On this day in 1911, Cy Young got his 511th career win, still the all-time record. Hard to see how that will ever be topped. Pitchers rarely win 20 games in a season anymore, so to average that for 25 plus seasons….yea, can’t see it happening. So is 511 wins that hardest record to break? Depends on how you look at it.
For starters, people only look at “good records”, and never the bad ones. Cy Young also had 316 career losses – also the all-time record. If a pitcher were losing 15 games a year, would they be around for 21 seasons? No way. As unlikely as 511 wins is, how would someone even have the opportunity to approach 300 losses? So is that harder than 511 wins?
The other issue is what about records that are simply impossible due to the way the game is played. Cy Young had 749 complete games. Since 1999, there has been just one time in which a pitcher reached double digits in complete games for a season – and that was a mere 11.
So what is the most difficult record to break? And should we adjust for the era the player played in? Would 400 career wins today be harder than 511 in Young’s era?