Rank baseball feats/records in order of impressiveness

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i.e., how does the cal ripken ironman streak stack up vs. the dimaggio 56-game streak vs. the hank aaron 755 vs. don larsen's perfect game vs. mickey morandini's unassisted triple play. (okay, there are really two different categories here, but don't let that stop you.)

mookieproof (mookieproof), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 01:10 (eighteen years ago) link

Cy Young's 511 career wins has to be up there, even if it is a dubious pitching stat. That record will never be broken.

mattbot (mattbot), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 02:36 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think the 56-game streak will ever be broken, either.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 03:33 (eighteen years ago) link

Sadaharu Oh's 868 HRs
Nolan Ryan's 5000+ Ks
Cool Papa Bell hitting a liner up the middle and the ball hitting him in the nates while he slid into second.

The Dreaded Rear Admiral (Leee), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 05:28 (eighteen years ago) link

I was more impressed by Cool Papa Bell hitting a light switch and sliding under the bedsheets before the lights dimmed. (Nates?)

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 12:13 (eighteen years ago) link

The more *untouchable* a record is doesn't necessarily correlate with how *impressive* it is... while Cy Young was certainly a great pitcher, he could only have won 511 games in the era in which he played.

And since Pete Rose hit in 44 straight games, I'm thinking Joe D's 56 isn't quite as unapprachable as thought. Still, it's one of the major records that's hardest to break, oddswise.

I don't think anyone's stealing 1200 + bases again like Rickey, given the decline of SBs as a strategem.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 13:42 (eighteen years ago) link

4256 Hits = 200 hits x 21.28 yrs

That one would be really hard to get, but nowhere near as impossible as Ty Cobb's .366 lifetime batting average.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 14:07 (eighteen years ago) link

So we have to have era-factored impressiveness for this list? I'm tired already.

mattbot (mattbot), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 14:21 (eighteen years ago) link

David R OTM!

mookieproof (mookieproof), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 14:38 (eighteen years ago) link

And since Pete Rose hit in 44 straight games, I'm thinking Joe D's 56 isn't quite as unapprachable as thought. Still, it's one of the major records that's hardest to break, oddswise.

I don't think having one of the other great hitters in baseball approach, but not break, the record diminishes it in any way. Now, if some shmuck who didn't have Rose's numbers got close, then you'd have a case.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 15:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Well given that I don't think Rose is among the best 100 players of all time...

One used to hear that Hack Wilson's 191 RBI (officially raised by one a few years ago thanks to a SABR member's research) in 1930 was untouchable, but no longer. All it would take is a Rolen or a Pujols in Coors Field.

Records are set in conducive environments, sorry if that makes ya sleepy, mattbot.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 15:35 (eighteen years ago) link

Actually, it would take a Rolen or Pujols in Coors field w/ 3-4 Rickey Hendersons batting in front.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:18 (eighteen years ago) link

An impressive feat -

the backhanded toss jeter threw home against oakland to nail the other giambi at the plate. i'll never forget that play.

metfigga (metfigga), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:22 (eighteen years ago) link

xpost - David R. otm, if I'm to believe Morbs'/gygax!'s arguments against Joe Carter.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:23 (eighteen years ago) link

speaking of impressive feats, who is the best pinch hitter ever in baseball?

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Pat Tabler?

NOT Lenny Harris.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:26 (eighteen years ago) link

Actually, scratch that - best pitch-hitter ever = Barry Bonds.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:27 (eighteen years ago) link

I know Greg Gross is pretty high on that list.

boldbury (boldbury), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:44 (eighteen years ago) link

The most impressive to my mind is Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter while tripping on acid. Not that it means he has a lot of skill or anything. I just can't believe it happened.

Magic City (ano ano), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:57 (eighteen years ago) link

speaking of no-hitters, I find it hard to believe anyone would top Nolan Ryan's 7.

But all these records that we don't think will fall...well, fifteen years ago I'm sure most people were looking at the HR rates and saying "no way in hell will anyone ever top 61 in a season/755 in a career". And I'm sure no one ever dreamed that anyone would top the Babe's season slugging percentage or Ted Williams' (it was Ted's, right?) OBP record for a season.

Gear! (Gear!), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Bonds will shatter his own OBP record this year by a HUGE previously unthinkable margin.

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:44 (eighteen years ago) link

And his walks record of course. What's his OBP now? 1.734?

