Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be “rules” and not “records,” but I’m not Bill Clinton. I believe in rules. Records, on the other hand, I love to see broken–as long as it is done legitimately. Roger Maris is still the single-season home run king, and Hank Aaron still tops the all-time list in my mind. Will these and other timeless records ever be broken for real?
The Career Home Run Record. Assume Alex Rodriguez keeps up his current pace of 44 home runs per season. Heck, let’s round it down to 40 just for fun. How long would it take him to surpass Aaron’s 755? About six seasons, that’s how long. He’s been around for fourteen years, but he started out pretty young (18!), so six more years isn’t out of the question. That would put him at 37 years young; Hank was 40 when he toppled Ruth’s 714. If you are among those who thinks Bonds’ mark should stick, then A-Rod would need to stick around just another year to pass him (assuming Bonds is done). What about the all-time professional mark of 868? You know, the one held by Sadaharu Oh of Japan. If A-Rod wants that record, he’ll have to stay healthy and consistent with 40+ homers for another 8.75 years.
The Career Hits Record. Pete Rose stands head and shoulders above everyone else in the field at 4256. No one else even comes close. But 33-year old Derek Jeter can try. Currently at 2356, Jeter would need an average of 200 hits over the next 9.5 years to pass Rose. Ichiro, who is just a tad older than Jeter, could pass Rose in just over 11.5 years if he continues his average of 230+ hits per season.
The Career RBI Record. Hank tops this list right now with 2297 knocked in, but A-Rod is again within striking distance considering his age. If he averages 125 RBI (just under his average) over the next 6.4 seasons, he’ll pass Aaron. Manny Ramirez could get there a little quicker though, if he keeps up his 130+ RBI average. It would take the Man Ram just over 5.3 years to pass the Hammer.
The Career Stolen Base Record. Rickey Henderson doesn’t have anything to worry about. Juan Pierre is the closest thing to a challenger, and he’s over 1000 behind Rickey. At an average of 50 steals per season, Juan would have to play until he turns 50 to catch Rickey.
In addition to the stolen bases record, there are a number of pitching records which will not be challenged for a long time, including strikeouts (Nolan Ryan has over 5700) and wins (Cy Young has over 500). Maybe someday there will be a real Sidd Finch to shatter all those records, but I doubt it happens in my lifetime.