The Corner

Untouchables (?)

Toward the end of Impromptus today, I have a little item on sports and records — baseball records, in particular. This morning, a reader wrote,

Consider Owen “Chief” Wilson’s record for triples in a season. In 1912, he hit 36 of them. That is not only the major-league record, it’s the record for all of organized baseball: minors and everything. No one can really come close to it.

I also heard from the great Ed Capano, former publisher of National Review: husband of Margie, son of Brooklyn, athlete and man about town, etc. He wrote,

The most unbreakable baseball record? I vote for Cy Young’s 511 pitching wins. With the advent of the long reliever, the closer, and four-to-five days’ rest between starts, it’s a major accomplishment to win 300 games, and unthinkable to reach 500. Guys would have to be pitching into their 80s.

And that reminds me of a beloved old tale — do you know it? The year is about 1950. Two veteran baseball writers are talking, and one says to the other, “What do you think Cobb would hit, if he were playing today?” His friend says, “Oh, about .300, I would think.” The first man says, “Really, is that all?” His friend replies, “Well, you have to remember, Cobb is almost 65 years old.”

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