What is Major League Baseball’s Hardest Record to Break?
Why is "Wahoo" Sam Crawford’s record for most triples in a career the hardest to break?
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Possibly the most debated subject in all of baseball: what is the one record that will be the hardest to break? Is it Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak? Or perhaps Rickey Henderson’s 1,406 career stolen bases? Could it even be Cy Young’s 511 career wins? The answer to all of these questions is no. They might not be broken for a very long time, but I believe they will. There is only one that I believe will never be broken. This is the record that will stand as long as the game of baseball itself does. The record held by “Wahoo” Sam Crawford for most career triples (309) will be this record.
You might look this record up on the internet, or in a book, because you don’t know much about it. You’ll say to yourself when you see the list of players that follow Crawford, “The closest player to “Wahoo” Sam was only 14 triples shy of him.” Although that may not be much, that player happens to be Tyrus Raymond Cobb, who retired after the 1928 season. The closest ten players that are currently active are as follows: Johnny Damon (95), Jimmy Rollins (93), Carl Crawford (90), Cristian Guzman (84), Juan Pierre (76), Jose Reyes (73), Omar Vizquel (73), Carlos Beltran (64), Ichiro Suzuki (67), and Derek Jeter (58). The ten players before you are all great players in their own right, but they are nowhere close to the 309 career triples of Sam Crawford. All with the exception of Carl Crawford and Jose Reyes are over 30 years old, Omar Vizquel is 42.
Now for the math. I will now show you how breaking this record is a mathematical improbability. Let us use Jimmy Rollins for example. If he hits five more triples this season, he will have 98 in his career. Being 30 years old, lets say he plays for another 12 years (most likely in itself and improbability) in the Big Leagues. He would have to hit at least 18 triples in each of his remaining seasons. THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! Now for the two players under 30:
1- Carl Crawford: We’ll say he hits eight more triples this season, bringing his career total to 98. Maybe he’ll play until age 42, leaving him 14 more seasons of baseball. He’ll have to hit just over 15 triples in every season until retirement. Again, impossible.
2- Jose Reyes: We will say Reyes will hit only four more triples on the season (due to the fact he’s on the DL). We are also going to assume he’ll play until 42 years of age, leaving him 16 seasons of baseball. He will have to hit about 15 three-baggers every season until he hangs ‘em up. Still, very impossible.
Those were the reasons why this record won’t be broken in at least the next generation. The following are reasons why it can’t ever be broken. In today’s game, and today’s philosophy of the game, third base coaches are more likely to hold up the runner at second. Also, with the diminishing size of today’s Major League ballparks, triples are less likely to occur. I can’t see how you could possibly argue that Sam Crawford’s record will be broken.
So, I would like to congratulate “Wahoo” Sam Crawford on his unbreakable record of 309 career triples!