There are athletic feats of achievement that have left us all in states of stunned disbelief and unadulterated ecstasy. Then there are others which simply defy time and run counter to the old adage that “records are meant to be broken.” Here’s our list of seven of the top athletic achievements that seem destined to be untouched.
7. Wayne Gretzky’s 92 goals in a single NHL season
The Great One netted this record in the 1981-82 season while starring for the Edmonton Oilers. He also holds second place with 87 goals in the 1983-84 season. Some perspective? Alex Ovechkin led the league in goals this past season with 50.
6. Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played in MLB
The Iron Man earned this distinction over the course of the 1982-1998 seasons. Ripken, who attended this year’s Preakness Stakes, has nothing to worry about with this record.
5. Wilt Chamberlain’s 50.4 scoring average in an NBA season (1961-62)
Michael Jordan’s best single-season scoring average occurred in 1986-87, with 37.1 points. Kobe Bryant, you ask? His best mark happened in 2005-06 when he finished the season averaging 35.4 points. Not only does Wilt own the record, but he also safely secured the second-, third- and fourth-best single-season totals in NBA history.
4. Cy Young’s 749 career complete games pitched
The closest to Young is over 100 games less than his incredible mark.
3. The eight consecutive NBA championships won by the Boston Celtics (1959-1966)
Eight! Consecutive! Championships! Folks on social media are currently raving about the fact that LeBron James has led his team to each of the last six NBA finals, but he's won only twice. Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player ever, led the Chicago Bulls to six titles in eight years. Yet the Celtics’ title run still stands as the greatest ever and appears quite safe from any real threat in today’s NBA.
2. Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak
Willie Keeler came the closest (45 games) but was still 11 away from tying it. Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Boston Red Sox went 29 consecutive games with a hit before seeing his streak snapped recently. We think Joe’s record is safe for years to come.
1. Secretariat’s record times in all three Triple Crown races
He holds the speed record in the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5) at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes (1:53) at Pimlico, and the Belmont Stakes (2:24), which he won by an amazing 31 lengths at Belmont Park. Even American Pharoah didn’t topple Big Red’s sizzling times in horse racing’s crown jewels. The records he set were both stakes and track records and the track record times for both 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs and 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park still stand 50 years later as do all three Triple Crown stakes records.