Gear! (Gear!), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 18:02 (eighteen years ago) link

>Actually, [191 RBI] would take a Rolen or Pujols in Coors field w/ 3-4 Rickey Hendersons batting in front.<

That's kinda silly, since Preston friggin' Wilson had 141 last year ... although I suspect he regularly batted behind Helton (.458 obp) and Walker (.422).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 18:33 (eighteen years ago) link

DING DING DING!

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 18:39 (eighteen years ago) link

You put Manny in '99 or Sosa in '98 & '01 in Coors and they'd come really, really close.

Gear! (Gear!), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 18:52 (eighteen years ago) link

any runs record is beatable in this era, and wilson's rbi rec is no exception. it would take a pujols type, another slugger to bat behind him, 2 high OBP/low SLG guys to go in front, and a lot of luck (performance and opportunities with RISP). but it could definitely happen.

walker actually batted behind wilson and there were no other impressive OBPs on the team, and wilson didn't even do anything extraordinary with RISP (helton was much better). his 141 RBIs was practically all good karma, a result of having loads of chances with RISP (though a lot of that surely had to do with helton's high avg, many walks + low HR total with runners on).

John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 19:12 (eighteen years ago) link

unless I'm mistaken, 7 different Rockies have had seasons of 120+ RBI:

Bichette (141 was his high, others of 133, 128, 122)
Galarraga (150, 140)
Helton (147, 146)
Castilla (144)
Wilson (141)
Walker (130)
Burks (128)

Castilla might top it again this year.

That doesn't count Cirillo and Hammonds, who each had seasons around 110. And of course Jeromy Burnitz this year.

Gear! (Gear!), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 19:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Nates!

The Dreaded Rear Admiral (Leee), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 20:47 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think any player's ever going to approach the sheer coolness of James Bell's nickname.

The Dreaded Rear Admiral (Leee), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 21:07 (eighteen years ago) link

felix heredia's streak of clutch situtations entered and blown without a single batter retired is worthy of consideration, preferably immediately, by joe torre and brian cashman.

i love joe, but he's probably the biggest idiot of all time when it comes to bullpen management. it's just gotten completely mindboggling recently, and i'd think he was on the edge of senility if he didn't seem capable, or at least, normal, in every other aspect of his person.

John (jdahlem), Thursday, 29 July 2004 01:10 (eighteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

Interesting--only in baseball:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/07/03/lou-gehrig-john-rosengren/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t12_a0

Krabbenhoft...took it upon himself to spend the past year and a half researching every RBI Gehrig accumulated in his 2,164 career games and found one that appeared to be missing.

I've spent up to half-an-hour searching for my clipboard, so I know how he feels.

clemenza, Thursday, 12 July 2012 12:56 (ten years ago) link

I missed his presentation.

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:32 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

Warning: ****************counting stats alert****************

A round-up of some benchmarks reached this year:

http://www.highheatstats.com/2013/09/2013-milestone-musings-batters-edition/

Truly bizarre: "Albert is the youngest to hit his 500th double or, to be precise, tied for the youngest with Joe Medwick, each reaching that milestone aged exactly 32 years, 250 days (I kid you not)."

clemenza, Monday, 2 September 2013 00:50 (nine years ago) link

helton got his 2500th hit today

mookieproof, Monday, 2 September 2013 01:08 (nine years ago) link

helton's gonna be another borderline case. don't know if i can see him getting in

k3vin k., Monday, 2 September 2013 01:13 (nine years ago) link

He'll be a major point of contention for sure. You've got to figure out his career through the simultaneous distortion of Coors and the peak years of the offensive boom.

I'd be inclined to put him in based on this interpretation of his home/road stats: he's Dave Winfield on the road (.288/.387/.470), Jimmie Foxx at home (.346/.442/.607). But I know that's a very simplified way to look at it--I certainly understand the reasons for not wanting to put him in.

clemenza, Monday, 2 September 2013 01:25 (nine years ago) link

In a world where Jeff Bagwell sailed in on the first ballot, Helton would go in, but we seem to be living in a much stupider world.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 September 2013 04:02 (nine years ago) link

Helton's case is weak. Short peak, extreme park effects, lowish career WAR, clearly not the best 1B or possibly even fifth best 1B at any point during his career. He's like the poor man's Palmiero minus the drugs.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Monday, 2 September 2013 16:37 (nine years ago) link

Amazed at how shitty JAWs scores are for some HOF 1B people.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Monday, 2 September 2013 16:40 (nine years ago) link

yeah i wouldn't vote for helton

k3vin k., Monday, 2 September 2013 17:49 (nine years ago) link

1B wasn't a premium offensive position until the last 30 years or so, which explains the relatively low JAWS scores. Helton has a good HOF case if you compare him to the JAWS averages, but if you compare him to other 1B of his era, he's borderline at best.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 2 September 2013 18:56 (nine years ago) link

Question: does players inducted for reasons non-related to their being players (Comiskey for example) do they count for the JAWS average?

