Shutterstock/Erik Broder van Dyke

Records are hard to compare. Is it more impressive that Ronaldo has scored so many goals in football or that Federer has won so many tennis matches? Is it more impressive the number of races Lewis Hamilton has won or the balls Ronnie O’Sullivan has potted in snooker? The only real way to compare sporting achievements across disciplines is to judge if anyone has ever come close to beating them or if they ever will. While most records are impressive it is difficult to say they will never be beaten. At every corner, there is a younger, faster, more intelligent athlete waiting to take the crown. One record does stand out in this regard, though, and that is the record held by Cy Young.

Cy Young was an American Major League Baseballer in the 1890s and 1900s, so this record goes back a long way. He holds the record for most wins at 511 as a major league pitcher. This record can not be matched by any other player in any other sport. He stands alone. Simply because no one has ever come close to this record and no one ever will. 

Young was among the hardest throwing pitchers in the game. However, as he got older his speed diminished but his scores did not. He altered his game to continue winning well into his forties. This is why he will never be bested.

Pitching is a tough game and most pitchers don’t reach thirty without having some elbow or shoulder surgery or needing ice packs every game night. For them to last to 40 would be unlikely. For them to last to 40 with Cy Young’s win tally would be a miracle. If an unbelievable player came to the sport now, at a young age, let’s say 20, he would have to average 20 wins a season for 26 seasons. That is not just unlikely it is impossible. 

While Ronaldo has scored an incredible amount of goals and will go down as one of the greatest, while Hamilton has won many races and is known as the best, while Federer has been winning for years and appears insurmountable, challengers will come, challengers already are coming. To Cy Young, no one even dares to challenge. With a record that will never die, Cy Young lives on.