Professional Sports Records: The Great, Lamentable, Weird, and Irrelevant BY THE NUMBERS

Congratulations to LeBron James for reaching and surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time regular-season scoring record, previously 38,387 points. Despite this shout-out, my apologies in advance if you are either an NBA or NASCAR fan, as I didn’t include either sport in the following. It was enough already.


Career rushing yards: Emmitt Smith (1990-2004)
23 (200)
Penalties (and penalty yardage against) by a team in one game: Oakland Raiders (2016)
Most points scored in a game without a touchdown: Minnesota Vikings (1989, seven field goals and a safety in overtime)
Largest lead over a divisional opponent in the second quarter of a primetime game in an indoor stadium by a team who ended up losing in overtime by a field goal.


Career regular season points: Wayne Gretzky (1979-1999)
Most goals a goaltender has had scored against him by Wayne Gretzky: Richard Brodeur (1972-1988 career, 1979-1988 career with Gretzky around, regrettably)
Career goals by a goaltender: tie between Ron Hextall (1986-1999) and Martin Brodeur (1991-2015)
Most goals scored in the third period of a game by a player who is of a different nationality than his team franchise, and in which no brawls occurred in the previous two periods.


Highest on-base percentage1: Ted Williams (1939-1960)
Most games pitched with no wins: tie between Juan Alvarez and Ed Olwine. (May I say “Yikes!…Congratulations on making it to the majors?”)
Most times hit by a pitch: Hughie Jennings (1891-1918) (Way to take way more than one for the team, bro! Either that or this is explained by poor reaction time or professional masochism.)
Career home runs hit to the opposite field, batting left-handed, in the second game of a double-header, in which the player had a double in the first game, and that game had a rain delay.


Championship Wins: Oskar Eriksson (2010 – 2022, still active)
(Hours) Longest game: A 10-person group from Ontario, Canada (2018, playing 392 ends in a “game” that is usually eight or ten ends. But to be fair, the suffering raised $4000 for better cardiac care in their area. That’s about 64 cents per stone “thrown.” Granted, this one isn’t a professional record, but it is in the Guinness Book of Records.)
(Feet) Farthest distance a broom head has been launched into the crowd after swinging the broom like a golf club: Ben Hebert (2007 Canadian Open)
Most number of consecutive ends in which the remaining yellow stones in play matched the pattern of a well-known constellation, and in which the winning team, as is customary, bought drinks for the losers.


World Cup tournament goals scored: Miroslav Klose (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)
Own goals3 scored by one country during Word Cup matches (1930, 1954, 1970, 2018)
The percentage of matches, surprisingly, ending in a 0-0 draw in regulation time. (No, not a “record,” but I had to point it out. It’s weirdly low because the mean score, and the score in which the majority of matches end, is 1-0.)
Most number of player “flops” in one game that did not garner a penalty call, of games that ended in a score other than 1-0.

1Major League Baseball statistics use the term “percentage” instead of the more accurate term “fraction,” or in the case of a mathematically weighted value, “score” or “rating.” Ted Williams’ 0.482 OBP would be super lame if it was truly a percentage (i.e., “by the hundred”). I once taught science and mathematics. That’s why I care, and that’s why you are having to read this. Yet now I’m sure you think it’s quite funny about those dummies.

2Look it up. Hint: The “C” is for “curling.”

3For a personal “own goal” memoir, you may want to read My Storied Sports History from June 14, 2022.

Copyright © 2023 Richard Berndt – All Rights Reserved.

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