By Walker Polivka, Contributing Writer
There are many talented athletes. These athletes are always setting new records and breaking old ones. However, there are some records that have been set that may never be broken. Listed below are the five professional sports records that I feel will never be broken, in no particular order.
- Cal Ripken Jr. playing in 2,632 consecutive games
Over the span of 16 years (1982-1998), Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive baseball games for the Baltimore Orioles, shattering the old record of Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 games that was set from 1925-1939. Being that dedicated to a sport is something that is rarely seen today at any of the major sports levels. Given the amount of injuries in the game today and the amount of games that managers will rest their starters, this is a streak that will unlikely ever be broken.
- Richard Petty winning 200 career NASCAR races
Over the span of 35 years, Petty won 200 races of the 1,184 that he entered. That’s a rate of nearly one in every five races being a win. In one of those seasons, he had 27 wins. The 1967 season ran 49 races that year and he won 27 of them, which is over 55 percent. Today’s series has a 36-race season, so that record will never be touched. With 200 career wins, he is 95 wins ahead of the next driver on the all-time wins list (David Pearson) and 117 wins ahead of the next active driver on the list (Jimmie Johnson). A true legend of the sport with a record that will never be touched.
- Tiger Woods making the cut in 142 consecutive tournaments
From 1998-2005, Woods made the cut in 142 consecutive tournaments that he played in. To be able to play that consistently every time you tee it up is something unique. One of the unique things about golf is the number of variables a golfer faces each week. A different site, a different setup, and different weather patterns, among other things, can affect how a golfer plays each week. Given the lack of consistency among many of the bigger names of the sport today, as well as the difficulty of maintaining such a high standard of play each week, this record is unlikely to ever be broken.
- Jose Calderon making 98.1% of his free throws in one season
In the 2008-09 season, Calderon made 151 of 154 free throws while playing for the Toronto Raptors. This is about as close to perfection as you can get. When you consider how the game of basketball works, lots of players take free throws. When it comes down to close games, you try to foul the worst free throw shooters in hopes that they miss. There are several great free throw shooters in the league each season, but no one may come close to being this accurate ever again.
- Wayne Gretzky scoring 92 goals in one season
In the 1981-82 season, Gretzky scored 92 goals in the regular season for the Edmonton Oilers. In 82 games, this comes out to an average of 1.12 goals per game. A player scoring a goal in every game of a season is unheard of. Scoring, in some cases, multiple goals per game is nearly impossible. Yet, Gretzky accomplished it in a season. Given the depth in the NHL today, how players often aren’t consistent scorers, and how often players are injured, this is a record that is never going to be broken.
There are a lot of records that are set and broken in sports. Many are broken often, and some are broken once in a generation. I’m sure that there will be many more records set and broken in the coming years, but I believe without a doubt that these five records will never be broken.
Photo Credit: NHL.com