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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Some records are meant to be forever

Posted Friday, April 29, 2011, at 9:20 PM

This may come a quite a shock to some of you -- I'm a subscriber to The Sporting News. Yes, really I know it's hard to believe, but it's true.

That brings me to the topic of this column.

In the April 25 edition of TSN, they compiled what they considered to be some of the greatest records in sports.

They range from Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak to Pete Maravich's 44.2 points per game average in college.

It also features a few tidbits of information from former and current athletes and coaches that blend in with the recap of the records.

As a sports fan in general -- and someone who has the ability to speak his mind in this format -- I decided to offer my own thoughts on each of the top 10 records they listed and where they rank on my own list.

Here's TSN's version of the list from 10 to 1 with my own personal thoughts and where I think they should really be ranked:

10. Pete Maravich's 44.2 career points per game -- What the Pistol did was nothing short of amazing. Especially when you consider it was done without the benefit of the 3-point basket.

That's why I really believe the feat deserves to be ranked higher than 10th on the all-time list. For my own list I'd put it at No. 5

9. Bill Russell's 11 championships -- The Boston Celtics and the NBA Championship, two phrases that are bound about as tight as a mother and a newborn baby.

Bill Russell and Red Auerbach might be the greatest combination of player and coach in the history of the NBA, although I suspect there's a few Chicago Bulls fans that might disagree with me, and for that reason alone Russell deserves to be in the top 10.

His grace and presence on the court was one that has few who can imitate, and even fewer who can detract.

But his feat came with the help of others -- I doubt he could have carried them to the title alone -- so for that reason and no other I'd rank him in the No. 10 spot.

8. Pete Rose's 4,256 hits -- Before you say anything, I know that Rose is banned from induction in Cooperstown and that he shamed himself, his team and his sport.

But this might be one of the most unbreakable records in sport. Not just because it's in my beloved baseball, but simply because the game has gotten to a point where collecting more than 3,000 hits takes an incredible amount of time.

And right now, just like getting a pitcher to claim 300 wins, players just don't seem to hang around long enough to reach the mark.

So with that I'm placing it No. 3 on my list.

7. Wayne Gretzky's 215-point season -- Being one of the few true hockey fans in the office, my appreciation for what "The Great One" did in the 1985-86 season while a part of the Edmonton Oilers is highly respected.

But I also don't think of it as one of those really great or memorable records. Gretzky was the only one to do it, and he may be the only to ever to do it, but I just can't put it higher than No. 10.

Again it's one of those records that without a team around him, it likely wouldn't have happened.

6. Jerry Rice's 208 career touchdowns -- This is a no-brainer for me to move him into the first five on the list.

Rice's athletic ability, sound training and all-around athletic presence were more than enough to keep him healthy for the duration of his career -- and thus putting him among royalty in football.

When you consider that the closest to him is Terrell Owens with 156 TD's, he deserves to be where I put him, No. 4.

5. Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters -- No-hitters and perfect games used to be one of the most difficult and rare feats in sports.

That is until a young flame thrower named Lynn Nolan Ryan made them more than a rarity, he made them memorable and in the grand scheme of baseball, quite often.

In 1973 and 1974 Ryan evened the mark of Dodger great Sandy Koufax. Koufax had twirled four no-no's in his career.

But Ryan decided to add to the mark when he threw three more over the rest of his 27-year career.

Even when you consider that Ryan fanned double-digit batters in each of his seven gems, he still needed a team behind him to make the rest of the plays.

So for that reason alone, I put him at No. 6.

4. Cy Young's 511 wins -- There's a lot of reason why this record will likely stand the test of time in baseball.

Things like pitch counts, closers, set-up men and righty-lefty matchups have hurt the quest to win 300 games by a lot of pitchers.

And when you consider, again how short a career in sports has generally become, I don't think this one will ever be seriously challenged, at least in my lifetime.

For that among many other reasons, I put Cy Young at No. 2 on my list.

3. UCLA's seven consecutive national titles -- Thanks to the NBA's willingness to draft players not only before they graduate college, but as young as high school, this might be one of those marks that also stands.

But this was one that took a group to accomplish, even though the wins were engineered by one of the greatest, if not the greatest, college basketball coach, John Wooden, I just can't seem to put it in the upper half.

I rank it No. 7.

2. Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points -- By most accounts the Philadelphia Warriors and New York Knicks both showed up for that game in Hershey, Pa., but only one of them really had much to contribute.

Chamberlain, who had previously scored in the 70's was the tallest player on the court and eventually the most open.

He connected on 28 of 32 free throws and played with teammates that were in the second half, intentionally committing fouls to get extra possessions.

One thing I've never been able to find out is who got the most assists in that game.

It took teammates to get him the ball, because let's face it, "Wilt the Stilt" couldn't dribble that well.

I put this one at No. 8.

1. Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak -- We finally get down to one both TSN and the old man can agree on.

Dimaggio's streak might be one of the very few mentioned here that will never be broken.

The streak began on May 15, 1941 in Commiskey Park in Chicago and came to an end on July 16 in Cleveland.

The closest anyone has gotten since is Pete Rose when he hit in 44 straight in 1978.

That's a long time no matter how you slice it.

Well there you have it, my own personal list of the 10 greatest records in sports.

But just like anything else, it's all subjective.

Rick is a sports writer with the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487. He can be reached by E-mail at rcurl@gcdailyworld.com.

The Sporting News

Top 10 Sports Records of all-time

1. Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak.

2. Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game.

3. UCLA's seven consecutive NCAA basketball titles.

4. Cy Young's 511 career wins.

5. Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters.

6. Jerry Rice's 208 career touchdowns.

7. Wayne Gretzy's 215-point season.

8. Pete Rose's 4,256 career hits.

9. Bill Russell's 11 NBA titles.

10. Pete Maravich's 44.2 career point per game average.

Rick Curl's Top 10

1. Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak.

2. Cy Young's 511 career wins.

3. Pete Rose's 4,256 career hits.

4. Jerry Rice's 208 career touchdowns.

5. Pete Maravich's 44.2 career point per game average.

6. Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters.

7. UCLA's seven consecutive NCAA basketball titles.

8. Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game.

9. Wayne Gretzky's 215-point season.

10. Bill Russell's 11 NBA titles.


Comments
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What about Ted Williams' mark of hitting .406 in 1941? I don't think anyone will do that again.

Also if Ichiro played his entire career in the U.S., he would be chasing Rose's hit record. The great thing about Rose is that he didn't slow down until he was 40 and it looks like Ichiro will follow suit.

Great article, Rick.

-- Posted by drewlandry on Thu, May 5, 2011, at 9:50 AM


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