Baseball records that may never be broken:
10) Walter Johnson – pitched 110 shutouts in a career, 1907-1927
No pitcher since Johnson’s era has come close to this number of shutouts. Since complete games are rare these days, this record may stand for a long time.
9) Hugh Duffy - .439 batting average in a season, 1894
While we can’t be sure that all the statistics from 1894 are totally accurate, if they are Duffy’s batting average is unlikely to be topped, as long as pitching in baseball remains dominant.
8) Rickey Henderson – 1,496 stolen bases in a career, 1979-2003
Someone would have to average 70 stolen bases a year for over twenty years to top Henderson’s record. Seems unlikely, since most players’ careers aren’t nearly that long, and most teams don’t run as much as they did back in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, now preferring to wait for the long ball instead of playing small ball.
7) Billy Hamilton – scored 198 runs in a season, 1894
Since most players don’t have high on-base percentages, and don’t play in every game much anymore, not to mention that pitching is still good enough to keep run-scoring low, it’s tough to see Hamilton’s record being broken anytime soon.
6) Joe DiMaggio – hit in 56 consecutive games, 1941
No one has really come close to matching this record. Being that hitting a baseball is the most difficult thing to do in sports, it’s hard to see any players coming close to getting a hit in so many games in row. Unless they lay down a lot of really good bunts, which would be the cheap way to do it.
5) Cal Ripken Jr. - started 2,632 consecutive games, 1981-1998
Most players today are given a day off here and there even if they don't really need it. It's possible someone could play in as many games as Ripken but it's unlikely to be consecutively.
4) Chief Wilson – hit 36 triples in one season, 1912
Ballparks are a lot smaller than they were a hundred years ago, so hitting a triple isn't that easy anymore. Some fields didn't even have walls. Outfielders today can cover ground pretty well, so a player has to have a lot of speed to leg out a triple.
3) Sam Crawford – hit 309 triples in a career, 1899-1917
For the same reasons it's unlikely no one will hit more than 36 triples in a season - smaller ballparks, better outfielders. A player would have to average 15 triples each season, for over twenty years. Seems like a long shot.
2) Cy Young – 511 wins in a career for a pitcher, 1890-1911
There's a reason why it's called the "Cy Young Award." The next closest win total is 417, nearly one hundred less, by Walter Johnson. How Young managed to pitch effectively so often (sometimes over 50 games a year) and for so long (22 years) is almost beyond comprehension.
1) Old Hoss Radburn - 59 wins in one season for a pitcher, 1884
No one even comes close to starting this many games in a season, let alone being the winning pitcher. Old Hoss must have had a rubber arm.