The 1989 film “Back to the Future Part II” predicted that there wouldn’t be much of a need for sports almanacs in the 21st century. True to form, today’s internet allows us to instantaneously relive great sports moments of yesteryear and find data and recaps of a majority of games from the past century. Still, even some of the sports world’s most heralded records contain multiple backstories that could take days to pore through, even in a time-traveling DeLorean.
That’s why Stacker compiled a list of 100 sports records from the 20th and 21st centuries, and the stories behind them. Sources included statistical databases, Hall of Fame records, official league records, record books, and news reports.
Most baseball buffs know that Nolan Ryan holds the record for most strikeouts in a season, but do you know how many innings he had to pitch in his final start of the 1973 season to break Sandy Koufax’s mark? There are plenty of hoop heads who can easily remember that Mike Krzyzewski has the most career NCAA basketball wins, but can they name the coach who previously had the most victories across all levels of college hoops?
Not all of the records are great athletic feats, but they provide interesting fodder nonetheless—anyone who can crush more than one can per second deserves a tip of the hat, don’t you think? This story also examines important records beyond pro and college sports—like the X Games athlete who overcame a serious injury to inspire us in 2009—and recognizes just plain impressive control over body and mind (like averaging almost three pull-ups a minute over a 24-hour period).
Click through for a drive down memory lane, a look into the absurd and the story of one record that is all but certain to be the most overblown sports story ever.
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