would be impossible to do – breaking the record of 257 set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns, who set the record in 1920. Ichiro not only exceeded, but extended the record to 262.
67 doubles, Earl Webb – This double mark has been one of the most difficult to overcome. Established in 1934 by Earl Webb with 67, only Joe Medwick in 1936 threatened by giving 64.
36 triples, Owen Wilson – Neither before nor after Wilson reached its mark in 1912 has a player come within 10 of his number. With the construction of increasingly smaller fields to accommodate the park home run, the chances are that someone can overcome the record in time.