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Monday, 2 September 2013 19:34 (nine years ago) link

clearly not the best 1B or possibly even fifth best 1B at any point during his career

I guess that depends on how wide your lens is for the concept of "point." Surely he's one of the Top 5 from 2000-2004. After Pujols, and arguably Delgado and Giambi (whose 2004 was a write-off because of injury), who was better? Maybe I'm forgetting someone. (Bagwell starts coming out of his prime in 2000.)

clemenza, Monday, 2 September 2013 20:25 (nine years ago) link

Pujols
Thomas
Thome
Bagwell
Palmiero

who were I was thinking. Admittedly at various points Helton was probably better than all but Pujols.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Monday, 2 September 2013 20:33 (nine years ago) link

And around those guys though you have:

Olerud
Delgado
Giambi
Berkman
Teixeira
Gonzales
Votto

Just a ridiculous era for 1B dudes really.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Monday, 2 September 2013 20:44 (nine years ago) link

I think Helton has a strong case as being the second-best first baseman in baseball for that specific 2000-2004 window. (I've only skimmed, but I suspect WAR agrees: 37.4 for those five seasons.) I'm not saying that's enough to warrant HOF induction. When you think of the huge seasons that came out of Coors, the range of players goes from Larry Walker to Jeffrey Hammonds. That's a qualifier that invites major skepticism, even after WAR supposedly makes the necessary adjustments.

clemenza, Monday, 2 September 2013 21:00 (nine years ago) link

How's that for timing?

http://mlb.si.com/2013/09/02/todd-helton-2500th-hit-rockies-hall-of-fame/?sct=hp_wr_a3&eref=sihp

(Since we were all sparked by the 2,500th hit, actually not especially coincidental.)

Jaffe's HOF verdict: "very reasonable but hardly air-tight."

clemenza, Monday, 2 September 2013 23:02 (nine years ago) link

Todd Helton retires as after playing his whole career in Colorado, he will get some of the same consideration given to other one club greats. It won't blot it out, but it will be in the mix along with the Mile High stat boost. Got to say though he looks a heck of a lot more like Mark Grace after the humidor kicked in.

Considering how insane Helton's hitting line was in 2000, it goes to show how crazy the hitting stats were overall that he didn't win an MVP. That 103 extra base hits and hitting .372 just looks like something out of a video game and he only struck out like 61 times. That is putting the wood on the baseball. It's a very good peak hitting season, one of the best.

earlnash, Monday, 2 September 2013 23:33 (nine years ago) link

i think i'd unfairly written him off because of the coors effect. the humidor showed up earlier in his career than i originally thought. his iso took a serious dip afterwards - but it was still very good for about 4 years before his power really started to vanish.
still, only a 55.8 fWAR for his career... but jesus was he ever good at getting on base. i'm really on the fence now.

Porto for Pyros (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 3 September 2013 03:14 (nine years ago) link

even after WAR supposedly makes the necessary adjustments.

"supposedly"

nuthin like eternal "Coors, Coors" skepticism. Good thing Mike Trout didn't come up with Colorado.

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 September 2013 14:41 (nine years ago) link

Jesus, man--you may have noticed that I seem more receptive to Helton's case than everyone else posting here. I'll be sure to choose my words more carefully.

clemenza, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 15:18 (nine years ago) link

It just seems like you doubt that WAR adjusts for home park. Is it such a herculean task that it can't possibly be done?

Miss Arlington twirls for the Coal Heavers (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 September 2013 15:21 (nine years ago) link

i'm with Clems here - when you look at Helton or Walker's splits - it doesn't feel like WAR has been adjusted enough. Not saying it's wrong wrong wrong all the time – just that I don't think it's always bang on.

