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Four Baseball Records that Will Never Fall: A Fan’s Take
The beauty of baseball is in the statistics, at least in the offseason when we can only watch the calendar and wait for pitchers and catchers to report.
I am still amazed, considering the improvements in diet, conditioning, and coaching over the years, that the dimensions of a baseball diamond still work. If a player hits a two-hopper to short and runs as fast as he can to first, he's going to be out by a step. That was true in 1920, and it's still true today. Given that, I feel baseball statistics compare well over eras, especially relative to other sports.
Here are four single-season baseball records I feel will never be touched:
67 Doubles - Earl Webb is a name known only to hardcore baseball fans. Webb, in fact, had only three seasons in which he took more than 400 at-bats. But he achieved baseball immortality in 1931 by banging out an astounding 67 doubles. Webb's next best output of doubles was the previous year, when he had 30. The ballparks in the 1930s must have been extremely conducive to doubles; of the six best seasons ever for doubles, five came in that decade.
56-Game Hitting Streak - I wish I could have been a baseball fan in 1941. Ted Williams hitting over .400, Stan Musial coming up for a cup of coffee, and the regal Joe DiMaggio hitting in 56 straight games—all happened in 1941. My favorite aspect of DiMaggio's streak is that after having his streak stopped in Cleveland, he proceeded to hit in the next 16 straight games. Imagine hitting in 72 of 73 games and finishing a distant 49 points behind the batting champ.
36 Triples - Like Webb above, Chief Wilson's stat of 36 triples in 1912 has been relegated to being an answer to a baseball trivia question. Players don't hit triples anymore, and no one will ever approach 36 in one season. When Curtis Granderson hit 23 triples in 2007 for the Tigers, it rated only a tie for 22nd all-time. Granderson's season is the only one in the top-50 all-time that took place after 1949.
33 Complete Games* - Robins Roberts threw 33 complete games in 1953. Pitchers are happy to get 33 starts in today's game. Can you conceive of a manager letting a stud pitcher (or any pitcher, actually) throw that many innings now? Silly to even consider. Only twice since 2000 has a pitcher had as many as 10 complete games (James Shields with 11 in 2011, and CC Sabathia with 10 in 2008).
*This isn't even the record, but I tossed out all seasons before 1950. Bill White throwing 75 complete games in 1879 is just too ridiculous to fathom.
Statistics found at http://www.baseball-reference.com
Brad Boeker is a native of St. Louis and a lifelong Cardinals fan.
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