3 single season records in each of the 4 major sports that are least and most likely to be broken

Posted: 08/29/2012 by levcohen in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey

Today, I’m going to look at the single season records in each sport that are most and least likely to be broken.

Least likely:

1. Wins in a season: Jack Chesbro, 41 (1904)
The wins record will never be broken. He started 55 games, completed 51, and threw more than 450 innings. With 41 wins, he also had 12 losses. A pitcher will never be able to start a lot more than 35 games in a season, and at most will only complete about 10 of them. That’s why 41 wins will always be out of reach

2. Hitting streak: Joe DiMaggio, 56 games (1941)
This record gets a lot of publicity, and for good reason. Hitting in 56 consecutive games is incredible. Second place on the list is 44, a huge difference. Statisticians have estimated that this happens once a millennium, so it’s safe to say it won’t be broken in quite a while.

3. Triples: Chief Wilson, 36 (1912)
I don’t know a lot about Chief Wilson, but I can say one thing. 36 triples is a lott. Curtis Granderson with 23 in 2007 is the closest someone has come in a long time.

Most Likely:

1. Hits: Ichiro, 262 (2004)… By Mike Trout…
Ichiro broke George Sisler’s record fairly recently. I think a leadoff hitter (like Mike Trout) has a good chance to break this record.

2. Doubles: Earl Webb, 67 (1931)…. By Joey Votto..
Recently, there have been some runs at 67 doubles. Before Joey Votto got hurt,  I thought he was going to break it. Todd Helton had 59 recently, and 5 other players have hit at least 55 since 2000. Votto had 300 at bats before he got hurt, and already had 36 doubles. He could have gotten to 70.

3. Double Plays: Jim Rice, 36 (1984)… By Billy Butler
I think the double plays record will also be broken soon. In 2010, Billy Butler had 32.

Least likely:

1. points per game: Wilt Chamberlain, 50.4 (1961)

50! 50! Enough said.

2. Rebounds per game: Wilt Chamberlain, 27.2 (1960)

I think someone could get 15-20 rebounds per game. Not 27.

3. Minutes Per game: Wilt Chamberlain, 48.53 (1961)

Only 48 minutes in a game, soo.

Bonus: Oscar Robertson averages a triple double in 1961.

Most likely:

1. FT%: Jose Calderon, 98.1% (2008)

98% is a lot. But it can’t be that hard for someone to practice FT to the point that they can make every single one, no matter what.

2. 3 pointers made: Ray Allen, 269 (2005).. By Ryan Anderson..

That is 3 and a quarter three pointers in a game. That’s a lot, but I expect there to be another good 3 point specialist who will be able to knock down more. For example: Ryan Anderson made 166 in a shortened season. In 82 games, that is 220.

3. Assists per game: John Stockton, 14.5 (1989)… By Steve Nash…

The leaders are constantly around 12 per game. I think Steve Nash this season makes a run at it. He won’t be looking to score.

Least likely:

1. Interceptions in a season: Dick Lane, 14 (1952)

Lane intercepted 14 passes in 12 games. No player has intercepted more than 10 in the last 30 years, so this seems like it’ll stand for a while. Offenses today are so sophisticated that interceptions are going down, which is why I think this record will stand.

2. Interceptions thrown in a season: George Blanda, 42 (1962)

Like I said in the last interceptions record, interceptions are going down. There is also the fact that now, even if a player is on pace to shatter the record, you can bet that the coach or general manager would demote him on the depth chart. The leashes on guys now are much tighter than they used to be.

3. Passer Rating in a season: Peyton Manning, 121.1 (2004)

This number is just incredible. 4,557 yards, 49 touchdowns is what he threw that season. Tom Brady got within 4 points, but even that is a lot. And Brady’s season was once in a lifetime.

Most likely:

1. Passing yards in a season: Drew Brees, 5,476 (2012)… By Matthew Stafford

Last year was a record breaking season in terms of passing yards. 5 players threw for 5,000 yards. I think 6,000 is within reach in this pass happy league.

2. Pass attempts in the season: Drew Bledsoe, 691 (1994)… By Matthew Stafford

This record has been there for a long time, but I think it’ll be broken soon. 2-5 on the list have happened in the last 2 years. If Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Matthew Stafford stay healthy for all 16 games, I believe that this record will fall.

3. Sacks in a season: Michael Strahan, 22.5 (2001).. By DeMarcus Ware

Last year, Jared Allen came within half a sack of the record. DeMarcus Ware and Jason Babin weren’t far behind. With QB’s dropping back to pass more often, this record will fall sooner rather than later.

Least likely:

1. Points in a season by a Defensive player: Bobby Orr, 139 (1971)

This is incredible. 139 points by anyone is likely to win the points title for a season, and for a defenseman it is unheard of. Now that more defensemen stay back, it’ll be even harder to break this record.

2. Most penalty minutes in a season: Dave Schultz, 472 (1974)

Wow. 472 penalty minutes is almost 6 per game. The leader this year had a paltry 235 penalty minutes, less than half of what Schultz had. There are fewer fights now, which is why this record won’t be broken.

3. Most assists in a season: Wayne Gretzky, 163 (1985)

Wayne Gretzky is the ultimate juggernaut when it comes to assists. He’s so good, in fact, that he has the top 7 single season assist totals, and 10 of the top 11. However, the assist total he put up in ’85 is far and away the most astonishing, demolishing his second best assist total by 28. Mario Lemieux, the second best player in NHL history, had his best assist total in 1988. He had 114.

Most Likely:

1. Goalie wins: Bernie Parent, 47 (1973)

I had a hard time finding breakable records, for two reasons. One is that there are fewer stats in hockey. The second one is that Wayne Gretzky is incredible, and he has every record. His records (goals, assists, points, etc.) are almost impossible to break. So I’m going to focus on goalies. 47 wins seems attainable.

2. Goalie Losses: Gary Smith, 48 (1970)

same as wins.

3. Most goals by a rookie defender: Brian Leetch, 23 (1988)

That number doesn’t seem like that much. If a really good scoring defender comes up, I could see him scoring 25.


  1. philabundant says:

    This is nitpicking, but if you are going to list a Jack Chesbro record that will never be broken. I think the 51 complete games is even more unlikely than the 41 wins.

  2. Marinite says:

    Wilt Chamberlain’s corner on unbreakable records is incredible. But how could he play more minutes in a game than there are in a game? Did games used to be longer?

    • 5toolstar says:

      it’s incredible, but his inflated minute total came from overtime. so he did sit (a little), but played overtime games which pushed up his minute total over 48 per game

      • Marinite says:

        Now I get it. It’s kind of like having a greater than 4.0 grade point average.

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