9 Sports Record Holders Every Guy Should Know
There’s only so much room in our feeble human minds to retain all the knowledge we come across as sports fans. So how do we decide what to keep and what to throw out? That’s easy. Listen to us at TPS. There is no shortage of athletes who merit remembering, but since you can’t keep them all in your pocket, keep tabs on the biggest, baddest record holders in sport. Don’t worry about tracking them down. We’ve got them right here.
9. Pete Rose
There are arguments among baseball fans as to who the consummate hitter was. Rose often gets unfairly marginalized in these conversations, as he excelled in other areas and is not often seen as a “pure hitter.” But that’s what he was. He’s got the obvious record, most hits in a career at 4,256. He’s also got all sorts of durability records like most at bats (14,053), most seasons playing more than 150 games (17), and the NL record for most consecutive seasons played. Charlie Hustle indeed.
8. Michael Phelps
Phelps owns the swimming records. He’s set more over his career than even mark Spitz did, and many still stand. 7, in fact. He’s got the 400M Individual Medley, 4X100M Freestyle Relay, 200M Butterfly, 4X200M Freestyle Relay, 100M Butterfly, 4X100M Medley Relay, and the 4X100 Freestyle Relay. And in case your TV was broken in 2008, he set some Olympic records too.
7. John Wooden
7 NCAA titles in a row. 10 total. That’s what Wooden accomplished at UCLA. Statistically, he’s the benchmark for coaches that engineer dynasties. Personally, he’s known as one of the most gracious men to ever touch a basketball, which they don’t keep records of. He had 88 consecutive victories over 3 seasons and 24 of his boys went to the NBA. Those are records that haven’t been touched in 40 years, sports fans.
6. Wayne Gretzky
Gretzky’s got 1,000 more points in both the career regular season record and career total games record (which includes playoff games). Mark Messier is runner-up in both. What’s more amazing is that his totals for both are 2,856 and 3,238, respectively. Those are the numbers that are more than a thousand points higher than anyone else in the league. That’s like saying Gretzky was 50% better than the next best guy. He also holds the record for most points in a season with 215, and most career goals with 894. The runners-up there? Lemieux and Howe. Decent company Gretzky keeps, eh?
5. Lance Armstrong
There’s only one record that one needs to know when referencing Lance Armstrong. He won 7 consecutive Tour de Frances. Sadly, the world of cycling is such that no one will hurt themselves to track down other records and the men behind them, but Armstrong was the best in one of the most grueling endurance feats for almost a decade. Not bad. And by “not bad,” I mean amazing. Especially considering the obstacles he had to overcome with his testicular cancer recovery during that period.
4. Tiger Woods
Golf is certainly not a young man’s game, but one should be familiar with Tiger’s records that he holds at this stage of his career, as it seems that he is trending towards taking many of them away from the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus. At the age of 35, Tiger has the most victories (majors and otherwise), and is already halfway to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 6 Masters victories. We’ll see how Tiger does on the back 9, but if the front 9 is any indication, those records will be toast.
3. Cal Ripken
Ripken’s biggest claim to fame is “only” one record, but it’s not going anywhere this decade, mathematically speaking, so you might as well get familiar with it. 2,632 consecutive games started by Ripken. That’s 15 seasons without turf toe, the stomach flu, or exhaustion. And it’s not like baseball seasons are short. The current active leader? Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 204 games. Yeah Cal, you’re safe for a while.
2. Wilt Chamberlain
While Wilt has two records that are probably very noteworthy (for very different reasons), I would like to focus on the BASKETBALL record of 100 points. In a game. All by himself. That’s more than some teams average. Wilt exhibited a level of dominance over other team that hasn’t been seen before, and may not be seen again. Nowadays, the media gets ecstatic when a star scores 50 in a game. Well Wilt did double that. And he averaged 44.8 ppg, in a season. That’s a career night for most players. Factor that in with a career record for women bedded, and that’s a hell of a career.
1. Bill Russell
Bill Russell played for 13 NBA seasons. Do you know how many times his team, the Boston Celtics, won the NBA Championship? 11. Personal achievements are one thing, but going 11-for-13 in championships is something else. That’s just being a winner, plain and simple. Other players on that era’s Celtics team near the top of the list, but none come close. He landed one shy of having twice as many rings as Air Jordan. With Phil Jackson walking away after this season, it sounds like Bill’s mark will be safe for a while.