Cobb, Young Records Unbreakable

Baseball records don’t seem to mean as much as they used to since steroids and human growth hormone have destroyed the integrity and meaning of the game’s statistics.  Within the last 10 years, for example, Roger Maris’ single season home run record was shattered along with Hank Aaron’s career home run mark — both with the aid of drugs.

Drugs or no drugs, there are two baseball records that I believe will never be broken.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that I believe they are unbreakable.  They are Cy Young’s career victory total of 511 and Ty Cobb’s .367 lifetime batting average (yeah, I know, some nerd figured out it’s really .366.  Get a life!)


A pitcher capable of winning 20 games in a season would have to do so 25.55 times in order to tie Young’s record.  Even doped-up Roger Clemens is 157 wins short of Young’s mark after 24 years in the Bigs.  He’d have to pitch for another 11 years and maintain his season average for wins in order to catch Young.

In many ways, Cobb’s lifetime batting average is even more mind-boggling.  Imagine a season batting .350 bringing your average down!  One or two seasons batting .367 would be remarkable; averaging that over the course of a 24-season career is unbelievable.  But that is exactly what the Georgia Peach accomplished.

To put it into perspective, here is a quick list of some of the game’s greatest hitters and their lifetime averages:

Rogers Hornsby – .358
Ted Williams – .344
Lou Gehrig – .340
Tony Gwynn – .338
Wade Boggs – .328

It is a safe bet that Cy’s and Ty’s records will never be broken.

2 replies on “Cobb, Young Records Unbreakable

  • Denny, Alaska

    Nicely written article. I’ve long maintained that Ty Cobb’s immense talent(s) have been under appreciated, both at the time he was playing and subsequently, right up until the present day.

    When he wore the Detroit uniform, Cobb was seen (and feared) as a competitor who would stop at nothing, absolutely nothing, to get a hit, steal a base, force a run, create an advantage. I believe he stepped onto the baseball stage when the game was still a novelty trying to make itself known in the American mind. The ball players of Cobb’s day (with exceptions, Yound certainly being one) were essentially young men who held two jobs: one on the diamond during the summer months, the other during the winter ones, selling shoes, tending bar, turning a furrow, etc. Cobb was different. Baseball was absolutely everything, and between those two white lines nothing and no one was able to stop him from “besting” everything: men, records, history.

    Of course, even in his day, Cobb’s antics, from racism to packing heat to saying “good morning” with his fists, set him apart from others and caused him to be viewed not just for his exploits on the playing field. Today with our politically correct prism used to view the past, he’s usually first identified for what he wasn’t, which is simply the greatest that ever played the game. Period.

    You’re absolutely correct: his records will never be broken; he will never be equaled. No one will ever again bring to the plate the maniacal drive to win that was present in the Peach. Never again. And baseball will continue to be the poorer for it.

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