Porto for Pyros (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 3 September 2013 15:35 (nine years ago) link

(xpost) I know WAR adjusts for home park! If you go back to my sentence --

"...a qualifier that invites major skepticism, even after WAR supposedly makes the necessary adjustments"

-- I'm just saying that when you've got guys like Jeffrey Hammonds and Vinny Castilla having HOF-type seasons, that there's still going to be skepticism after those adjustments. You're reading too much into the "supposedly." It's just the way I write.

clemenza, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 15:49 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

Fernandez has an outside shot at the single-season K/9 record. He's about 0.35 K/9 behind Randy Johnson in 2001 (and 0.15 behind Pedro's 1999). But making up that gap over 12 more starts will be extremely difficult. If he gets 75 more innings in, he'd have to strike guys out at a rate of 13.8/9 IP.

clemenza, Wednesday, 27 July 2016 20:43 (six years ago) link

six years pass...

RBIs were mentioned upthread a great many years ago… but if that single season record is so beatable, how come no one has come close in my lifetime? We now have 4 players in that time set an insane mark for home runs, we’ve gone through a decade of some of the most epic league-wide hitting ever - and yet no one approached the RBI record at all. And it’s not even close - the only modern players even on the leader board are Manny and Sosa at #14 & 21.

What is going on with modern baseball that is preventing guys from getting RBIs like they used to? Is it just that you don’t see dudes playing a full 162 game season anymore? All the top-10 season RBI guys did it in the 20s-30s. What gives?! Was it maybe the sudden and brutal end to the dead all era before pitchers could adjust?!

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Saturday, 1 October 2022 20:17 (two months ago) link

Surely it’s at least partly to do with pitching?

According to Sports Reference, batters have more strikeouts than hits for the fourth straight season


This article was written in 2021 but it’s still true this year so far.

barry sito (gyac), Saturday, 1 October 2022 20:26 (two months ago) link

Based on runs scored I’m guessing Hack Wilson had Kiki Cuyler and Woody English batting ahead of him (155 and 152 runs scored, respectively) and each had 200+ hits, and Cuyler also had 72 walks and English had 100 (the rare 200/100 season!) Lots of good circumstances. You’ve gotta have one of those all time great power+hitting seasons like Wilson (who also had 200+ hits and 100+ walks) and have guys in front of you who do the same.

Recent examples that were up there: Ramirez with 165 and Sosa with 160. Ramirez had Lofton and Alomar ahead of him and they were at their usual HOF caliber. Sosa had no one nearly as good, no one else who scored even 100 runs. Eric Young had 98. Sammy really needed those HR to get that RBI total up.

omar little, Saturday, 1 October 2022 20:36 (two months ago) link

the dodgers lead the league in scoring and they don't have a single player over 100 RBI, even with freeman and trea playing every single game. i'm not gonna say that record is untouchable, but it would take a massive boost in the run scoring environment for it to be possible. if manny couldn't get within 25 batting cleanup all year for the one of the best offenses of all time, we're gonna need juiced balls, a shrunken strike zone, bases bigger than the pitching mound and better steroids to get there

, Sunday, 2 October 2022 01:46 (two months ago) link

The NL (league average) slashed .303/.360/.448 in 1930. No other season even comes close. It's a perfect storm of high OBP's everywhere in the lineup, a great power hitter, low league strikeout rates, and a fair share of luck.

Hack Wilson drove in 164 runs in 427 PA with men on base in 1930. That works out to 0.38 RBI/PA.

Manny Ramirez drove in 147 runs in 351 PA with men on base in 1999 -- 0.42 RBI/PA, better than Wilson! He played in just 144 games and drove in 165 runs! It's definitely a breakable record, but the conditions for doing it are probably a once in a generation thing.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 2 October 2022 08:04 (two months ago) link

Probably even less than once a generation.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Sunday, 2 October 2022 15:36 (two months ago) link

four guys in wilson's lineup w/ better than a .400 obp is nuts.

j.q higgins, Sunday, 2 October 2022 15:56 (two months ago) link

I remember checking the back of Mattingly’s card and seeing that 145 RBI season and thinking that was just astronomical. But since then, 43 different times a player has had 140+ rbi, all from 1996 - 2009.

omar little, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:16 (two months ago) link

Griffey, Juan Gone, Sosa, Howard, and Manny each did it three times.

omar little, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:20 (two months ago) link

It was actually the Cardinals who led the NL in runs in 1930 with 1,004 (six more than the Cubs), even though Frankie Frisch's 114 was enough to lead the team, and only one other guy had 100.

