You omitted one unapproachable record from your list of Ten That Won't Tumble (SI CLASSIC, Fall 1992): Cy Young's 511 career victories. This mark appears safe, considering that a pitcher would have to average more than 25 wins a season for 20 years to topple it.
E.M. Swift chose many good candidates for records that will not be equaled, but he forgot a modern-day mountain that will never be scaled—Nolan Ryan's career strikeout total. Even if Ryan never throws another pitch, his 5,668 strikeouts average out to 250 strikeouts per season for 22.7 years.
Here's one more record that's unbeatable: Oscar Robertson's triple double for an entire NBA season—an average of 30.78 points, 12.47 rebounds and 11.38 assists a game in 1961-62.
JOHN T. MOORE
Angel Fire, N.Mex.
Connie Mack managed one team, the Philadephia Athletics, for 50 consecutive years. Amos Rusie pitched 50 complete games in 1893, the first year that the distance from the mound to home plate was 60'6". And Johnny Vander Meer pitched consecutive no-hitters. Nobody will ever match any of these accomplishments.
RANDY C. BLAIR
December 7, 1992
While it is hard to narrow such a list to 10, one obvious omission was Hank Aaron's 755 lifetime home runs. For a player to break Aaron's mark, he would have to average 50-plus homers for 15 seasons. I cannot imagine Aaron's record going, going, gone, goodbye.
Massapequa Park, N.Y.
Gordie Howe's 26 seasons in the NHL.
The 40 points that Ernie Nevers scored for the Chicago Cardinals against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 28, 1929, will remain a record as long as there is an NFL.
From June 20, 1901, to Aug. 9, 1906, Jack Taylor pitched 188 consecutive complete games while playing for the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. During the streak Taylor finished another 15 games as a reliever, in all pitching 1,727 innings without relief. In an era of setup men and closers, this is one record that will surely never fall.
Federal Way, Wash.
I agree with your list except for No. 10. Byron Nelson's record of 11 straight PGA Tour wins has much less of a chance of being broken than Roger Maris's home run mark. Hack Wilson's 190 RBIs in 1930 is a close No. 11.
Bay Village, Ohio
In citing Charles Barkley's tolerance with a drunken fan and his willingness to sign autographs in an era when many pros charge for their signatures (Hot Head, Nov. 9), Rick Reilly asks, "Is this the Barkley you know?" My resounding answer, and the good news for Phoenix-area residents, is yes. I can cite several examples of how Barkley handled himself with dignity in the face of obnoxious fanatics, but my lasting memory of Barkley will be of the time I was funneling into the Philadelphia Spectrum with other fans for a playoff game against Cleveland in 1990. Obviously late for the game, Sir Charles had stopped in the parking lot to sign autographs for a flock of kids.
JAY H. MOORHEAD
South Bend Defender
Your account of the final minutes of the Notre Dame-Boston College football game (Down Day for Upstarts, Nov. 16) was inaccurate. You said that Notre Dame's 54-7 victory "was made even uglier when Irish coach Lou Holtz put his first-team defense back in the game in the final two minutes to prevent BC from scoring."
With less than two minutes remaining, Boston College completed a 48-yard pass to the Notre Dame eight-yard line. Several of our defensive starters ran down the sideline, asking to go back in the game. Coach Holtz clicked on his headset to talk to his assistants and specifically told us not to put the starters back in the game. He emphasized letting the reserves do the job on their own, even though BC did eventually score.
Defensive Line Coach
University of Notre Dame
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.