clemenza, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:22 (two months ago) link

Forgot that Manny had 165 RBI despite missing some time (actually looks like it was 147 games) I mean that’s just absurd.

omar little, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:29 (two months ago) link

probably easy enough to do, but i'd like to see the record for the % of a team's regular season RBIs a player drove in. hack wilson's 191 RBIs were 19.1% of the 1930 cub's 998 runs. last year, salvador perez's MLB-leading 121 RBIs were 17.6% of the royal's 686 runs.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:44 (two months ago) link

(manny's 165 RBIs in 1999 were 16.3% of cleveland's 1009 runs)

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:45 (two months ago) link

one reason that baseball writing is a lucrative and recommend profession is that you could spin "what is the record for highest % of a team's runs driven in" into a 36-part, 100,000 word content factory that could be updated every 5 years

Karl Malone, Sunday, 2 October 2022 16:47 (two months ago) link

Sign me up...in 1972, Nate Colbert's 111 RBI accounted for 22.7% of the Padres' 488 runs.

clemenza, Sunday, 2 October 2022 19:29 (two months ago) link

Thought Andre Dawson’s 1987 season might come close, and it wasn’t too far off. 137 RBIs, 19% of the runs scored for the Cubs.

omar little, Sunday, 2 October 2022 19:58 (two months ago) link

four guys in wilson's lineup w/ better than a .400 obp is nuts.

― j.q higgins, Sunday, October 2, 2022 11:56 AM (five hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

cleveland in '99 had 5! 6 if you want to round up vizquel's .397, which i do

, Sunday, 2 October 2022 21:01 (two months ago) link

looking into hack wilson's 1930, it's interesting. he spent the entire year batting cleanup. he probably would've had even more RBI if mccarthy hadn't spent the first ~1/3 of the season batting cliff heathcote and footsie blair in the 2 hole. it took heathcote BABIPing himself out of a job and hornsby getting injured to create the english-cuyler-wilson 2-3-4 which that lasted the rest of the season. it especially helps that cuyler had 50 doubles and 17 triples and only 13 home runs.

hornsby was also a factor though... wilson batted directly behind him 23 times that year. and he still had a .385 OBP in those games but for some reason he only managed 2 HR after hitting 39 the year before. and this was (mostly) before he broke his ankle. if hornsby had stayed healthy and had a fairly normal season power-wise, wilson might not have come close to 191. though if he'd also had a fairly normal season OBP-wise wilson and cuyler (pushed to the 5 hole) might have both broken 200. if hornsby were healthy and mccarthy committed to an english-cuyler-hornsby-wilson 1-2-3-4 instead of insisting on the dreaded footsie as a leadoff hitter for some reason, then hack wilson would've had approximately 500 RBIs. and they might have won the pennant.

, Sunday, 2 October 2022 21:26 (two months ago) link

So basically. If someone were to ever beat this record, they would need to be a great power/contact hitter, who doesn’t strikeout a lot (I guess for productive outs?), who has three high OBP, speedy, no-power hitters in front of him. (Aka this will never happen)

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 3 October 2022 00:50 (two months ago) link

All of this has given me a reason to look at the 1999 Cleveland batting stats and Jesus if those guys had even remotely decent pitching beyond the merely pretty good season Bartolo Colon had (he went 18-5 w/an ERA just under 4) they would’ve won 110 games. As it was, the rotation was otherwise poor.

Charles Nagy, 17-11 with a 4.95 era!

omar little, Monday, 3 October 2022 01:01 (two months ago) link

In their everyday nine, they had 1) three HOF'ers (even though Baines shouldn't be); 2) Manny, who'd be in except-except; 3) Lofton, who should be; and 4) Vizquel, who probably would have eventually made it except-except. That'd be six HOF'ers. (I don't know why Baseball Reference has Baines as their everyday DH--he had 96 PA with Cleveland. Baseball Reference still lists Zack Collins as the Jays' everyday DH this year, and he hasn't been with the team for months.)

clemenza, Monday, 3 October 2022 02:31 (two months ago) link

And Travis Fryman and David Justice on the downsides of their careers.

clemenza, Monday, 3 October 2022 02:32 (two months ago) link

Plus Richie Sexson, whose stats that year were pretty impressive.

omar little, Monday, 3 October 2022 02:37 (two months ago) link


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